The Lord Did Go Before Them

Ether 2 (Éter 2)

This chapter is resonating deeply with me this morning. It is how closely the Lord stood with them as he directed them along the way to where they needed to go, and how far they needed to go before they reached their destination. How many barges He had them build and abandon.

The land of the Americas is set forth as a free land here in these verses. Moroni takes pains to explain the decrees of God upon the Americas which have been ever since the days of the Jaredites, and which continue to be even until this time now.

Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ…

Verse 12

Continuing down through the rest of this chapter, I am impressed by the manner in which the Lord chooses to communicate with the brother of Jared. Or rather, the focus of this record is not a history of the people of Jared and his brother, but rather to report on key events (many of them being communications) between the Lord and his servants. Four years had passed with their people camped along the seashore. The brother of Jared forgot to call upon the Lord and was reprimanded for not doing so in a communication that lasted 3 hours.

I also appreciate how, after following his instructions to build barges, the Lord is able to reason with the brother of Jared about the nature of their travels and is really challenging the brother of Jared to think differently about the challenge in front of them. (See verses 23-25)

Porque Me Has Suplicado Todo Este Largo Tiempo

Ether 1 (Éter 1)

El enfoque de mi estudio en esta mañana es en como el Señor relata con su pueblo. Siento que esto es el enfoque de Moroni también.

Primordialmente, este libro es para mostrar como el mano del Señor termino o destruyo el pueblo de Jared. Pensamos como humanos que somos encargados de nuestro propio destino. Fue el Señor que confundió la lenguaje del pueblo que empeñaban a construir un torre para llegar al cielo. Fue el Señor que también dio permiso al hermano de Jared para mantener su lenguaje, y el lenguaje de sus familiares para que pudiera continuar como pueblo, un pueblo que esforzaron a seguir al Señor.

He rayado en este capítulo toda las acciones del Señor. Son muchos, y con este enfoque se muestra que este relato es tanto como el Señor actúa con su hijos como un relato de las caracteres principales.

De la Biblia, veamos en el relato del gran torre un Dios que se enoja de gran manera con sus hijos. –[El Señor] juró en su ira que serían dispersados.– (vs. 33) Pero aquí veamos que también había un hombre con quien el Señor se compadeció. (vs. 35)

Al final del capítulo, muestra que el Señor escuchó, se compadeció, y habló con el hermano de Jared. Le dio instrucciones para seguir y bendecir a los que estaban dispuestos a seguirlo.

A Aquellos que No Creen en Cristo (To Those Who Do Not Believe in Christ)

Mormon 9 (en español)

Es difícil para mí leer estas escrituras sin sentir que el autor esta señalando con el dedo. Pero no lo es. No esta escribiendo desde un lugar de juicio.

I have now spent several days trying to work past the beginning of this chapter. Indeed, I’ve read the chapter now, but I am being drawn back to the very beginning to contemplate “those who do not believe in Christ.” It is a choice, upon which the entire ship sets its course. And because it is a choice, this is something that Moroni knows can be brought to be influenced through the preaching of the Word.

Furthermore, the issue of accepting or not accepting Christ is dimensional, or that of a process. I am trying to find the words that articulate this dilemma of perceptions. Moroni is trying to illustrate that you cannot show up at the judgment bar of Christ unprepared. Using words like nakedness, and filthiness, and a flame of unquenchable fire. But the challenge in using such imagery, true as it may be in the reality of the unrepentant soul at the end of times, is that it is flat. You are either this or your that. Flip or flop. One side or the other.

Then here is the invitation, and something of an ambiguous statement:

O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.

Verse 6 (emphasis added)

It’s the use of the word “perhaps” suggesting to my mind the uncertainty of our salvation? This doesn’t coincide with…

I prayed about this, and soon discovered that the spirit in which one can read the scriptures can be completely off mark. The reality is that “perhaps” indicates the instability of the human condition. It’s not God who is random or arbitrary.

A new morning and I am back near the beginning contemplating again the flatness of the depiction of what seems to be to be in reality a very dimensional process of coming unto Christ, embarking on the process of becoming a converted disciple of Christ. With fresh eyes, I can see a little clearer now that those who Moroni addresses, those who will not believe in Christ, this disbelief is what makes the process look flat. From outside the front gate, you cannot see much of what lies beyond.

If one doesn’t walk through the gates in this life, and begin to approach the house of God, and then step through the doors and make their way into the deeper corridors, clean one’s self up, put on the garments (symbolically speaking here), sit in the parlor and enjoy meaningful conversation with the Master of the house, join the Family for meals, and games, and service activities… then of course, of course, you are going to feel like you never belonged here in the first place — feeling naked, feeling like you would rather be consumed by fire, than being forced to stay somewhere that doesn’t feel comfortable to you. (See verses 3-5)

This is a very charitable thing that Moroni has done, causing the unbelieving to contemplate the end, the inevitable end, or the assured final steps of this probation: namely, the final judgment. This is for anyone who would insist that there is no Christ, no God in this world.

Side note: the later end of the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 26:3, Mormon 5:23, and here in verse 2) are these references to the earth being rolled together as a scroll at the end of time. That’s quite a visual, illustrating an rather dramatic end and complete upheaval of things as we know them. As permanent as it seems, this all is a temporary existence.

Will there be empty seats in heaven?

These verses are causing me to consider another interesting dynamic. I have children that are outside the safety net of the gospel of Christ, yet mine and my wife’s marital covenants to each other remain in tack. Where do our children who are presently choosing to reject the Christ and His gospel land if they do not change? If they remain bound to us (because we have covenants to be so to them), but do not want to be with us where we will dwell eternally, what does this look like?

Praying about these questions, I discover two things:

  1. I am asking the wrong questions. There is an assumption in these questions that my beliefs have already preassigned me to my destination. I know where I am going, but I am by no means already there.
  2. The covenants that I have made are action-oriented, requiring me not to sit on my laurels with the hope of arriving at the destination, but rather of working towards becoming.

Un Dios de Milagros (A God of Miracles)

Moroni illustrates in this chapter a God of miracles.

My attentions have been drawn to verses 25 -27 this morning. “Who can stand against the works of the Lord?” Moroni asks in verse 26. I am contemplating my involvement with Florence Nightingale, and what I’m learning of her life’s work. I have much to learn about this, but somehow this is God’s work, and I am being enlisted in this, particularly as it pertains to India. ( I re-read this note two days after having written it, and the Spirit reverberated even stronger within me the reality of these truths. Despise not the works of the Lord. )

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.” (vs. 27) Earlier in the same verse is another invitation to “ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever you shall stand in need of.” So here I am again at that moment, where even the Spirit of the Lord encourages me to do the same.


In verse 29, Moroni admonishes us (3x) to avoid unworthiness (twice) and then to be worthy (once). But what is worthiness before the Lord? A reference to Leviticus 22:3 offers this clarification: “Whosoever… that goeth unto the holy things, which… having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord.” (emphasis added) Being worthy, in a spiritually defining way, then has to do with being permitted to dwell in the presence of the Lord.

I am sitting with my own personal history and experiences with the influence of the Lord in my life. I cannot look back in my family life and see a time when I felt that I had walked in unworthiness before the Lord, yet still great hardship has befallen me and my family. In fact, it is quite the opposite, I look back and can see the hand of the Lord with me, even at times and in seasons where I now look back at and say to myself, I should have done this thing better during that time, or my focus should have been elsewhere.

Yet, the Lord has never abandoned me as I have sought him, even in profound states of error. How can such a thing be? How could I be so wrong and yet still qualify for and find grace in His presence?

I am reading through the chapter one more time from top to bottom, highlighting key thoughts as I go:

  • God is a Holy Being, one into who’s presence as mortal being we cannot stand the exposure to his physical presence. It was as if we were to be thrust into the core of the sun and not expect to burn.
  • Which way am I facing? The only right way to turn is towards Christ, every other direction is wrong. Even towards myself. Verse 6 applies to me as much as any heathen.
  • God is a God of miracles. Moroni goes to some length in illustrating this point, offering an outline of the plan of redemption as a proof of God as a Being who works by miracles.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sacrament Meeting Notes:

  • Doing our best still leaves room for error.
  • People don’t always have malicious intent and yet they still make mistakes.
  • Seek out people’s intent, do not judge by their actions.
  • Referencing Elder Holland and Kearon’s most recent conference talks.

Special musical number “Peace in Christ” sung by Sariah Thompson, accompanied by her grandmother.

Preparations for Animation School

It was impressed upon me last evening (11 May 2022) that I was not in a place that I was prepared to attend Animation School successfully.

What is needed for me to successfully attend and give my attentions to animation school?

  • Time
    • With me planning to start full-time work, having a house to work on, other family and calling related responsibilities, what would be needed to make time to continue on this course?
    • Each class should properly demand about 10 hours of your week.
    • What does a time regiment look like that allows for schooling?
      • Not running a business.
      • Not working on major home improvement projects.
  • Financial resources
    • What would be the total cost of attending until completion? -$15k to $20k over 4 years. About 20 classes. 5 classes a year, $5k year.
  • Other Considerations
    • Family Relationships.

Goals for Animation School

  • Create Available Time:
    • Remove Business Ownership Obligations?
    • Secure Full-time Employment to raise funds for Home Renovation Requirements?
    • Home Renovations Completed: Bottom to Top, so that it is not a constant point of attention. (I cannot begin to think about attending animation school until the house has been completed.)

For the Lord Hath Spoken It

Mormon 8 (en español)

Chapter 8 of the book of Mormon starts with a sudden shift in narration from Mormon to his son, Moroni. It come unexpectedly, though chapter 7 is a fitting farewell tribute for Mormon. One get the sense that there was more that Mormon had intended to write.

What stands out to me at the beginning of this chapter is Moroni’s singular purpose, and yet the uncertainty and precariousness of the situation in which he finds himself. He doesn’t know if he will soon be slayed himself. (All it would take is one failed interaction with the enemy. )

The uncertainty of the situation is express in this simple statement: “and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.” (vs. 5)

After describing the complete and utter destruction of his people, Moroni concludes: “it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it.” (vs. 8)

He points again to the Lord in stating that He would not suffer the disciples of Christ tarry. Moroni has continue the course of his father’s authorship in showing what the Lord was doing among his people.

“And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus…” (vs. 10) This is an important distinction for Moroni to make: that there are none left that are connected to God, none that know the true God, except it be these three disciples of Jesus. Moroni then says that he has seen them and that they had ministered to him. This makes a great deal of sense to me and also shows me how even one faithful disciple (Moroni) can be preserved, strengthened, and protected to accomplish the work of the Lord.

Tools, means, methods, agents, resources, ministers; the Lord has many things at His disposal to accomplish His work.

And then what promise is unveiled in verse 12! If we will accept the Book of Mormon, and not condemn it or find fault with it, ours will be the blessing of greater knowledge. This is a promise contained elsewhere in the Book of Mormon but also in the Bible:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

John 16:12

And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
…Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.

3 Nephi 26: 9 & 11 (see 6-11)

Verse 14 is my focus today, and how it is that something that transform in purpose, and even value, according to the Lord’s interactions with it. Precious metal, gold plates, can be rendered of no value for the purpose of monetary gain, when the Lord’s words are recorded upon them. Sudden it is the word of God that literally transforms its purpose and worth. Arguably, the value is increased and becomes of much greater worth than its monetary value.

This has my thoughts going in multiple directions:

  • One, how materials can be transformed into something of much greater importance than what they were before the thing was created.
  • Second, Moroni is talking with the Lord here, and it is the words of the Lord that he is referencing here: “For he truly saith that no one shall have them to get gain;” What I am getting at here is that it is the voice of the Lord that Moroni is hearing, and Moroni’s reference point is direct communication with Him. This is why this book is a witness of Christ. This is a man who is walking hand and hand with the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of his civilization. How else could should a book be conceived?

If you believe this, Brent, and I do, there is more to learn.

I am now focused this morning on a selection found in verses 14 – 16. Moroni points to him that will bring forth the record, and declares his blessed state, and how it is that the Lord will bless him. The reason why Moroni makes this bold statement is because, as we’ve already discussed, this is God’s work, and Moroni knows that whoever it is that gets tasked with revealing it on the other end, he will already be favored of God:

For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

Vs. 15 (Emphasis added)

Something that I have never seriously considered in a scripture study is that violence, physical force, is never condoned in the scriptures. It is always the wrong answer.

Yet how strangely ironic is this dynamic of our physical, mortal experience. How often I have resorted to mild violence in parenting techniques in the past. Frustration boils. This is something that I have repented of, and that I might more deliberately repent of.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
But the days will come, when the violent shall have no power; for all the prophets and the law prophesied that it should be thus until John.
Yea, as many as have prophesied have foretold of these days.
And if ye will receive it, verily, he was the Elias, who was for to come and prepare all things.

Matthew 11:12, JST Matthew 11:13-15

Jesus suffered violence, but did not resort to it in return or in response to his violent accusers. He didn’t even respond with anger, the precursor to a violent disposition.

Reading further into Mormon 8:21-26 and I am considering how powerful is the word of the Lord. Whether or not it is believed, it is brought to pass. The reality of the situation is that this is another agenda, a higher agenda, a divine priority that will be realized. The Lord’s timing and purposes will be fulfilled, regardless of our personal judgments or ambitions. There are covenants at play between the Lord and his prophets. These are prayers of the prophets that the Lord has covenanted to answer in his own time. There are things that cannot be altered by the whims of men.

Judgment and Violence

What is the purpose of judgment and why do we resort to threats, anger, and ultimately violence as a means of enforcement of our judgments.

Considering the following scriptures:

19 For behold, the same that judgeth rashly shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth shall be smitten again, of the Lord.

20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

Mormon 8:19-20

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

James 4:11-12

How to separate myself from those that have a tendency to judge? That’s not what this is saying. It is rather an admonition to avoid rash judgments. Avoid speaking evil of one another.

Christ deals with the human tendency to judge the best:

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her… Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?… Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

John 8: 7, 10-11

Later in the same chapter:

Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

John 8:15-16

Continuing my contemplation on violence:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

But the days will come, when the violent shall have no power; for all the prophets and the law prophesied that it should be thus until John.

Yea, as many as have prophesied have foretold of these days.

Matthew 11:12, JST Matthew 11:13-14

God justified the flood and the destruction of all human life, save Noah and his family, because “the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth.”


A father who was gentle beneath his firmness, and a mother who was firm beneath her gentleness.

That My Family Should Partake (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974), p. 56. Quoted in “Take Especial Care of Your Family”, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, footnote 13.

There exists such a binding power between the Lord and his Saints! It is strong and woven through countless prayers from many years gone by. It is a woven generational tapestry that has already been crafted through the faith of these our dead ancestors. It is now in the hands of the Lord to fulfill His promises. “For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled.” (vs. 22)

A restoration to the way things “used to be” is not going to happen.

Moroni is painting a very compelling argument for why the wicked ought not to stand in the way of the Lord. He is illustrating the character of those saints who have petitioned the Lord. These were individuals of such faith that in the very name of the Lord they could move mountains, shake the earth, and destroy prisons. You literally cannot oppose this kind of faith without getting run over.

Why did the Lord honor such faith? “And he knoweth their prayers, that they were in behalf of their brethren.” (vs. 24)

Know Ye

Mormon 7 (en español)

The first thing that stands out to me in this chapter written directly to descendants of Lehi is the invitation to come unto repentance, coupled with a warning: or you cannot be saved.

It is that straight forward: if I do not accept repentance as a way of living, the way of life, then I am nothing and cannot be saved. If I am not willing to embark upon this amazing journey of self-discovery, than have I no purpose. There is no other purpose to our existence (but we don’t usually explain it as such). Rather we cannot be saved (understand what this means, Brent) in the kingdom of God. We cannot claim the position or the space that we were created to occupy, if we do not embrace the prescribed course for our becoming who we are destined to be: heirs of God.

Therefore, we must become as little children (submissive, meek, teachable) or we cannot become as He is. We must educate ourselves unto repentance.

I have more questions and more thoughts as I continue to read this very succinct exposition on the plan of redemption:

  • How do we obtain to a place of guiltless being before the Lord? Surely we cannot just sit upon our laurels with a vain of hope of having done nothing and really hope to be esteemed as guiltless before the Lord when we appear to be judged of him.
  • And if Christ who bore his cross calls on me to bear mine, how can I shrink from such an assignment as this? And not do the hard work of changing myself to be where I need to be to qualify for the work in front of me?
  • It is not enough to stop at the gate of being “sin free”? Why would I be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, if I only needed Christ’s cleansing effect of being “sin free”? Why would I be found singing praises to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, if I had only received cleansing through Christ? The Father indeed sent Christ, but what of the Holy Ghost? If there was nothing more to do than to be save? Salvation would be a one-and-done deal, but there is much more to it than this.

I am coming to understand the scope of the work before me to do…. “It is well with my soul.” (See Prayer on 15 Apr 2022.)

I cannot begin to describe the feeling of my soul this morning. The lyrics of the hymn (it might as well be one) “It Is Well with My Soul” are coursing through my veins this morning, stronger than life itself.

My Soul who on Jesus Hath leaned for repose,

My Sin not in part, but in whole,

Is Nailed to the Cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, it is well with my soul.

Al leer en español este capítulo, hay la frase en vercículo 5 que dice: –debéis llegar al conocimiento de vuestros padres–. Siempre pensaba que aquí se hablaba a los descendientes de Lehi, pero siento que Mormon está hablando a mi con este mandato. Sentí algo parecido ayer cuando leí la frase: Sabed que son de la Casa de Israel.

Paro en un nuevo día de estudio en el versículo 4, y pregunto –cuales son mis armas de guerra?– ?Cuales son los instrumentos de conflicto en mi vida? Como yo no podría ver el conflicto, ni puedo ver los instrumentos que empleo que están causando conflicto en mi vida.

I have just assigned a title to this entry: “Know Ye.” The phrase “Know ye…” is repeated throughout this chapter, and I hadn’t stopped to consider it until this morning. Mormon is also exhorting that we come to a place of belief. Consider this: “…and if ye believe this ye will know…” (vs. 9) Belief therefore does lead to knowledge. Perhaps knowledge can only be acquired in faith.

O Ye Fair Ones

Mormon 6 (en español)

Going into this final conflict, Mormon is about 74 years old. He states, “I… began to be old.” (see vs. 6)

Mormon has witnessed the entire decimation of his world. His conclusion at the end of it:

O that ye had repented before this great destruction had come upon you. But behold, ye are gone, and the Father, yea, the Eternal Father of heaven, knoweth your state; and he doeth with you according to his justice and mercy.

Verse 22

According to Mormon’s account, 230,000 troops are destroyed. (I am assuming this is not counting women, and children.) Mormon accounts for 12 of his 22 captains by name, and their ten thousand that they each had command over.

I am sitting with the mourning and lamentations of Mormon in this chapter. I am also sitting with the conclusions that Mormon comes to based upon his faith. He does not condemn his people for their loss or their destruction, but he does explain the reality that their faith in Christ would have rendered a different outcome.

O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! 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. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss.

Verses 17-18

In verse 19, Mormon draws attention to the family relationships. This is what he’s mourning, and there is something profound in what he is mourning here, that I am not yet seeing. Three sets of familial relationships are referenced here in his mourning: sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives. Coupled with repentance, it is as if Mormon is asking: Did not your family relationships mean anything to you? I think sequence is important here too. We first are sons and daughters, we soon become fathers and mothers, and finally, after the children are grown, we are husbands and wives. Each of these relationships are augmented and refined through repentance (change). This is the ultimate thing that Mormon is mourning the loss of in these verses.

Unlike a Disney film, verse 20 reminds us of the ultimate finality of death, and how no amount of sorrow can reverse course in this thing. Rather, in the verses that follow, Mormon is forward facing, explaining in clear terms what happens next in the real story.

And the day soon cometh that your mortal must put on immortality, and these bodies which are now moldering in corruption must soon become incorruptible bodies; and then ye must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, to be judged according to your works; and if it so be that ye are righteous, then are ye blessed with your fathers who have gone before you.

Verse 21

I appreciate that Mormon does not take it upon himself to condemn or attempt to judge his people. His lamentation is that they hadn’t repented, so that they might have been spared the fate that came upon them.

Repasando los penúltimos dos versículos de este capítulo, hay varios principios que Mormón hace hincapié:

  • La realidad de la resurrección y que nuestros cuerpos se tornen inmortales
  • La tribunal final de Cristo
  • Somos juzgados con respeto a nuestras obras
  • Buenas obras nos unirán con nuestros padres, los que también obraban en buenas obras.

Esta es doctrina profunda, doctrina verídica.

Clasped in the Arms of Jesus

Mormon 5 (en español)

Versículo 2 termine con el frase: –luchaban por sus vidas sin invocar a aquel Ser que los creó.– Aquí tenemos la distinción entre los justos y los inicuos. Todos tenemos que luchar por nuestras vidas. Pero la diferencia es en el acto de creer en Dios y clamar a Él para sostén o no.

Los nefitas miraron a Mormón como si él en sí mismo tenía algún gran poder para salvarles de la destrucción.

All the secrets of men shall eventual be revealed and read upon the housetops. I don’t know a more succinct way of describing this, and I don’t know even how to classify this little bit of knowledge, but a quick reference to the footnotes associated with this truth shows that it is amply testified of in many books of scripture, so as to have multiple witnesses of this reality: there is nothing hid that shall not be revealed; there is nothing that is done in darkness shall not be brought to light, and read upon the housetops. What mystery is this in and of itself!

…That all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops.

Verse 8

Why does Mormon use the word “must” in this version of the statement. What is imperative about about all things being revealed upon the house-tops?

In verse 10, Mormon describes a part of his intended audience: “also to the Gentiles who have care for the house of Israel, that realize and know from whence their blessings come.”

Then in verse 11, he states that he knows that the current circumstances of the children of Lehi will cause such a person to sorrow because:

  • of the calamity of the house of Israel;
  • of the destruction of this people;
  • that this people had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus.

These verses stand out to me because it is both a description of those among whom I associate, but it’s also a reminder of how I ought to be in relationship to others, a reminder of my baptismal covenants.

In verse 12, Mormon makes a profound observation: “…it is known of God that wickedness will not bring them forth unto them,” which of course is very true. Perhaps this is painfully obvious, but there is something deeply important about understanding the work that is being accomplished by the righteous, that no manner of wickedness will ever randomly, haphazardly hope to accomplish. Yes, the wicked will destroy the wicked. But it is the righteous who will actually attend to the work that needs to be realized.

Me pregunto ¿Por qué regresó Mormón a dirigir los ejércitos de los nefitas? Sabía que 1) no se habían arrepentido de sus iniquidades y 2) no pudieron vencer sus enemigos por sus propios fuerzas. Tal vez lo hizo para mostrar que aún con su liderazgo, la gente tenia que hacer su parte. Un líder justo no hace que el pueblo sea justo.

Al leer de la huida de los nefitas, los que fueron más veloz de los lamanitas vivieron, y los que no, fueron destruidos. Me recuerda un escenario que he repetido en mi mente de tiempo a tiempo cuando pienso: ¿Qué haría yo en tales circunstancias? Pero la realidad es que Mormón se escapó por su fe en Cristo. Los nefitas como pueblo no tenía este poder, pero Mormón todavía había mantenido su fe. Y por esto se escapó.

¿Qué haría yo en tales circunstancias? Actuara según mi fe en el Señor Jesucristo. Es la única manera segura.

Mormón tenía la plena confianza en que él estaba cumpliendo los mandamientos del Señor en guardar y compilar estos anales. También, entendió que de la misma manera se sacara a la luz estas cosas. El mensaje final de todo esto es: confía en Dios, Él puede orquestar los detalles en su debido tiempo. (véase vs. 12 y 13)

I am sitting with my own discipleship this morning (a day before April 2022 General Conference), I am reading (in Spanish still) about the relationship that Mormon says could have been had between this people and God. It sends chills up my spine when I read about the blessings of the Nephites upon the land being deferred to the Gentiles. Does faith matter? Does it make a difference? Absolutely!

I am sitting with the reality that I cannot seem to inspire, persuade or even teach my children how to have faith in Christ. The first step seems to me to learn how to love them, which thing I feel I have also failed dismally at. But this one thing I know for myself and not another: that my life would be dramatically different without faith in Christ.

  • Can I look at the life of another (my children) and see or safely assess whether they are trying to follow Christ, or whether it may be that they are without a guide in the world, thus Satan being responsible for their confusion and outcomes? I feel like I can quite easily see this.
  • Can I love my children enough to sit with them, to help them think about the direction that they really want to be traveling, and to be able to guide them in such a way that will bring them to a better place? I feel like I should be able to do this.
  • So why can I not do this thing? What is impeding me as a father, as a human being from having this kind of love? This kind of clarity about faith in Christ?

Lands of Inheritance

In verse 14, we read about the Jews being persuaded to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon, but then it goes deeper:

…that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;

I understand that there was a covenant made with Abraham, but what does this mean, and what is so eternally significant about lands being received by inheritance? There is something deep hidden here that I am not understanding. This cannot just be about land inheritances, especially when such things are just temporal assignments which end at death.

Hymns seem to have some insights here that may expand my understanding of what a land of inheritance or a promised land might look like:

Come, Come Ye Saints

  • “We’ll find the place which God for us prepared, far away in the west, Where none can shall come to hurt or make afraid, there the saints will be blessed.”

Israel, Israel God Is Calling

  • “… calling thee from lands of woe.”

A land of inheritance… a land of peace… is it desirable that we might possess such a land, so that our family may dwell safely and grow and develop. There is an eternal purpose to having lands where the children of God may safely dwell.

The residual feeling that I have at the end of this morning’s study is that God can be known, and God will be known. It is simply a matter of looking deep enough and studying what is really written in the scriptures that God is unveiled in truth. He is real. His covenants are real. Christ is real. Christ IS the Son of God sent to fulfill covenants made with the house of Israel. This is all very real and true. And it is the most important work taking place in our day, as we are reminded frequently by our prophet-president, Russell M. Nelson.

This chapter ends with an admonition to the gentiles. This is aptly so. As Mormon is facing the end of his nation’s existence, it is not unfathomable to him that another nation, highly favored of God, could also be destroyed and removed from such privilege. But Mormon is not speaking from a place of hypothetical probability, but with revealed foreknowledge of that which shall come.

From This Time Forth

Mormon 4 (en español)

The first thought that is impressed upon me as I read about this state of blood, warfare, and degeneration, is that these are the conditions under which Mormon acts as editor of the Book of Mormon. It is fresh upon his mind what he is trying to avoid in compiling a record to the benefit of future generations.

When hatred is brought against hatred as the compelling force or motivation for doing something, it is only met with resistance and more hatred. It accomplishes no good thing, and the destructive outcomes are lamentable, at best.

I do not wish to dwell upon this chapter any more, and so I am choosing to move on. I think the prophet Mormon would feel the same.