I wanted to start with this video for our youth about the Book of Mormon. It applies to all of us and I want to add my testimony to this video that reading the scriptures daily does change lives for the better. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and reading from its pages brings a peace into our hearts. I am so grateful that we are reading this together. I feel strengthened daily and have had prayers answered. I encourage you to pray as you are reading with us, that you, too, can find your own answers.
Today I am so excited! We are finishing up 2 Nephi. YAAAY! We get to go over my absolute FAVORITE scripture in the Book of Mormon. I have highlighted it in all of the Book of Mormons I've sent out. (There is still time to get your own copy by clicking HERE.)
In 2 Nephi chapter 31 verse 13 Nephi is talking about the importance of baptism.
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism -- yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel."
Here is what our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, believes about baptism, found on mormon.org.
Here are a couple of pictures of my family during some of my children's baptisms.
Nephi continues his address about baptism and then asks a very good question… "after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done?" He then answers with a very special scripture to me. On the day of my baptism someone gave me a card and they wrote this scripture inside. Since that day I have held it dear to my heart. When I was going through struggles in my life where I couldn't get to the scriptures during the day, I would repeat this scripture in my head before I fell asleep. I hope you will find a special meaning in it for you as well.
2 Nephi 31:20
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
Pressing Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ:
When I think of this I think of hard times in our lives where all we can do is press forward. When I was training for my first (and only) marathon, I remember an experience I had while running with my husband. We had just reached mile 12 and I felt I couldn't go on any longer. I actually sat down on the grass and cried. I told him to go get the car and come pick me up. It had been such a windy day and we were running directly against the wind. My toes had blisters upon blisters and I was exhausted. Our goal that day was 18 miles. After I finished feeling sorry for myself, I got up and "pressed forward" to the end of our goal for the day. I ran through the tears, the aches and blisters on my toes. I pressed forward. We can do the same in our lives. There are going to be many tough trials we all face and all we can do is take a step forward and keep going. We can do this through our Savior Jesus Christ with steadfastness.
A Perfect Brightness of Hope:
I love the word HOPE. There is such meaning to me in that word. We can all have hope. Hope for a great day, hope our children are happy and safe, hope to be with our families forever, hope for rain, hope for good health, hope that we can see our Savior again. Here is what President Uchtdorf (a member of the First Presidency in the LDS Church) says about Hope. I hope you will feel the Spirit as you watch.
A Love of God and of all Men:
We are commanded to love God and to love our brothers and sisters on this earth but how do we love them. Are we kind to those we see in passing? Do we share a smile instead of a frown to the person in the car next to us? Do we comfort those who are mourning or sad? Do we really get to know our neighbors and serve them? Do we speak kindly of others? What can we all do differently this week to show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him by loving those around us?
Feasting Upon the Word of Christ:
Have you ever been hungry before? I mean, really hungry, where your stomach talks to you every second reminding you to feed it? Then, when you finally eat, what do you do?? You probably pig out and FEAST! Nephi encourages all of us to feast like that on the word of Christ. By studying the scriptures, and not just reading them, we can truly feast upon his word. These past 20 days I have really been able to experience a true feast of the scriptures as I am preparing my post for the day on this blog. I have felt so much inspiration and direction in just this short time with feasting upon the word of Christ. I know that if we follow Nephi's admonition and "feast" we will feel the Spirit more in our lives.
(I found this picture HERE)
Endure to the End:
Enduring to the end can mean so many different things to each of us. It might depend on the day or the trial we are going through. All He asks of us is that we do "endure" to the end. I've thought about some of the big trials I have had to face in my life and the most recent one was my miscarriage and emergency hysterectomy. Even though I have 5 beautiful children, I was hopeful for another. Waking up after surgery and knowing that I would never be able to have a child again was a hard challenge to face. There were a lot of tears involved as I tried to come to terms with this new turn of events in my life. I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ because I knew that He could feel my pain. He was there so that I could endure. I also know that during my trial the Lord sent family & friends to help me get through it. He does not want us to have to endure alone. He is there for each of us. I've heard it said, "If He brings you to it, He will help you through it."
(A view from my bed that I was recovering in for over a month.)
(So thankful for a wonderful family who was able to help me heal both physically and emotionally.)
(The support of my church, family, friends and neighbors was incredible.)
Ye Shall Have Eternal Life:
What is Eternal Life? I found the following on mormon.org…
What do Mormons believe about “eternal life?”
Chapter 31 ends with this scripture which I also love.
2 Nephi 31:21
"And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the HOly Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen."
What a great promise we read in Chapter 32 verse 3.
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
I'm amazed at how much we are reminded to pray in the scriptures. That should tell us the importance of prayer in our lives and what it can do for us.
2 Nephi 32:8-9
"…For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray."
"But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul."
Nephi had such a love for his people. I want you all to know that I have the same love for you. You are all in my prayers regularly and I hope you can feel the love our Savior has for each of you. In some of his last words written in the Book of Mormon he wrote:
2 Nephi 33:3-4
"…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."
"And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And 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 33:6-7
"I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell."
"I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgement-seat."
(I love Greg Olsen art and have a couple hanging up at home. You can check them out HERE. I want to give all credit of this picture to the artist himself.)
I will end today's post quoting some of Nephi's last words. I hope you all enjoyed our reading today. I absolutely love the scriptures and am so grateful that the Lord provided them to us.
2 Nephi 33:10
"And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good."
*As always, if you have any questions and would like to chat live with a member of my church, click HERE.
Request a copy of the Book of Mormon HERE to join us at any time! You can read along online HERE while you are waiting for your copy to arrive in the mail.*