Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 72: 3 Nephi 7-9

Happy Thursday Everyone!

This week has gone by so fast for me.  I have been able to get up at 5:20 everyday to get my 15 year old off to Seminary.  It makes such a difference for me to have an early start to my day.  Although, I am pretty tired right now and it is only 2:30 pm!  LOL!  I'm sure my body will get used to it soon.

Today we are reading chapters 7-9 in 3rd Nephi.  We are starting to read some pretty powerful chapters that mean so much to me.  Just imagining the signs of the Savior's death and then him visiting the Americas is absolutely amazing.  Let's start off with some videos about our Savior, Jesus Christ, to set the mood for today's post.   This is what was happening over in another land before we see what happens in 3rd Nephi.

In Chapter 7 basically the government collapses and the people divide themselves in tribes.

3 Nephi 7:2-3
"And the people were divided one against another; and they did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family and his kindred and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land.
"And every tribe did appoint a chief or a leader over them; and thus they became tribes and leaders of tribes."

We read later in the chapter the faithfulness of Nephi.

3 Nephi 7:15-17
"And it came to pass that Nephi -- having been visited by angels and also the voice of the Lord, therefore having seen angels, and being eye-witness, and having had power given unto him that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ, and also being eye-witness to their quick return from righteousness unto their wickedness and abominations;
"Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds -- went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
"And he did minister many things unto them; and all of them cannot be written, and a part of them would not suffice, therefore they are not written in this book.  And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority."

    3 Nephi 7:15–26. The Faithfulness of Nephi and His Followers

  • One bright spot in the otherwise sad account of the Nephites’ turn from their righteousness is the steadfast faithfulness of Nephi and his people. Their example provides a pattern to help us maintain our righteousness during times of wickedness. We read of Nephi’s firm testimony, born of personal experience (see 3 Nephi 7:15), that he boldly taught “repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 16). He ministered with power and authority because “great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 18), and those who responded to his testimony were themselves visited “by the power and Spirit of God” (verse 21). Those who believed were healed (see verse 22), repented, were baptized, and “received a remission of their sins” 
(This picture is a great representation of what how Jesus Christ visited his other sheep.)

In Chapter 8 we read all about the signs of the Saviors death coming to pass.  There was a LOT of destruction.

    3 Nephi 8:6–19. Physical Upheavals Testify of Christ

  • “A great and terrible tempest … such as never had been known in all the land” unleashed untold natural destruction (3 Nephi 8:6–7). These physical upheavals were signs in America witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem (see 1 Nephi 19:10–12Helaman 14:20–21). Some physical upheavals in our day signal the approaching of the Second Coming.
    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles cited the increase of major earthquakes as one of the signs of the Second Coming: “Signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. For example, the list of major earthquakes in The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2004 shows twice as many earthquakes in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s as in the two preceding decades (see pages 189–90). It also shows further sharp increases in the first several years of this century. The list of notable floods and tidal waves and the list of hurricanes, typhoons, and blizzards worldwide show similar increases in recent years (see pages 188–89). Increases by comparison with 50 years ago can be dismissed as changes in reporting criteria, but the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous” 
I just finished watching this great talk about Preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and it went right along with the quote above so I will share it.

Okay, going back to chapter 8!  This is what happened to our Savior at the time that the storms were beginning in America when Jesus Christ was crucified.  This video is a little graphic about what happened to Jesus Christ, I would only show kids after watching it first.

    3 Nephi 8:23. Three Days of Darkness

  • The three days of darkness symbolized the death of Jesus Christ, who is “the light and the life of the world” (3 Nephi 11:11). Mormon emphasized that the three days of darkness was “a sign” given of the Savior’s death (see 1 Nephi 19:10Helaman 14:273 Nephi 8:23). After describing the damage caused by the “great storm” (3 Nephi 8:5) that lasted for three hours, Mormon documented the complete darkness as one of the signs that was now fulfilled (see 3 Nephi 10:14). The darkness was so intense that “there could not be any light at all” (3 Nephi 8:21). During this time of darkness, the body of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, lay in the tomb. On the day of HisResurrection, after Christ had overcome death, light came again to the people in America, signifying Christ’s victory over death and darkness.
Chapter 9 is one of the most powerful chapters in the Book of Mormon.  After the destruction to all the cities and the people they hear a voice in the darkness.  It is the voice of the Savior Jesus Christ and this is what He said…

3 Nephi 9:14-22
"Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.  Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.

"Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God.  I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.  I was with the Father from the beginning.  I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

"I came unto my own, and my own received me not.  And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.

"And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.

"I am the light and the life of the world.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. 

"And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.

"And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.

"Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.

"Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.  Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved."

    3 Nephi 9:14. “Come unto Me”

  • Jesus Christ promised: “Blessed are those who come unto me” (3 Nephi 9:14).
    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explained the meaning of this invitation and how it applies in our lives: “‘Come,’ [Christ] says lovingly. ‘Come, follow me.’ Wherever you are going, first come and see what I do, see where and how I spend my time. Learn of me, walk with me, talk with me, believe. Listen to me pray. In turn you will find answers to your own prayers. God will bring rest to your souls. Come, follow me”

    3 Nephi 9:20. “They Knew It Not”

  • President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) explained that there are many who are developing spiritually but are unable to perceive their own subtle growth: “Day by day [Latter-day Saints] move closer to the Lord, little realizing they are building a godlike life. They live quiet lives of goodness, service, and commitment. They are like the Lamanites, who the Lord said ‘were baptized with fire and with theHoly Ghostand they knew it not.’ (3 Ne. 9:20; italics added)” (“A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 5).
  • President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, used this same scripture to express concern that the gift of the Holy Ghost is not recognized as it should be. He encouraged Latter-day Saints to cultivate the gift of the Holy Ghost and gave counsel on how to recognize the Spirit:
    “Too many of us are like those whom the Lord said ‘[came] with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, … [and] at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not’’ [3 Nephi 9:20; italics added].
    “Imagine that: ‘And they knew it not.’ It is not unusual for one to have received the gift and not really know it.
    “… There are so many places to go, so many things to do in this noisy world. We can be too busy to pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit”
I also wanted to share this video of the resurrection of the Savior Jesus Christ.

I want to close today by bearing my testimony to all of you.  I know that these things we read about today are true.  I know that Jesus Christ did visit the Nephites after he died on the cross at Calvary.  I know that He loves us all and atoned for our sins so that we could be with Him again.  I know that he has commanded us to repent and be baptized and to come unto Him.  

I love you all!  Have a great night!

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