One thing I love about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it teaches us that no one is better than another person.
I was reading this week in the book of James in the New Testament, in chapter 2, where it says that we should not be a respecter of persons. This does not mean that we should not respect them; it only means that we should not rate them based on the silly idea that one person is better than another. It is so easy to think of people on a scale of beauty, wealth, power, athletic ability, etc. But the worth opf each individual is the same.
It does not matter if you are the king of England, a poor college student or the homeless person on the side of the road. We all have the same potential to become like God, because we are all His children. God is only a respecter of righteousness; He loves it when we make good choices that bring us closer to Him, and He is hurt when we choose to reject Him. But He still loves us no matter what! If we wish to become more like God, should we not do the same? (more…)
Hey, everyone. So, I wanted to share a cool insight that I got from the Book of Mormon this week. Just a little background for anyone that’s interested: The Book of Mormon is a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas; it also testifies that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and contains the fulness of His gospel. There are two main groups of people it discusses: the Nephites, who are usually righteous, and the Lamanites, who are usually wicked. This week I was reading in Mormon chapters 1-6. At this particular time, the Nephites have become exceedingly wicked and have “willfully rebelled against … God.” Mormon, a righteous Nephite, is appointed to be the leader of the Nephite armies and gives an account of their wickedness and their wars against the Lamanites.
In Mormon 3:12, Mormon says, “Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long for them.”
I think that Mormon is an amazing example of having charity, or the pure love of Christ. Despite all the wickedness of the Nephites, he tries to preach the gospel to them multiple times. Despite their rejection of the gospel, and their refusal to repent, he leads them to battle and “deliver[s] them out of the hands of their enemies.” Even when he knows that his people are past hope and “the day of grace was passed with them,” he continues to lead them. After the great, final battle, when all of the Nephites have been slain except for 24 people, Mormon says, “My soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people.” As he stands on a hill and views the destruction, he cries out, “O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen.” Mormon showed unconditional love for his fellow man. (more…)
The people of the Book of Mormon teach us many important lessons through their experiences. One of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to help us discover and learn from the mistakes of these people in ancient America.
In Mormon 5:18, the fallen Nephite people teach us a very important lesson. They show us that when we forsake God and neglect to follow His commandments, we fall under Satan’s power. When we fall under Satan’s power, we have no foundation or guiding light. Satan does not love his followers. He does not care about their lives nor does he try to guide them like our loving Heavenly Father does. The path of wickedness is one of loneliness and confusion.
When the Nephites decided not to follow God’s commandments, they made the decision to take this path. The scriptures say they became “as a vessel…without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her.” Choosing wickedness meant giving up their rights to surety and the power to direct their lives. So it is with us today. Satan persuades people to choose wickedness by advertising ideas of absolute freedom and self-government with no rules or restrictions. But this is false advertising. When we choose Satan’s way, we choose the way of bondage and unhappiness. We choose to be tied down with guilt, loneliness and, often, addictive behaviors. (more…)
This week we read in Ether chapter 2 about the Brother of Jared. He was building a ship in order for the people to cross the waters. When constructing the boat, they built all the walls to be “tight like unto a dish” (Ether 2:17). The fact that the Lord had them build sturdy, protected ships that were “tight” completely relates to our own lives. Just as their boats were tight, we must be “tight” in our friendships, marriages, and testimony. We must have strong faith that allows us to be unbreakable, just as their boats were. Just as the boats were their mode of transportation to make it to their destination, the gospel is the vehicle by which we return to live with our Heavenly Father.
Another interesting lesson we can learn from this chapter is how God answers prayers. There are many ways we can receive revelation, including step by step instructions, agency, and guidance through humility. The Brother of Jared receives step by step instructions regarding how to solve the problem of having no air in the boats. When he inquires about how to steer the boats, the Lord tells him not to worry, that He, the Lord, has it covered. Here God recognizes the brother of Jared’s faith and humility and grants him a chance to not worry. (more…)
Many times, and more so now in college than in any other time of my life, the people around me are constantly inviting me to YOLO or live according to the motto “You Only Live Once”. They, and often I too, think that happiness can be found in a brief moment of thrill or excitement.This instantaneous rush leads them to act on impaired judgment and sudden impulses. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but often leads to pursuing the “lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).
John teaches in his first epistle that these things are “of the world.” He goes on to teach that we must “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him… And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 John 2:15). My New Testament teacher had us think back on a time when our parents left us at home for a while with a list of chores to do, and more specifically, of a time when we didn’t obey. Try it. Remember how it felt? What did you do when you heard the garage door open when they got home? Run and hide? Now, compare that with a time when you did do all the chores, and maybe you even surprised them and did extra. How did you feel when you heard that garage door open this time? Even so will it be when we are brought back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. (more…)