Tuesday, November 4, 2008

3 Ne 22-26

My turn for the Gospel Doctrine lesson again. And oddly enough again the lesson was primarily from the bible: Isaiah 54 and Malachi 3 & 4.
The thing about these passages that really struck me was the blessings and promises in the passages from the Bible. When you recommend a book you usually think that reading that particular book would be good for the person you are recommending it to. In these sections we have scriptures that the Lord recommended. Why would these passages be so important that he gave them to the people? In fact, they already had Is. 54, so he was giving to them again.

The Nephites had been through a terrible few years. Their entire society had collapsed. There was no government, wars had been rampant, then earthquakes and other disasters had killed a huge number of people. Despite the hope and joy of having the Saviour appear to them, they had to be worried and afraid of the future. So, before he left, the Saviour reminds them of the promises He has made and comforts them.
In Chapter 22, there are many promises of the blessings of the Millennium. The Lord reminds the people that

8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer
. This is also the chapter with the wonderful promise,

13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace
of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee.
In Chap. 23 He then reminds the people of the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite, and how those prophecies were fulfilled.

9 Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?
10 And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled.

When you think of a group of people, standing in the ruins of their city, with who knows how many dead, this reminder of the reality of the Resurrection must have been very comforting.
Then Chapters 24 & 25 are the ones from Malachi. The promise of tithing, and of the Lord's consideration of those who remember him and serve him are some of the most beautiful blessings in the scriptures:
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my
house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open
you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be
room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields,
saith the Lord of Hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.

16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord
hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for
them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
The promise of Elijah's coming is one of the most quoted in modern day scripture:

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great
and dreadful day of the Lord;
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Here we have some incredible promises, along with the reminder and commandment to search the scriptures. Christ was about to leave the people. He had been with them for three days and then appeared off and on afterwards, but they were going to be on their own, like all other people are. They had a huge job ahead of them. All of the structures of their society were gone. No government, many cities gone, a lot of the cities that were left were destroyed. In these dismal circumstances he could not solve their problems, or stay with them and physically help them, but he leaves the promises of the scriptures. By looking, and searching and pondering the scriptures he could be with them everyday.
In these pages we have His words to us. So many people are afraid today, but the solution to our fears is the same one offered to the Nephites, remember the promises of God. He is mindful of his people and he will not forget us.
It was a beautiful lesson and I was grateful for the chance to teach it. I always feel that I learn a lot more than any of the people in the class. I take it a lot more seriously than they do.

1 comment:

jendoop said...

Thanks I needed that.

Especially this: "In these dismal circumstances he could not solve their problems, or stay with them and physically help them, but he leaves the promises of the scriptures. By looking, and searching and pondering the scriptures he could be with them everyday."

Too often I feel alone, like God is standing back watching me, slowly shaking his head in dissaproval. When I read the scriptures that image disappears and I feel his presence.