Sunday, May 20, 2012

Book of Mormon Sunday II- Helaman 13-16

   The missionary work started by Nephi and his brother continued with a greater part of the Lamanite people converting to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  Helaman 13:1 "And now it came to pass in the *eighty and sixth year, the Nephites did still remain in wickedness, yea, in great wickedness, while the Lamanites did observe strictly to keep the commandments of God, according to the law of Moses."
   A Lamanite missionary called by the Lord is visited by an angel and given a vision of what will befall the Nephites if they don't repent. He, acting in great courage, testifies of what is in his heart. I marvel at the strength he receives to tell in his own words what he has learned from the angel and to be bold enough to risk death.

   Helaman 13:3 "But behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, that he should return again, and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into his heart. And it came to pass that they would not suffer that he should enter into the city; therefore he went and got upon the wall thereof, and stretched forth his hand and cried with a loud voice, and prophesied unto the people whatsoever things the Lord put into his heart."
  Samuel has been charged to give glad tidings. It seems at first that all his news is destruction and woe, but really his message is the hope of the atonement. 
Helaman 13:7 "And behold, an angel of the Lord hath declared it unto me, and he did bring glad tidings to my soul. And behold, I was sent unto you to declare it unto you also, that ye might have glad tidings; but behold ye would not receive me."
   The Nephites are deaf to glad tidings largely because of their obsession with riches. Trade, speculation, and investments take all their time and commitment. 

Helaman 13:31 "And behold, the time cometh that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them; and in the days of your poverty ye cannot retain them."
   The slipperiness of their wealth sounds so much like the debacle of our own times as investment banks reveal the losses of billions of dollars due to fraud and mismanagement. The timely message of freedom from sin is overdue in the lives of these Nephites as it is in my life and the world today.
   Helaman 14:30 "And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free. He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you."
   And behold, some people hear and obey. Nephi is very busy thanks to Samuel and his bold message.
    Helaman 16:4 "For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come --Telling them of things which must shortly come, that they might know and remember at the time of their coming that they had been made known unto them beforehand, to the intent that they might believe; therefore as many as believed on the words of Samuel went forth unto him to be baptized, for they came repenting and confessing their sins."
  The opposition shores up their position by coming up with a philosophy which is askew but which gives them ample rationalization to combat Nephi and other religious leaders.
   Helaman 16:21 "And they will, by the cunning and the mysterious arts of the evil one, work some great mystery which we cannot understand, which will keep us down to be servants to their words, and also servants unto them, for we depend upon them to teach us the word; and thus will they keep us in ignorance if we will yield ourselves unto them, all the days of our lives."
   Notice how this reasoning is void of a knowledge of God. These Nephites see only the" dog eat dog" world in which they survive. Without his grace we cannot make sense of our situation. It takes divine inspiration to "understand things as they really are." 

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?