Tag Archives: Joy

#BOMTC 3 Nephi 17-19: One By One

The post-mortal ministry of Jesus Christ is THE great indicator of how the Savior feels about each and every ONE of us! Even after the words “It is finished” fell from his broken lips as “he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost,” (John 19:30) He knew HE was not finished with YOU.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ was not quick, casual, or impersonal. The Savior felt our pains and sins on an individual and personal basis, and He understands, knows, and loves each of us personally (see Alma 7:11-13). The Savior continually seeks the “ONE” (see Luke 15) and YOU are the ONE.

I am always profoundly touched by this part of the Book of Mormon. It is at this point that the Resurrected Lord announces to the people of the land that it is time for Him to leave and show Himself unto the lost tribes of Israel. As He does so, the people “look steadfastly upon Him as if they would ask Him to tarry a little longer with them.” What happens next would surprise us, except for the fact that it is exactly what we would expect the Savior to do–He stays! And He stays a lot longer than one might expect. Granted, in the account of the event it is only two chapters, but because of the sheer number of people (2,500) involved in what happens in those next two chapters, we can suspect that His stay was more lengthy.

What I love most about what is about to happen is not only what will happen, but HOW it will happen. As He heals the people, He heals them “every one“–one at a time. When He commands that the little children be brought to Him, “He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.” He institutes the Sacrament and instructs them. And before departing, He takes His disciples and, “touched with His hand the disciples whom He had chosen, one by one, even until He had touched them all, and spake unto them as He touched them.”

As you read these chapters, it is worth the effort to identify the word “one” and “all“. He made time for the individual, not just the multitude. What message do I learn from that?

HE HAS TIME FOR YOU AND ME; 

ALL THE TIME IN ETERNITY!

We just need to learn to ask Him to “tarry a little longer” with us.

Below are a few of my favorite paintings that depict the Savior as He, “took their little children, one by one”. As you examine them, I hope you will be reminded of how much He wants to have “one by one” experiences with YOU each day.

HAVE WE MADE TIME FOR HIM AS THESE PEOPLE DID?

I know that the Savior loves “ALL” of us, and wants to have experiences with each “ONE” of us on a daily basis.

One by One

Words by David A. Bednar
Music by Paul Cardall
Arranged by Ken Neff and Shauna Swainston

Download the mp3 audio file: Music and lyrics.

1. One by one, one by one.
Jesus, the Fa-ther’s Beloved Son—
One by one, one by one—
From the beginning said, “Thy will be done.”
Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill God’s plan,
For He alone could atone as Savior of man.
The Lord blessed and beckoned them, “Come unto me,”
And willingly sacrificed to set us free.
One by one, one by one.
He suffered for us and victory won.
One by one, one by one.
We marvel at all His love has done,
One by one.
One by one, one by one.
Multitudes gathered and saw Him come.
One by one, one by one.
Each heard a voice declare, “Behold My Son.”
Jesus Christ came and stood in the midst of them.
They fell to the earth in great rev’rence for Him.
The Lord bid, “Arise, and come forth unto me.”
With hands they did feel and with eyes they did see.
One by one, one by one.
Each knew and bore record, He is our Lord.
One by one, one by one.
They cried “Hosanna” with one accord,
One by one.
One by one, one by one.
Christ looked around Him and saw their tears.
One by one, one by one.
In His compassion, He calmed their fears.
Jesus Christ healed each one brought forth unto Him.
Then He blessed each precious child and prayed for them.
The angels descended from heaven above,
Encircling those little ones; each felt His love.
One by one, one by one.
He intercedes for each daughter and son.
One by one, one by one.
Strength from His grace gives us pow’r to become,
One by one.

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Christ with the Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Christ with the Nephite Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Jesus-Christ-America-Nephites-Walter-Rane

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, They Saw, Jesus Christ in America with the Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446-jesus-blesses-the-nephite-children

The following short video highlights this portrayal of the Savior’s visit to the inhabitants of ancient America, providing a unique view of His caring, compassion, and love for His children.

My Joy is Full

 Those who enjoy sacred music and verse may find the following two songs an uplifting addition to their study of this tender account. Each of them is entitled, “One by One”.

One by One

One by One (PDF)

Seminary Music: Book of Mormon

One. One by one, every one.

One by one we came to look upon the Lord.

And feast upon His word.

One by one.

One. One by one.

One by one we came.

The halt, the blind, the lame.

He healed us in his name.

One by one.

He spoke what no tongue can speak

What ear hath not heard before.

We saw what no eyes hath seen;

The joys of eternity

Ah Then he blessed our little ones.

And we were overcome, everyone.

Alleluia,  Alleluia, Alleluia,

Alleluia, Oh Gloria.

One.  One by one everyone.

One by one we came to look upon our Lord.

Text:  Steven K. Jones

Music:  Sam Cardon

Arranged By:  Brian Jensen

Artist:  Selected members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

One by One

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, One by One Song

The following talk by Elder Ronald A. Rasband illustrates well the Savior’s desire to minister to each of us “one by one”,  and shows us how we can apply the “one by one” principle to our own life and ministry.

“One by One”

Throughout my life, I have come to know through my own experiences that Heavenly Father hears and answers our personal prayers. I know that Jesus is the living Christ and that He knows each of us individually, or as the scriptures express it, “one by one.”

This sacred assurance is taught compassionately by the Savior Himself in His appearance to the people of Nephi. We read of this in 3 Nephi, chapter 11, verse 15:

“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth” (3 Ne. 11:15; emphasis added).

To further illustrate the “one by one” nature of our Savior’s ministry, we read in 3 Nephi, chapter 17, verse 9:

“And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him” (3 Ne. 17:9; emphasis added).

We then read of the special blessing given to the precious children in verse 21: “And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them” (3 Ne. 17:21; emphasis added).

This was not a small gathering. In verse 25 [3 Ne. 17:25] we read: “And they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.”

Certainly, there is a very profound and tender personal message here. Jesus Christ ministers to, and loves us all, one by one.

As we reflect on our Savior’s way of loving, we sustain you dedicated stake and ward leaders, men and women of great faith. We gratefully recognize the many efforts of those of you working with the youth. And we express great appreciation to our caring Primary leaders and teachers for your Christlike service. We consider each of your one-by-one ministries and say thank you and please, please continue. Perhaps never in the history of mankind do we need to be serving on a one-by-one basis more than we do now.

During the final months of our mission last year, we experienced an event that taught once again this profound principle that each of us is known and loved by God.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell was coming to New York City for some Church business, and we were informed that he would also like to have a mission conference. We were so pleased to have this opportunity to hear from one of the Lord’s chosen servants. I was asked to select one of our missionaries to provide the opening prayer for the meeting. I might have randomly picked one of the missionaries to pray, but felt to ponder and prayerfully select one whom the Lord would have me ask. In going through the missionary roster, a name boldly stood out to me: Elder Joseph Appiah of Accra, Ghana. He was the one I felt the Lord wanted to pray at the meeting.

Prior to the mission conference, I was having a regularly scheduled interview with Elder Appiah and told him of the prompting that I had received for him to pray. With amazement and humility in his eyes, he began to weep deeply. Somewhat surprised by his reaction, I started to tell him that it was all right and he wouldn’t have to pray, when he informed me he would love to offer the prayer, that his emotion was caused by the love he has for Elder Maxwell. He told me that this Apostle is very special to the Saints in Ghana and to his own family. Elder Maxwell had called his father to be the district president in Accra and had sealed his mother and father in the Salt Lake Temple.

Now, I didn’t know any of what I just related about this missionary or his family, but the Lord did and inspired a mission president on behalf of onemissionary to provide a lifelong memory and testimony-building experience.

At the meeting, Elder Appiah offered a wonderful prayer and made a humble contribution to a meeting where Elder Maxwell taught the missionaries of the attributes of Jesus Christ. All who were there will never forget the feelings of love they experienced for their Savior.

I have a testimony in my heart, brothers and sisters, that God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ know and love us individually. I’m not sure I fully understand how, I just know and have experienced that They do. I urge all of us in our own ministries, to our families and to our fellowman, to embrace the Savior’s warm invitation to come unto Him, one by one, and be perfected in Him.

I share this witness and hope, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

“One by One” Extras:

 

  • “One by One” music:
    • One by One,” David A. Benar (2016, free MP3 download)
    • One by One,” Jake Garvin (2016, free MP3 download)
    • One by One,” Hilary Weeks (2008, free MP3 download)
    • One by One,” John V. Pearson (2003, text only)
    • One by One,” Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1998, free MP3 download)

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#BOMTC Alma 34-36: YOMO Not YOLO

Have you ever heard someone use the term YOLO to justify doing what they want to do? YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once. Similar to carpe diem or memento mori, it implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks.

The gospel however teaches a different motto. The gospel motto is more like YOMOYou’re Only Mortal Once! Alma 34 explains the concept of YOMO this way:

32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses  therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis  that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

In Alma 36, Alma shares with his son, Helaman, an important life-lesson: YOLO will make you say, “OH NO!!!” and YOMO is the “WAY TO GO!”

YOMO--You're Only Mortal Once

YOMO–You’re Only Mortal Once

Here are a few video clips to help you YOMO a little “mo” ;o)

What Matters Most

President Thomas S. Monson counsels us to spend time with, cherish, and express love to the people we hold dear.

Moments That Matter Most

We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Read President Uchtdorf’s entire address “Of Things That Matter Most” at http://bit.ly/momentsmatter

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#BOMTC Alma 30-31: Are You a Puppet or an Instrument?

In the Book of Mormon we learn about anti-Christs (Sherem in Jacob 7, and Nehor in Alma 1). One definition of anti-Christ is “anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel plan of salvation and that openly or secretly opposes Christ” (“Antichrist,” Guide to the Scripture). In Alma 30, another anti-Christ named Korihor teaches that there will be no Christ. Here is a very interesting and relevant quote from Sister Julie B. Beck, a former Relief Society General President:

Public policies are being made every day that are antifamily, and the definition of family is changing legally around the world. Pornography is rampant. For those who create pornography, their new target audience is young women. Parents are being portrayed as inept and out of touch. Antifamily media messages are everywhere. Youth are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.

We see how this can happen when we read the words of Korihor, an anti-Christ: “Thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms” (Alma 30:18). Satan knows that he will never have a body; he will never have a family. So he targets young women, who will create the bodies for the future generations.

Korihor was an anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is antifamily. Any doctrine or principle our youth hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ. It’s that clear. If our youth cease to believe in the righteous traditions of their fathers as did the people described in Mosiah 26, if our youth don’t understand their part in the plan, they could be led away. (“Teaching the Doctrine of the Family,” Ensign, March 2011. Emphasis added.)

As I read these chapters, one thing that stands to me is how our actions lead us to become either INSTRUMENTS in the hands of God or PUPPETS in the hands of Satan. Alma is an instrument (see Alma 29:9) while Korihor is a puppet (Alma 30:60). Think for a moment about the differences between being a puppet and being an instrument. Consider how Alma and Korihor respectively act as an instrument and a puppet as we review their story.

 All Things Denote There Is a God

(Alma 30) Korihor preaches against the prophecies of the coming of Christ. He seeks a sign to be convinced that there is a God. He is struck dumb.

Korihor’s false teachings led many to sin. He spoke against the leaders of the Church, claiming they were teaching “foolish traditions” (Alma 30:27. I refer to these as “Korihorrible teachings”). Alma taught him that all things testify of Christ. Korihor demanded that Alma show him a sign of God’s existence. In response, Korihor was struck dumb by the power of God and was convinced of the truth. Eventually, Korihor confessed that his actions were guided by the devil. Korihor asked Alma to pray so the curse could be removed from him. Alma said that if Korihor received the ability to speak, he would again teach false doctrine to the people. Korihor was cast out and went from house to house begging for food. Eventually he went to the Zoramites, who had dissented from the Nephites, and was trampled to death. Alma 30:60 teaches an important truth about what eventually happens to those who choose to be Satan’s puppets. Contrast that with the way the Lord preserves his instruments in Alma 19:23.

Alma (an instrument of God) also learned that the Nephite dissenters called the Zoramites (new puppets of Satan) had strayed from the truth of the gospel and fallen into false practices (see Alma 31). Saddened by these reports of wickedness, Alma took a group of missionaries (more instruments of God) to teach the word of God to the Zoramites. Alma and his companions witnessed the apostate worship services, materialism, and pride of the Zoramites. Alma prayed earnestly that the Lord would comfort him and his companions as they faced this challenge and that they would have success in bringing the Zoramites back to the Lord (It is interesting to contrast the prayer of Alma with that of the Zoramites upon the Rameumptom).

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency taught:

“Korihor was arguing, as men and women have falsely argued from the beginning of time, that to take counsel from the servants of God is to surrender God-given rights of independence. But the argument is false because it misrepresents reality. When we reject the counsel which comes from God, we do not choose to be independent of outside influence. We choose another influence [and become a PUPPET of Satan]. We reject the protection of a perfectly loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Father in Heaven, whose whole purpose, as that of His Beloved Son, is to give us eternal life, to give us all that He has, and to bring us home again in families to the arms of His love [and become an INSTRUMENT of God]. In rejecting His counsel, we choose the influence of another power, whose purpose is to make us miserable and whose motive is hatred. We have moral agency as a gift of God. Rather than the right to choose to be free of influence, it is the inalienable right to submit ourselves to whichever of those powers we choose” (“Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 25).

So, will you be a PUPPET or an INSTRUMENT? We now know the results for each!

Ready to Serve As An Instrument In God's Hands

Ready to Serve As An Instrument In God’s Hands

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#BOMTC Mosiah 3-4: Glad Tidings of Great JOY

One of the best things about today’s reading is that half of it was delivered by an “angel from God” (Mosiah 3:2), making King Benjamin’s message one of “glad tidings of great joy”! (v.3. You will notice “joy” come up also in verses 4 and 13.) What exactly are his “glad tidings of great joy”? Well, verses 5-18 are a non-stop “tidings” (news, information, intelligence) of “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning” (v. 8). And, indeed, just as the angel had declared (Mosiah 3:4), the people were filled with joy, but it was not until after they were filled with the “fear of the Lord” (Mosiah 4:1). You will have to examine verses 2-3 to figure out how they went from the “fear of the Lord” to being “filled with joy” (Joy comes up another four times in this chapter!).

1ABFBE51-E5A3-45C8-8F85-DAADEA831093

Once they realize their dependence on the Lord for “a remission of their sins” (4:3,11,20) in verses 1-4, King Benjamin helps the people to understand how to “retain” a remission of their sins (vv.12,20,26) in verses 5-30, with a final admonition to “remember, and perish not” (v.30).

I have included a short story, two songs, and a modern-day Apostle’s Facebook post that really help me understand these chapters better. I hope they will be beneficial to you as well!

The Great Divorce

The Great Divorce is a work of theological fantasy by C. S. Lewis, in which he reflects on the traditional Christian conception of Heaven and Hell (for more on this book see Wikipedia‘s summary).

#BOMTC Day 26, May 2~Mosiah 3-4 or Pages 151-155 (6)

“I saw coming towards us a Ghost who carried something on his shoulder…What sat on his shoulder was a little red lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a snarl of impatience. ‘Shut up, I tell you!’ he said. It wagged its tail and continued to whisper to him. He ceased snarling, and presently began to smile. Then he turned and started to limp westward, away from the mountains. ‘Off so soon?’ said a voice. The speaker was more or less human in shape but larger than a man, and so bright that I could hardly look at him. His presence smote on my eyes and on my body too (for there was heat coming from him as well as light) like the morning sun at the beginning of A [blazing] summer day. ‘Yes. I’m off,’ said the Ghost. ‘Thanks for all your hospitality, But it’s no good, you see. I told this little chap’ (here he indicated the Lizard) ‘that he’d have to be quiet if he came—which he insisted on doing. Of course his stuff won’t do here: I realize that. But he won’t stop. I shall just have to go home.’ #BOMTC Day 26, May 2~Mosiah 3-4 or Pages 151-155 (7)‘Would you like me to make him quiet?’ said the flaming Spirit—an angel, as I now understood. ‘Of course I would,’ said the Ghost. ‘Then I will kill him,’ said the Angel, taking a step forward. ‘Oh—ah—look out! You’re burning me. Keep away,’ said the Ghost, retreating. ‘Don’t you want him killed?’ ‘You didn’t say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with anything so drastic as that.’ ‘It’s the only way,’ said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the Lizard. ‘Shall I kill it?’ ‘Well, that’s a further question. I’m quite open to consider it, but it’s a new point, isn’t it? I mean, for the moment I was only thinking about silencing it because up here—well, it’s so…embarrassing.’ ‘May I kill it?’ ‘Well, there’s time to discuss that later.’ ‘There is no time. May I kill it?’ ‘Please, I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please—really—don’t bother. Look! It’s gone to sleep of its own accord. I’m sure it’ll be all right now. Thanks ever so much.’ ‘May I kill it?’ ‘Honestly, I don’t think there’s the slightest necessity for that. I’m sure I shall be able to keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it.’ ‘The gradual process is of no use at all.’ ‘Don’t you think so? Well, I’ll think over what you’ve said very carefully. I honestly will. In fact I’d let you kill it now, but as a matter of fact I’m not feeling frightfully well today. It would be most silly to do it now. I’d need to be in good health for the operation. Some other day, perhaps.’ ‘There is no other day. All days are present now.’ ‘Get back! You’re burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You’d kill me if you did.’ ‘It is not so.’ ‘Why, you’re hurting me now.’ ‘I never said it wouldn’t hurt you. I said it wouldn’t kill you.’ ‘Oh, I know. You think I’m a coward. But it isn’t that. Really it isn’t. I say! Let me run back by tonight’s bus and get an opinion from my own doctor. I’ll come again the first moment I can.’

#BOMTC Day 26, May 2~Mosiah 3-4 or Pages 151-155 (3)

‘This moment contains all moments.’ ‘Why are you torturing me? You are jeering at me. How can I let you tear me in pieces? If you wanted to help me, why didn’t you kill the [darn] thing without asking me—before I knew? It would be all over by now if you had.’ ‘I cannot kill it against your will. It is impossible. Have I your permission?’ The Angel’s hands were almost closed on the Lizard, but not quite. Then the Lizard began chattering to the Ghost so loud that even I could hear what it was saying. ‘Be careful,’ it said. ‘He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and he will! Then you’ll be without me for ever and ever. It’s not natural. How could you live? You’d be only a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn’t understand. He’s only a cold, bloodless abstract thing. It may be natural for him, but it isn’t for us…And I’ll be so good. I admit I’ve sometimes gone too far in the past, but I promise I won’t do it again. I’ll give you nothing but really nice dreams—all sweet and fresh and almost innocent. You might say, quite innocent…’ ‘Have I your permission?’ said the Angel to the Ghost. ‘I know it will kill me.’ ‘It won’t. But supposing it did?’ ‘You’re right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature.’ ‘Then I may?’ ‘…blast you! Go on, can’t you? Get it over. Do what you like,’ bellowed the Ghost: but ended, whimpering, ‘God help me. God help me.’ Next moment the Ghost gave a scream of agony such as I never heard on Earth. The Burning One closed his crimson grip on the reptile: twisted it, while it bit and writhed, and then flung it, broken-backed, on the turf. ‘Ow! That’s done for me,’ gasped the Ghost, reeling backwards.

“For a moment I could make out nothing distinctly. Then I saw, between me and the nearest bush, unmistakably solid but growing every moment solider, the upper arm and the shoulder of a man. Then, brighter still and stronger, the legs and hands. The neck and golden head materialized while I watched, and if my attention had not wavered I should have seen the actual completing of a man—an immense man…not much smaller than the Angel. What distracted me was the fact that at the same moment something seemed to be happening to the Lizard. At first I thought the operation had failed. So far from dying, the creature was still struggling and even growing bigger as it struggled. And as it grew it changed. Its hinder parts grew rounder. The tail, still flickering, became a tail of hair that flickered between huge and glossy buttocks. Suddenly I started back, rubbing my eyes. What stood before me was the greatest stallion I have ever seen, silvery white but with mane and tail of gold. It was smooth and shining, rippled with swells of flesh and muscle, whinneying and stamping with its hoofs. At each stamp the land shook and the trees dindled. The new-made man turned and clapped the new horse’s neck. It nosed his bright body. Horse and master breathed each into the other’s nostrils. The man turned from it, flung himself at the feet of the Burning One, and embraced them. When he rose I thought his face shone with tears, but it may have been only the liquid love and brightness (one cannot distinguish them in that country) which flowed from him. I had not long to think about it. In joyous haste the young man leaped upon the horse’s back. Turning in his seat he waved a farewell, then nudged the stallion with his heels. They were off before I knew well what was happening. There was riding if you like! I came out as quickly as I could from among the bushes to follow them with my eyes; but already they were only like a shooting star far off on the green plain, and soon among the foothills of the mountains. Then, still like a star, I saw them winding up, scaling what seemed impossible steeps, and quicker every moment, till near the dim brow of the landscape, so high that I must strain my neck to see them, they vanished, bright themselves, into the rose-brightness of that everlasting morning…

“‘Do ye understand all this, my Son?’ said the Teacher. ‘I don’t know about all, Sir,’ said I. ‘Am I right in thinking the Lizard really turned into the Horse?’ ‘Aye. But it was killed first. Ye’ll not forget that part of the story?’ ‘I’ll try not to, Sir. But does it mean that everything—everything—that is in us can go on to the Mountains?’ ‘Nothing, not even the best and noblest, can go on as it now is. Nothing, not even what is lowest and most bestial, will not be raised again if it submits to death. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. Flesh and blood cannot come to the Mountains. Not because they are too rank, but because they are too weak. What is a lizard compared with a stallion? Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering, whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed'” (C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, Ch. 11, p. 98-105).

An elegant statement in Benjamin’s speech is his admonition of belief in Mosiah 4:8-10. Notice the reinforcing rhythms found in the pairs of word and redoubled echoes of Benjamin’s eight-part elegy:

1  And this is the means whereby salvation cometh,
And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of.

2 Neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved
Except the conditions which I have told you.

3 Believe in God, believe that he is
And that he created all things both in heaven and in earth.

4 Believe that he has all wisdom
And all power both in heaven and in earth.

5 Believe that man doth not comprehend all the things
Which the Lord can comprehend.

6 And again believe that ye must repent of your sins
And forsake them.

7 And humble yourselves before God
And ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you.

8 And now if you believe all these things
See that ye do them.

Source: Why Did King Benjamin Use Poetic Parallels So Extensively?

The following songs seem to me to fit well with Mosiah 4. What do you think?

“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

“O Divine Redeemer”

Elder Dale G. Renlund shared the following Facebook post that goes right along with Mosiah 4:

Ruth and I enjoyed being with so many faithful sisters at the BYU Women’s Conference on Friday.

As part of that talk we shared an important lesson that we learned from our daughter, Ashley. When Ashley was just four years old she had developed a highly evolved, go-to-bed avoidance behavior. She simply did not want to go to bed and miss out on any family discussion. One evening, after about five times of getting up, she got up yet another time and said she wanted a snack. Ruth said, “Ashley, you’re just playing with us!” and tucked her in with some firmness. I was actually surprised when, no more than 30 seconds later, she was up again. But this time it was different. She held a paperback Book of Mormon in her hand, her lower jaw was quivering, and with some indignation she said, “But Mom, Mosiah 4:14!”

Where it says, “And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry.”

Of course, Ashley got her snack. Who can resist a child quoting scripture about parental responsibilities?

After Ashley got her snack and went to bed, we looked at the context of this scripture that she had used so cunningly. We learned that it is not a commandment to give our children snacks at bedtime. It is actually a consequence or a fruit of something else mentioned earlier in the masterful address by King Benjamin.

In Mosiah chapter 4, beginning in verse 12, we read: “And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins. … And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably. … And ye will [give your children snacks at bedtime, or you will] not suffer your children that they go hungry.”

These fruits, or consequences, rest on the meaning of “this.” It is certainly desirable because if we do this, we will always rejoice, be filled with the love of God, always retain a remission of our sins, not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and will not suffer our children that they go hungry.

We discovered that King Benjamin was teaching that this is to be absolutely converted to Jesus Christ, to remember God’s greatness, to humble ourselves, to pray to God daily, and to stand steadfastly in faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. If we do this, then all those fruits or consequences flow naturally.

The underlying, fundamental principle we shared is that conversion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement is the key to developing charity, the pure love of Christ. The development of charity then leads to the development of other Christlike attributes. (https://www.facebook.com/DaleGRenlund/posts/1710837285859780?pnref=story)

Want to know more? Check this out:

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#BOMTC 3 Nephi 17-19: One By One

I am always profoundly touched by this part of the Book of Mormon. It is at this point that the Resurrected Lord announces to the people of the land that it is time for Him to leave and show Himself unto the lost tribes of Israel. As He does so, the people “look steadfastly upon Him as if they woud ask Him to tarry a little longer with them.” What happens next would surprise us, except for the fact that it is exactly what we probably would expect the Savior to do. He stays! And He stays a lot longer than one might expect. Granted, in the account of the event it is only two chapters, but because of the sheer number of people (2,500) involved in what happens in those next two chapters, we can suspect that His stay was more lengthy.

What I love most about what is about to happen is not only what will happen, but HOW it will happen. As He heals the people, He heals them “every one“–one at a time. When He commands that the little children be brought to Him, “He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.” He institutes the Sacrament and instructs them. And before departing, He takes His disciples and, “touched with His hand the disciples whom He had chosen, one by one, even until He had touched them all, and spake unto them as He touched them.”

As you read these chapters, it is worth the effort to identify the word “one” and “all“. He made time for the individual, not just the multitude. What message do I learn from that?

HE HAS TIME FOR YOU AND ME; ALL THE TIME IN ETERNITY!

We just need to learn to ask Him to “tarry a little longer” with us.

Below are a few of my favorite paintings that depict the Savior as He, “took their little children, one by one”. As you examine them, I hope you will be reminded of how much He wants to have “one by one” experiences with YOU each day.

HAVE WE MADE TIME FOR HIM AS THESE PEOPLE DID?

I know that the Savior loves “ALL” of us, and wants to have experiences with each “ONE” of us on a daily basis.

One by One

Words by David A. Bednar
Music by Paul Cardall
Arranged by Ken Neff and Shauna Swainston

Download the mp3 audio file: Music and lyrics.

1. One by one, one by one.
Jesus, the Fa-ther’s Beloved Son—
One by one, one by one—
From the beginning said, “Thy will be done.”
Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill God’s plan,
For He alone could atone as Savior of man.
The Lord blessed and beckoned them, “Come unto me,”
And willingly sacrificed to set us free.
One by one, one by one.
He suffered for us and victory won.
One by one, one by one.
We marvel at all His love has done,
One by one.
2. One by one, one by one.
Multitudes gathered and saw Him come.
One by one, one by one.
Each heard a voice declare, “Behold My Son.”
Jesus Christ came and stood in the midst of them.
They fell to the earth in great rev’rence for Him.
The Lord bid, “Arise, and come forth unto me.”
With hands they did feel and with eyes they did see.
One by one, one by one.
Each knew and bore record, He is our Lord.
One by one, one by one.
They cried “Hosanna” with one accord,
One by one.
3. One by one, one by one.
Christ looked around Him and saw their tears.
One by one, one by one.
In His compassion, He calmed their fears.
Jesus Christ healed each one brought forth unto Him.
Then He blessed each precious child and prayed for them.
The angels descended from heaven above,
Encircling those little ones; each felt His love.
One by one, one by one.
He intercedes for each daughter and son.
One by one, one by one.
Strength from His grace gives us pow’r to become,
One by one.

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Christ with the Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Christ with the Nephite Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Jesus-Christ-America-Nephites-Walter-Rane

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, They Saw, Jesus Christ in America with the Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446-jesus-blesses-the-nephite-children

The following short video highlights this portrayal of the Savior’s visit to the inhabitants of ancient America, providing a unique view of His caring, compassion, and love for His children.

My Joy is Full

 Those who enjoy sacred music and verse may find the following two songs an uplifting addition to their study of this tender account. Each of them is entitled, “One by One”.

One by One

One by One (PDF)

Seminary Music: Book of Mormon

One. One by one, every one.

One by one we came to look upon the Lord.

And feast upon His word.

One by one.

One. One by one.

One by one we came.

The halt, the blind, the lame.

He healed us in his name.

One by one.

He spoke what no tongue can speak

What ear hath not heard before.

We saw what no eyes hath seen;

The joys of eternity

Ah Then he blessed our little ones.

And we were overcome, everyone.

Alleluia,  Alleluia, Alleluia,

Alleluia, Oh Gloria.

One.  One by one everyone.

One by one we came to look upon our Lord.

Text:  Steven K. Jones

Music:  Sam Cardon

Arranged By:  Brian Jensen

Artist:  Selected members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

One by One

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, One by One Song

The following talk by Elder Ronald A. Rasband illustrates well the Savior’s desire to minister to each of us “one by one”,  and shows us how we can apply the “one by one” principle to our own life and ministry.

“One by One”

– Ronald A. Rasband

Throughout my life, I have come to know through my own experiences that Heavenly Father hears and answers our personal prayers. I know that Jesus is the living Christ and that He knows each of us individually, or as the scriptures express it, “one by one.”

This sacred assurance is taught compassionately by the Savior Himself in His appearance to the people of Nephi. We read of this in 3 Nephi, chapter 11, verse 15:

“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth” (3 Ne. 11:15; emphasis added).

To further illustrate the “one by one” nature of our Savior’s ministry, we read in 3 Nephi, chapter 17, verse 9:

“And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him” (3 Ne. 17:9; emphasis added).

We then read of the special blessing given to the precious children in verse 21: “And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them” (3 Ne. 17:21; emphasis added).

This was not a small gathering. In verse 25 [3 Ne. 17:25] we read: “And they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.”

Certainly, there is a very profound and tender personal message here. Jesus Christ ministers to, and loves us all, one by one.

As we reflect on our Savior’s way of loving, we sustain you dedicated stake and ward leaders, men and women of great faith. We gratefully recognize the many efforts of those of you working with the youth. And we express great appreciation to our caring Primary leaders and teachers for your Christlike service. We consider each of your one-by-one ministries and say thank you and please, please continue. Perhaps never in the history of mankind do we need to be serving on a one-by-one basis more than we do now.

During the final months of our mission last year, we experienced an event that taught once again this profound principle that each of us is known and loved by God.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell was coming to New York City for some Church business, and we were informed that he would also like to have a mission conference. We were so pleased to have this opportunity to hear from one of the Lord’s chosen servants. I was asked to select one of our missionaries to provide the opening prayer for the meeting. I might have randomly picked one of the missionaries to pray, but felt to ponder and prayerfully select one whom the Lord would have me ask. In going through the missionary roster, a name boldly stood out to me: Elder Joseph Appiah of Accra, Ghana. He was the one I felt the Lord wanted to pray at the meeting.

Prior to the mission conference, I was having a regularly scheduled interview with Elder Appiah and told him of the prompting that I had received for him to pray. With amazement and humility in his eyes, he began to weep deeply. Somewhat surprised by his reaction, I started to tell him that it was all right and he wouldn’t have to pray, when he informed me he would love to offer the prayer, that his emotion was caused by the love he has for Elder Maxwell. He told me that this Apostle is very special to the Saints in Ghana and to his own family. Elder Maxwell had called his father to be the district president in Accra and had sealed his mother and father in the Salt Lake Temple.

Now, I didn’t know any of what I just related about this missionary or his family, but the Lord did and inspired a mission president on behalf of onemissionary to provide a lifelong memory and testimony-building experience.

At the meeting, Elder Appiah offered a wonderful prayer and made a humble contribution to a meeting where Elder Maxwell taught the missionaries of the attributes of Jesus Christ. All who were there will never forget the feelings of love they experienced for their Savior.

I have a testimony in my heart, brothers and sisters, that God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ know and love us individually. I’m not sure I fully understand how, I just know and have experienced that They do. I urge all of us in our own ministries, to our families and to our fellowman, to embrace the Savior’s warm invitation to come unto Him, one by one, and be perfected in Him.

I share this witness and hope, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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#BOMTC Alma 34-36: YOMO Not YOLO

Have you ever heard someone use the term YOLO to justify doing what they want to do? YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once. Similar to carpe diem or memento mori, it implies that one should enjoy life, even if that entails taking risks.

The gospel however teaches a different motto. The gospel motto is more like YOMOYou’re Only Mortal Once! Alma 34 explains the concept of YOMO this way:

32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses  therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis  that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

In Alma 36, Alma shares with his son, Helaman, an important life-lesson: YOLO will make you say, “OH NO!!!” and YOMO is the “WAY TO GO!”

YOMO--You're Only Mortal Once

YOMO–You’re Only Mortal Once

Here are a few video clips to help you YOMO a little “mo” ;o)

What Matters Most

President Thomas S. Monson counsels us to spend time with, cherish, and express love to the people we hold dear.

Moments That Matter Most

We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Read President Uchtdorf’s entire address “Of Things That Matter Most” at http://bit.ly/momentsmatter

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#BOMTC Alma 30-31: Are You a Puppet or an Instrument?

In the Book of Mormon we learn about anti-Christs (Sherem in Jacob 7, and Nehor in Alma 1). One definition of anti-Christ is “anyone or anything that counterfeits the true gospel plan of salvation and that openly or secretly opposes Christ” (“Antichrist,” Guide to the Scripture). In Alma 30, another anti-Christ named Korihor teaches that there will be no Christ. Here is a very interesting and relevant quote from Sister Julie B. Beck, a former Relief Society General President:

Public policies are being made every day that are antifamily, and the definition of family is changing legally around the world. Pornography is rampant. For those who create pornography, their new target audience is young women. Parents are being portrayed as inept and out of touch. Antifamily media messages are everywhere. Youth are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.

We see how this can happen when we read the words of Korihor, an anti-Christ: “Thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms” (Alma 30:18). Satan knows that he will never have a body; he will never have a family. So he targets young women, who will create the bodies for the future generations.

Korihor was an anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is antifamily. Any doctrine or principle our youth hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ. It’s that clear. If our youth cease to believe in the righteous traditions of their fathers as did the people described in Mosiah 26, if our youth don’t understand their part in the plan, they could be led away. (“Teaching the Doctrine of the Family,” Ensign, March 2011. Emphasis added.)

As I read these chapters, one thing that stands to me is how our actions lead us to become either INSTRUMENTS in the hands of God or PUPPETS in the hands of Satan. Alma is an instrument (see Alma 29:9) while Korihor is a puppet (Alma 30:60). Think for a moment about the differences between being a puppet and being an instrument. Consider how Alma and Korihor respectively act as an instrument and a puppet as we review their story.

 All Things Denote There Is a God

(Alma 30) Korihor preaches against the prophecies of the coming of Christ. He seeks a sign to be convinced that there is a God. He is struck dumb.

Korihor’s false teachings led many to sin. He spoke against the leaders of the Church, claiming they were teaching “foolish traditions” (Alma 30:27. I refer to these as “Korihorrible teachings”). Alma taught him that all things testify of Christ. Korihor demanded that Alma show him a sign of God’s existence. In response, Korihor was struck dumb by the power of God and was convinced of the truth. Eventually, Korihor confessed that his actions were guided by the devil. Korihor asked Alma to pray so the curse could be removed from him. Alma said that if Korihor received the ability to speak, he would again teach false doctrine to the people. Korihor was cast out and went from house to house begging for food. Eventually he went to the Zoramites, who had dissented from the Nephites, and was trampled to death. Alma 30:60 teaches an important truth about what eventually happens to those who choose to be Satan’s puppets. Contrast that with the way the Lord preserves his instruments in Alma 19:23.

Alma (an instrument of God) also learned that the Nephite dissenters called the Zoramites (new puppets of Satan) had strayed from the truth of the gospel and fallen into false practices (see Alma 31). Saddened by these reports of wickedness, Alma took a group of missionaries (more instruments of God) to teach the word of God to the Zoramites. Alma and his companions witnessed the apostate worship services, materialism, and pride of the Zoramites. Alma prayed earnestly that the Lord would comfort him and his companions as they faced this challenge and that they would have success in bringing the Zoramites back to the Lord (It is interesting to contrast the prayer of Alma with that of the Zoramites upon the Rameumptom).

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency taught:

“Korihor was arguing, as men and women have falsely argued from the beginning of time, that to take counsel from the servants of God is to surrender God-given rights of independence. But the argument is false because it misrepresents reality. When we reject the counsel which comes from God, we do not choose to be independent of outside influence. We choose another influence [PUPPET of Satan]. We reject the protection of a perfectly loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Father in Heaven, whose whole purpose, as that of His Beloved Son, is to give us eternal life, to give us all that He has, and to bring us home again in families to the arms of His love [INSTRUMENT of God]. In rejecting His counsel, we choose the influence of another power, whose purpose is to make us miserable and whose motive is hatred. We have moral agency as a gift of God. Rather than the right to choose to be free of influence, it is the inalienable right to submit ourselves to whichever of those powers we choose” (“Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 25).

So, will you be a PUPPET or an INSTRUMENT? We now know the results for each!

Ready to Serve As An Instrument In God's Hands

Ready to Serve As An Instrument In God’s Hands

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