Ripening Again for Destruction

Helaman 11

I’ve been reading this passage of scripture for 3 days now. What have I been missing in my readings? The Lord and the proactive nature of the work of prophets.

It is not normal for the Lord to intervene in the external affairs of man, but here is a prophet of God is proactively soliciting a more humane or compassionate response to the situation of the people. Instead of perishing by the sword, Nephi pleads that there will be a famine in the land. The Lord grants Nephi’s request.

After three years of pestilence, then the people began to remember the Lord and the words of the prophet Nephi. Personal application is this: I forget the Lord when I forget the words that have been revealed to me personally through revelation. I am seeing the need to review, to remember what I already have learned.

Must I be chastened of the Lord, before I will remember Him? How can I better remember the Lord?

By verse 18, a proper order of things had been restored to the land. Nephi is rightly acknowledged as a prophet of God among the people. Nephi has, in fact, petitioned God for an end to the famine which he called upon the land.

It is interesting to note that Nephi called down a famine upon the land in just one verse of scripture. To end the famine that he had called down from God, Nephi plead with the Lord for seven verses, hashing out with the Lord the details of their circumstances. It is almost as if Nephi is petitioning the Lord for forgiveness on behalf of his people.

What follows next is most instructive. Two years of peace and prosperity follow. The church is established throughout all the land. But then, the people’s point of departure from safety was when there began to be “a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets.” (vs. 22)

Nephi and Lehi “having many revelations daily” were able to put to an end the strife within the Church in that same season. Revelation was required to be able to do so.

But what follows is the real and sad account of the general state of man, waxing strong in inquity, pride, and wickedness. “And thus they were ripening again for destruction.”

Helamán 11 (en español)

Uno sea tentado a preguntar la sinceridad del arrepentimiento del pueblo que sea compelido a arrepentirse. Y como el resto del capítulo demuestra, entre unos dos o tres años más, se les olvidó de nuevo el Señor su Dios.

(Really, I have been grappling with this set (chapter) of scriptures for a week or so now. I am observing how in regards to long term conversion, it was not really helpful it was to give Nephi power to work great wonders and miracles. That didn’t produce the same staying power as did the missionary efforts of Ammon and his brethren among the Lamanites many years earlier. I actually think that is the point of these chapters. The Lord is trying to illustrate that though He can work shortcuts and give His prophets power to do great wonders and miracles, but they do not produce the needed long term growth that must sustain the children of God in order to become like Him.

Am I missing something else here? What about Nephi’s conversion? It is also fairly notable that admidst such gross wickedness, God was willing to give unto Nephi sealing power. Nephi’s personal life becomes a testament that 1) even among great darkness, one can live a consecrated life and progress spiritually, and 2) God will deliver the righteous even if by miraculous means when needed. )


Mighty in Word and Deed

Helaman 10

I don’t know why this chapter always resonates so deeply with me. Nephi is given the sealing power, power to loose and bind in heaven and on earth.

The Lord declares unto Nephi that he can be trusted with all the words which the Lord gives unto him.

Helaman 10

El Sacrificio significa apartar algo a un propósito sagrado. El significado actual es diferente: –es el de renunciar a algo o sufrir la pérdida de lo mundano por el Señor y Su reino.– Me parece más el primer sentido, porque ser apartado o santificado tiene un sentido mayor. No perdimos cuando nos sacrificamos algo, aún que en lo inicial así se parece. (véase versículo 4)

La razón por lo cual el Espíritu del Señor resuena dentro de mí tan fuerte en estos versículos: Hay claves de poder en versículo 5.

La diligencia en atender a la obra del Señor fue uno de las razones por lo cual Dios bendijo a Nefi, –porque has hecho esto tan infatigablemente–

The Wickedness and Abominations Which Are Among You

Helaman 9

In very dynamic fashion, Nephi demonstrates that prophets are fully aware ” of the wickedness and abominations which are among you. ” Suddenly my respect and appreciation to God for calling prophets in our day has increased. That their guidance and council keeps us safe from those influences that would destroy us is true. You cannot wrest with the worlds or guidance of a prophet of God and come out on safe ground.

The opposing judges in these verses again demonstrate their unorganized attacks against Nephi. Their claims are across the board from trying to condemn, to bribery with money and promises to free him if he will devulge the murderer. They simply refuse to believe that God would reveal it unto him.

Heláman 9

Hay niveles de rectitud. No sea que fácilmente nos puede medirlas, pero la realidad es que hay tiempos en nuestros vidas cuando somos más fieles que otros. También, hay algunos que son malos, y deben ser buenos. Hay blanco y negro, pero satanás nos haría creer que solo hay gris.

Mission Statement, Experience with Wayward Children

Alma 42:15-22

¿Qué es el amor? el mundo no entiende que es el amor. Y por alguna razon, hay un industria que se dedica a la mentira de amor, que en verdad es [lust]. A mi hija que no ha comprendido el amor verdadero, y que ha [compromised] su virtud,

(This morning a clash between the divine and my own personal experiences.  A culmination of truth in action and here are my thoughts at the moment.)

What is love? The world doesn’t understand it. There is an industry that seem bent on the perpetuation of the lie that obscures love, and replaces it with lust.

My own daughter has for a season been carried away by the power of this lie, confusing lust for love, compromising all that was sacred, and putting herself on a course of eternal consequences. I’ve wrestled this morning with the idea that one doesn’t know what sin is who doesn’t know the law. Then also how that has been additionally compromised with the challenges of mental disorder/anxiety.

But it doesn’t stop with my daugher, because my oldest son is also caught in the same social trap, being made prey to all those enticements that waste away youth and steer one in the wrong direction.

Here is the issue on a much larger scale however: There is an industry that has hijacked our culture, and is destroying family value. And this is where my fight lies. Why are they capitalizing on a lie? Because it is so pervasively believed.

This is an extremely important social issue, because of what is happening to family, and how generations are being affected by it, and it is in part a result of our entertainments.

Your mission is to define for yourself those principles that are true. To secure all the blessings of the such principles to ensure a stable home environment, and then to reach out as far as your grasp will take you to change the world for the better.

Rebelled Against Your Holy God

Helaman 8

Contentions arise among the people concerning the validity of Nephi’s statements. Nephi responds by appealing to Moses for support.

…and also the words which were spoken by this man, Moses, who had such great power given unto him, yea, the words which he hath spoken concerning the coming of the Messiah.

Verse 13

The Flawed Logic of the Wicked

In the responses of the men who were judges to Nephi’s word, I see several errors:

First, they are afraid to take action themselves, so they use words to try and accomplish their objectives by trying to compel others to take action. It’s the weaselly-ness of that type of behavior that is repulsive.

Then, in their claims of stability they are prideful and presumptuous, assuming that the way things are, they cannot change.

Furthermore, the railing accusation that these men had against Nephi was that he could not have power to know of their sins and iniquities. The claim to knowledge from God that ended the last chapter drove these men to anger and to make false assertions of power within themselves (vs. 6).

This is the following day. I have struggled to focus this morning in my studies. There is a great truth contained in these verse, even a powerful witness of Christ, which Nephi uses the names of several prophets, some of which are unknown to the modern world, except that they appear here in the Book of Mormon: Zenos, Zenock, and Eziah are the three mentioned here that are unknown. Nephi groups their testimonies with that of Isaiah and Jeremiah.

And behold, he is God, and he is with them, and he did manifest himself unto them, that they were redeemed by him; and they gave unto him glory, because of that which is to come.

Verse 23

Finally, in verse 25, there is a summary of Nephi’s accusations against the wicked. Instead of seeking for truth and those treasures which are incorruptible, instead of developing a relationship with God, they were “heaping up for yourselves wrath against the day of judgment.” Whose wrath? God’s wrath. Where there needed to be a relationship with Him, confidence with God, if we do not receive of his kindness then are we to receive of his wrath.

Helamán 8

Dios da poder a los hombres, si los hombres buscan a Él para su fuerza.

Ye Have Great Need to Marvel

Helaman 7

Earlier in chapter 6, it was noted that Nephi and Lehi, and also many Lamanites, went into the land northward to preach the word of God. Here at the beginning of chapter 7, it is noted that these efforts were utterly rejected.

The wicked went unpunished because of their money. What made them wicked though probably had to do with the acquisition of money in the first place, or rather how they chose to accumulate wealth or the greed that lead to a surplus of wealth.

At the end of this chapter, Nephi is clear to explain that the things whereof that he accused the Nephites of were not of his own interpretation, but rather had been revealed to him of God, or that his knowledge of their wickedness was from God.

These things are true because the Lord God has made them known unto me…

verse 29

I share with Nephi a witness of the source of my knowledge. It is from God.

Helamán 7

Al iniciar mi estudio en español, empece con esta asunción: todo lo que Nefi dice al pueblo es verídico. Así concluyo Nefi el capítulo diciendo que estas cosas son verdaderas porque el Señor Dios lo había revelado a él.

Hablando al pueblo, el pueblo se maravilla por causa de los llantos de Nefi en su torre del jardín. Pero Nefi dice que deben maravillar a causa de la rapidez en el cual había apartado del camino de Dios. Deben maravillar que el diablo había logrado tanta éxito en tan poco tiempo. (versículos 15-16)

Porque he aquí, así dice el Señor: No manifestaré mi fuerza a los inicuos, a uno más que al otro, salvo a los que se arrepientan de sus pecados y escuchen mis palabras.

Versículo 23

Esto me hace considerar que hay una fuerza en el Señor que los inicuos no comprenden. Esta fuerza es la fe.

The Lamanites Had Become… a Righteous People

Helaman 6

For the first time in the recorded history of the Nephites and Lamanites, the tables are turned, and the righteousness of the Lamanites as a people has exceeded that of Nephites. This is exceptionally notable. How did it happen? Why did it happen?

Hardened and Impenitent

In verse 1, the Lamanites’ righteousness is attributed to their firmness and steadiness in the faith. Then at the same time that the Lamanites are growing in their spirituality, the Nephites are declining in an opposite direction, “becoming hardened and impenitent and grossly wicked”, which state of being caused them to “reject the Word of God and all preaching and prophesying which did come among them.”

However, the church was very willing to embrace the influx of Lamanite converts and their testimonies. Key phrases in these verse describe the condition of the true church: “exhort them to faith and repentance”, “preach with exceedingly great power”, “humble followers of God and the Lamb”.

That last phrase should be familiar to latter-day saints. It is the only time it appears in ancient scriptures.

This chapter deals with the Unseen. I read in verses 3 – 5 about the church and conversion, faith, repentance, power. The Unseen in all this is Christ. What or to whom were the Lamanites converted? Why would they be exhorting others to respond to something that they had not experienced themselves?

They had experienced personally the redeeming powers of Christ’s personal love for them.

Reading about the prosperity that follows the righteousness of the people, why is the management of material resources such an important part of our earthly experience? Free enterprise eventually lead to corruption. Why?

Helamán 6

(No comentarios en español para el momento)

That Joy Which is Unspeakable

Helaman 5

Here at the beginning of Helaman 5, we have Nephi doing a similar thing to what Alma did years earlier in Alma 4. He delivers up the judgment seat to another and confines himself wholly to the preaching of the word of God. The footnote in Alma 4 ends by stating that he confined himself “to the testimony of the word, according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy.”

This was the accusation that Mormon makes against the people in Helaman 4:23:

they began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face.

“A Still Voice of Perfect Mildness”

Much later in this chapter a miraculous account of Nephi and Lehi’s deliverance out of a Lamanite prison is recorded. The event is unprecedented among missionary experiences. 300 people are surrounded by clouds of darkness as they sought to destroy these missionaries that they had held in confinement for many days without food. They hear a voice from heaven, repeatedly telling them to repent. The amount of actual heavenly involvement in this particular episode is significant.

Mormon provides an interesting observation about this episode:

Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Ether 12:14 (emphasis added)

This is a notably incredible experience. Such a powerful spiritual experience among Lamanites and Nephite dissenters is recorded at the end of this chapter. The more that I sit and reflect upon it, the more amazing it seems to me that this happened. The work needed to go forth among the Lamanites, “Dios Ex Machina” is the measure that was called for. Or in other words, when God needs to intervene, He can. I believe that.

Helamán 5 (en español)

You will argue that every man may believe what he will, but the reality of the matter is this: We all sin and create for ourselves darkness and heart ache, pain and sorrows. Things which we cannot overcome for ourselves. The reality of Christ’s atoning blood for the sins of the world is that it works!

Satan would have you believe otherwise. The world would have you to believe otherwise. Why? Because they have something to gain from it, or so they foolishly believe.

I have experienced the atoning, redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, time and again through the gift of repentance. So much of the world turns to the vices of this world for relief from pain and sorrows. They try to cover their grief with another dose of sin.

We are now trying to regulate hard, and harder drugs, because it logically stands to reason that no one should have to suffer.

Does the Atonement of Christ create a dependency upon Christ? Yes, it does! But is different than the dependency of drugs, alcohol, social media, or any other vice. When we depend upon Christ, we are made better! It cost us nothing! It frees us and makes available to us opportunities that are wonderful.

The vices of this world rob us of stronger family ties and relationships. The atonement of Christ strengthens family bonds, feelings of love, and even gives us the guarantee of life beyond this world together as families.

It is true, it is true, it is true. Christ died once for sin!

Un pensamiento humillador: con todo lo poder que pensamos que tenemos como humanos, no tenemos poder ni ninguna influencia fuera de nuestra sistema solar. Y fuera del mundo apenas podemos observar. No podemos salir de allí. Pero, todo existe en un orden perfecto, de silencio, en una paz inmutable.