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2 Nephi 33
. . . for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.
2 Nephi 33:1 Precept #1
Speak by the power of the Holy Ghost.
When you teach the gospel does it come from the Spirit of God or from your own head and intellect?
. . . For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.
2 Nephi 33:3 Precept #2
Pray for other people – for their spiritual and temporal welfare.
How much of your personal energy (emotional and spiritual) do you use to pray for the welfare of other people?
. . . the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.
2 Nephi 33:4 Precept #3
Do what Nephi has written we should be doing: Believe in Jesus, do good, and and do those thing until the end of your life.
Are you living the teachings of the Book of Mormon every day? Do you actively think about what good you can do each day and strive to accomplish it?
I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
2 Nephi 33:6 Precept #4
Glory in plainness and truth.
Do you rejoice in knowing the truth about yourself? Or do you hide from it? What about the truth about God and His commandments?
And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye . . .
2 Nephi 33:11 Precept #5
Judge by the power of the Holy Ghost whether the words you read – any words you read – are words sent from God.
Do you know which of all the books you’ve read contain messages from the Lord, Jesus Christ?
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I remember my first truly sacred experience when I was 12 years old. The next was somewhere around 14. My teenage years after that - after beginning a life-long study of the LDS canon of scripture - was chalked full of sacred experience after sacred experience which have developed in me a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a devotion to His teachings as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of those experiences as a young man I can say for sure that Jesus Christ lives today and is the Son of the Living God. He atoned for me and has "redeemed my soul from hell."
It was in those years that I learned for myself that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. That came to be a huge social battle for one young as I was growing up in the Bible belt. I spent those years trying to live my life in such a way that people would know that I was a follower of Christ only to find out after years of hanging out with my friends that none of them believed I was Christian. This was devestating to me, a young man simply trying to show a good example as a follower of Christ. I felt like I had failed. It was only after serving my two year mission for the LDS Church that I realized the reason for their opinion was simply because our definition of what it meant to be Christian was drastically different. For me it had been about following Christ and living His teachings. For them it was whether or not my beliefs fell within their narrowly defined window of what they believed about God and Jesus Christ. I realize now that I was doomed to fail from the beginning!
It was in those years while I was trying to show people that I was a follower of Christ - facing opposition from friend, minister, and teacher alike - that I began studying the scriptures not just to understand His Gospel, but to come to understand answers to the challenges I was being presented with. In short I became as much of a Mormon apologist as a teenage boy with little education could ever become. But I at least had the scriptures and and the guidance of truly devoted and inspired friends and teachers -
and that was all I needed.
It is this pattern of questioning and searching for answers which has informed all of my scripture study and learning over the years of my life since then. My research and understanding of the Gospel, the Church, The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith have all grown and expanded because of that constant and consistent devotion to studying. And they will all continue to do so - for the knowledge of God is infinite and there is no way in the life to learn it all.
This blog is an outlet for all I have learned and considered over the years of my Gospel study. I have found - as many people who have come to know the teachings of Christ the way I have - that when the Word is a part of one's soul he or she cannot escape the desire to share It. So share it I do. There are imperfections and missing pieces in what I write, but all in all I truly feel the Lord has blessed me with the one thing I have desired more than almost anything else: a well rounded understanding of His doctrine and truth as He has given to us at this point. Please forgive my imperfections for this blog is as much about improving myself and my own knowledge and faith in God and Christ as it is for helping anyone else do the same.
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Thank you for these thoughts. They really help me with a personal growth/repentance I am working on.
You’re welcome Aunt Mary! I can’t tell you how poignantly the precepts of each chapter sink deep into my soul and urge me to repent as well. This is a hard journey for me, but a necessary one. And it is freeing my soul from all kinds of burdens I should have let go of a long long time ago. Each one of these posts speaks me guilty of something, but each one also lifts me up and gives me hope that repentance is possible, change is possible – and most importantly that it is necessary!
I hope you’re finding joy in the journey! I know Heavenly Father is pleased and smiling at you and on you for all you’re doing!