Why We Ask Questions

Why We Ask Questions
We can ask questions because we can have sure answers

Monday, June 23, 2014

To Error is Human,To Forgive is Divine.

This story in the Book of Mormon is one of the most courageous stories of forgiveness that I have yet to see in the Book of Mormon. I believe that when we read our scriptures, we tend to see these people as characters in a movie or book, which they are in a way, but we forget these were real people. These were mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters just like ourselves. They may not have fought the same foes that we do today, but they were real people struggling with real problems.

The stories from the past blog posts I have done are in a sequence of events. At the point that I am at now in the Book of Mormon, the Nephites (the good ones who follow God, keep up with me!) are in great need of reinforcements. Helaman has fought the wars with his little band of young men who did fight valiantly, but now is in need of troops. They have fought long and hard and now they need help. So Helaman tells Moroni, who writes an epistle to Pahoran to tell him, they are need in some reinforcements and could you please help out with that since you are the governor and all?

A fair question, and really it should be quite easy to help out, but time goes on and Helaman's troops receive no support and are doing badly. Well I have tried to give you a good description of Moroni's personality. For those of you who are keeping up, this kind of thing makes him rather angry. So he of course writes another epistle which goes something like this: (remember this is sent to Pahoran the governor)

(In the words of Sister Allen, Alma 60, the entire chapter paraphrased.)

"Pahoran, I am really upset with you! You would think that while Helaman and I are out here defending our country and trying to help our people we could get a little support. But no, y'all are just chillin' up there sitting on your thrones. you have really neglected us when we needed your help! Do you think that God will help us to win this war if we just wait and sit on our thrones? I am scared for you when the judgments of God come upon you. I am Moroni, I don't seek power, but seek for freedom." (for the longer extended version check out Alma 60)

So this was in essence a pretty rough letter! If I were Pahoran, my feelings would be hurt, I would be angry, I would probably be a little defensive. Haven't we all been there? I know I have felt that way before. Someone tries to tell me I am doing my job wrong or seeks to correct me.

*Especially if I feel I am in the right. Because what Moroni doesn't know is the other side of the story.

This is Pahoran's answer to Moroni:

"I, Pahoran, who am the chief governor of this land, do send these words unto Moroni, the chief captain over the army. Behold, I say unto you, Moroni, that I do not joy in your great afflictions, yea, it grieves my soul. But behold, there are those who do joy in your afflictions, yea, insomuch that they have risen up in rebellion against me, and also those of my people who are freemen, yea, and those who have risen up are exceedingly numerous. And it is those who have sought to take away the judgment-seat from me that have been the cause of this great iniquity; for they have used great flattery, and they have led away the hearts of many people, which will be the cause of sore affliction among us; they have withheld our provisions, and have daunted our freemen that they have not come unto you." Alma 61: 1-3 (Not paraphrased, couldn't do it justice.)

Ouch. If I were the one on the receiving end of that letter....Pahoran could have chose to be angry. Honestly he could have. He had really good reasons for not supporting Moroni, HE GOT KICKED OUT. Yet, being a humble man of God, he takes it and says, "it grieves me" He not only forgives Moroni but shows such love and compassion for a fellow man of God.

Why can we all not be like that? What is it in our natures that causes us to take offence and to be greedy and resentful? This isn't a rhetorical question, I'd love to hear some thoughts on it. Post on here and I'd love to talk about it with you, because I want to know how I can be more like the Savior, to not take offense. To love them that spitefully use me. To turn the other cheek. We have been given scripture that shares with us, real life examples on how we can handle our own life trials. Do we take advantage of that?

I want to bear testimony to anyone who read this blog that I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives and I know that He suffered for me and has perfect empathy for me. I know as well that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Him and His life, and it was given to us for the purpose of bringing us closer to Him.That is why I feel such joy when I read it. I testify to you that I know all these things to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT #discoverthebook #searchthebook #livethebook!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

2,000 Stripling Warriors, and Their Mothers.

Everyone who reads this blog, I'd like you to know this one of my absolute favorite stories in the Book of Mormon. The stories I have written about have been building for this particular account.

Meet Helaman.

The whole time these battles have been going on, he has been fighting right along side of Moroni.The difference his people are not doing well, and they are being just slaughtered.

-Now, time for a little back story:) So this whole time, the Nephites have been protecting another group of people named the people of Ammon. These people USED to be Lamanites, but were converted to the gospel. They chose to never lift their weapons of war again and made a covenant of peace to God.

"For they became as righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God anymore, neither against any of their brethren. Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord." Alma 23: 7-8

Amazing people! However their fellow Lamanites were really quite irked that they had converted to the Lord and wanted to live the gospel. So of course...War. They came in and killed so many of them, and because the people of Ammon had made that covenant they would not fight back.

"Now when the people saw that they were coming against them they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword. And thus without meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with their God." Alma 24: 21-22

Truly these people had so much faith! I don't know that I could do that...I hope I would have that faith but really their testimonies were so strong.

Now the Nephites see the people of Ammon being slaughtered (also sidenote, many of the lamanites that were killing them were so moved by their complete surrender, they joined with them instead of fighting them!) and they cant bear to watch it. So they make a plan and relocate the people to another land near them where they can protect them and watch over them. So that's what they have doing since.

Back story concluded.

Now back to Helaman.

So they have been fighting, they are running out of the people, and the people of Ammon seeing so many of the Nephites die for them, are moved with compassion. To the point where they decide they are going to break their covenant and fight with the Lamanites against the Nephites. BAD IDEA! It is never a good idea to break promises with God. Luckily, the Nephites love them and refuse to let them break their promise. However we still have the problem that everyone is dying and they need more people to fight...

What would you do in this situation?

I know I would probably go find the nearest rock and crawl under it and hide. That would be me. Luckily. Helaman wasn't me:)

Heleman needs an army, and who steps up to the plate?

Letter from Helaman to Moroni:

"My dearly beloved brother, Moroni, as well in the Lord as in the tribulations of our warfare; behold, my beloved brother, I have somewhat to tell you concerning our warfare in this part of the land.
Behold, two thousand of the sons of those men whom Ammon brought down out of the land of Nephi—now ye have known that these were descendants of Laman, who was the eldest son of our father Lehi;
Now I need not rehearse unto you concerning their traditions or their unbelief, for thou knowest concerning all these things—Therefore it sufficeth me that I tell you that two thousand of these young men have taken their weapons of war, and would that I should be their leader; and we have come forth to defend our country." Alma 56: 2-5

Their sons. Their sons who had not made those promises to God were the ones who said in a sense "we will go."

The reason for their courage?

"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." Alma 56: 47-48

Mothers. What power you have. Guys when I write this, I get chills. I hope you do too. I hope you see the amazing courage it took. The courage that came from their faith in the Lord. The faith their mothers taught them.

Now I realize we didn't get to the war stuff yet and your dying to know how the army of basically children did...but your going to have to wait till next week:) just can't give you all the good stuff at once.

Brothers and Sisters, I know that this gospel and the things we are taught are truly the things that matter. In the end it is not the car, job, house, computer, tv, or any of the other material possessions we have. In the end it won't matter. If we were asked to lay it all on the line for the Cause of the Christians, for the one True God, would you be able to do it, or are there things that take priority over God in your life right now?

I love this gospel, and I love my Lord and Savior, and I say these things in his name, Amen.

Next week! don't forget to #searchthebook on facebook!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A good nap, while all your prisoners escape!

Alright, here we are with Moroni, remember him, the good guy:) Moroni and the Nephites have been having some hefty battles and fighting very hard for the cause of their freedom. It is very interesting to note that whenever it mentions in the scriptures the reasons why everyone is fighting this war, it is always due to oppression from one side or the other.

So the leaders of both sides are tired of the fighting, tired of the loss of their brethren and mostly out of men, might, and motivation. So they write epistles to each other. It was kinda like email chat except took much longer and wasn't quite as fun.

So Ammoron( He is the leader of the people who don't believe in God, it used to be Amalikiah, but he was stabbed in the heart with a javelin. Just a heads up) sends his letter to Moroni which says:

"And now it came to pass in the commencement of the twenty and ninth year of the judges, that Ammoron sent unto Moroni desiring that he would exchange prisoners." -Alma 54:1

So yeah, Ammoron keeps it pretty short and simple. That's nice, but he then sent it to Moroni....now that guy is a novelist. Moroni starts him out real slow. He says:

Well actually what he says takes up a good long page and a half in the Book of Mormon, so I will paraphrase. 

"Well Ammoron, I'd like to help you with this whole exchange the prisoner thing, I really would, but you know very well that we're not very well matched against each other. All of our prisoners of yours are all men. We didn't take any of your women or children. However you have many of our women and children. So I'm only going to trade you prisoners if you will trade one family for one man. Also I think you are child of Hell and do not abide by the precepts of God and unless you repent, you are probably going to Hell. I am Moroni, leader of the Nephites." -Paraphrased version of Alma 54:5-15

So obviously the conversation is going quite well at this point. Well this makes Ammoron mad, and he gets really hissy and says he doesn't really need to exchange prisoners, and they are going to keep fighting them, because they believe they are the rightful rulers, and so on and so forth. Plus he was slightly offended that Moroni called him a child of Hell.

After all this, Moroni refuses to exchange prisoners, and comes up with a brilliant plan!

So he makes a search through all his people, finds some of Lamanite decent, send them with wine to the Lamanites fortress, and tell them to lie to the Lamanites. 

He says tell them you escaped from us, and you brought them wine to celebrate:) So they do. 

"And it came to pass that they did take of the wine freely; and it was pleasant to their taste, therefore they took of it more freely; and it was strong, having been prepared in its strength.
And it came to pass they did drink and were merry, and by and by they were all drunken."

Well, morale of the story, Dont Get Drunk On The Job! 

All of the prisoners were given weapons and when the Lamanites woke up, they surrendered:) I'm sure you would too if all your prisoners had all the weapons.

I love this story, not because it is hillarious, although it really is, but because of what it teaches us. We don't ever take the easy way out! You keep your standards high and you fight hard. Like I said last post, we are living in the war zone, the spiritual war zone! We don't give up and arrange to trade prisoners! We keep fighting, and we arm ourselves from within. We do those things that give us power spiritually and that fortify our minds and ready us to take on Satan when he comes and offers us the easy way out.

Brothers and sisters, don't take easy way out! Fight hard! For the Cause of the Christians!

Thank you for you time!

 Next week we
get into some really fun stuff! #Discoverthebook!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Living in the War Zone

The best adventure you have ever read about, there are treacherous villains, amazing heroes, good versus evil, and of course, some amazingly funny commentary to really hit the spot for a good read.

~The Book of Mormon~ 

There may be those of you who have heard it before and perhaps it didn't have a very good connotation. There are many who have heard about it and heard wrong things and chose to never read it and never find out themselves.

Of course we know the saying. "Don't judge a book by its cover" You have to open it and find out for yourself.

I'm going to take us to the middle of the book, right in the middle of some high packed action!

First off you need to know who the good guys are and the bad guys.

Nephites=good Lamanites=bad
This changes throughout so you gotta keep up with me.
Moroni=good Amalickiah= bad

okay here we go!

Moroni is the captain of the Nephites, and he is a Boss. in the scriptures they describe him this way:

"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."- Alma 48:17 (to cite my sources, and in case you wanna check it out:)

How would you like to be described as someone who makes the very powers of Hell shake? I sure would!

Here is how Amalickiah works. He is a terribly tricky little fellow. He really wants to be the king. However, problem, the Lamanites already have a king. Solution? Kill the king and blame someone else. Good plan right? So Amalickiah goes to meet the King and makes the sign of peace, and when the king is about to allow them to come unto him, Amalickiah's servants stab him, and then blame it on the King's servants.

" And it came to pass that Amalickiah commanded that his armies should march forth and see what had happened to the king; and when they had come to the spot, and found the king lying in his gore, Amalickiah pretended to be wroth, and said: Whosoever loved the king, let him go forth, and pursue his servants that they may be slain." -Alma 47:27

Quite a mess.  

Anyway, Moroni is a strategy man. He knows that the Lamanites are coming after his people. So he starts preparing them. This guy knows how to prepare his people for an attack!

" Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.
  And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
  And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians." Alma 48:8-10

I love the verbs he uses when talking about how he prepares his people. Strengthening, erecting, throwing up banks of earth, building walls of stone, fortify, preparing, support, and all for the cause of Christians.

I love that. 

Ladies and gentlmen, we live in a war zone. not a physical one like Moroni, though sometimes we do, but a spiritual one. Satan is trying so hard to bring down the souls of the children of God. We have so much to fight for, and so much to fight against. 

Let us rise up in the glorious cause of Christians:)

Tune in next time for some terrific tips on how to lead the bad guys on wild goose chase, and still keep your cities fortified and ready for war! (also you know you wanna find out who won the war....its drawing you in...)

Thank you for your time:)