To All Those Who Have Been Chosen… to Govern

Alma 60

The Spirit of the Lord bids me to consider this passage:

But behold, great has been the slaughter among our people; yea, thousands have fallen by the sword…

Alma 60:5

This is the motivating cause for which Moroni so strongly comes out against the leadership of their government.

But why did I just gloss over it when I first read it? A great slaughter among our people… thousands have fallen by the sword. What is the weight of loss that is described by Alma here?

What is the real value of a soul being slain? What is the value of one soul being saved? Then when we compound that number by 10 or a 10,000, I can’t comprehend one.

New reading: this letter is not exclusively to Pahoran, but ” also to all those who have been chosen by this people to govern and manage the affairs of this war.” (vs. 1) I always looked at this as a letter between Moroni and Pahoran, but he uses the pronoun “ye” throughout; Moroni knew who his audience was.

This falls into the category of “strong reproof with sharpness when moved upon by the Holy Spirit”.

Empezó a dudar

Alma 59

Cuando los nefitas pierdan la ciudad de Nefiáh, Moroni y sus capitanes en jefe, empiezan a dudar si podrán vencer contra sus hermanos, los lamanitas. Pensaron así porque tuvieron miedo que tal vez su propio pueblo fuera malo. Pensaron así porque los lamanitas habían logrado éxito en sus diseños contra los nefitas.

¿Porque pensaban así?

Uno de los temas principales del Libro de Mormon es esto: Si guarden el mandamientos de Dios, Él los prosperarán en la tierra.

Por un lado parece tan sencilla, casí risible. Pero la actualidad del principio es bastante difícil lograr. Entonces los mandamientos de Dios son suficiente claras y sencillas que uno puede entenderlo.

We Did Pour Out Our Souls

Alma 58

I needed this chapter this morning!

And it came to pass that we did wait in these difficult circumstances for the space of many months, even until we were about to perish for the want of food…

Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.

Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination to conquer our enemies, and to maintain our lands, and our possessions, and our wives, and our children, and the cause of our liberty.

Verses 7,10-12

Él es quien nos ha librado

Alma 57

Claramente, si el relato de los dos mil sesenta es verídico, hay un punto de poder que ellos poseían por su fe, que el resto de los nefitas no tenían. Y Helamán lo explica así-

Y lo atribuimos con justicia al milagroso poder de Dios, por motivo de su extraordinaria fe en lo que se les había enseñado a creer: que había un Dios justo, y que todo aquel que no dudara, sería preservado por su maravilloso poder

Esta, pues, fue la fe de aquellos de que he hablado; son jóvenes, y sus mentes son firmes, y ponen su confianza en Dios continuamente.

Alma 57:26-27

Estoy dando consideración a lo que uno puede hacer con fe.

La respuesta de Gid también ilustra su fe en Dios. Y es ésto el razón que Helamán incluye esto aquí.

Entered Into the Rest of Their God

Alma 57

I read the accounts of the miraculous preservation of the Sons of Helaman, and I know there are people today that have that kind of faith. I know of stories from missionaries in the Philippines, groups of youth from my time at EFY, and many families across this broad church that have such faith.

The story of the stripling warriors is not the end of the affair in this chapter. Helaman goes on to share the circumstances of Gid who was given command over the Lamanite prisoners. As Helaman learns the story of Gid, he rejoices even more in the preserving power of the Lord in this their time of war.

There is a footnote at the very end of the chapter that takes me on a bit of journey. Helaman concludes that those who had been slain among the Nephites had entered into the rest of their God. The footnote takes me over to Alma 12, where it very clearly states:

Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest.

Alma 12:34

So the assumed fact in Helaman’s concluding remarks is that those that had died among the Nephites had in fact gone through this process of preparing their souls to enter into the rest of their God.

No dudamos que nuestras madres lo sabían

Alma 56

Dentro de la iglesia, cuando hablamos de convenios con Dios, usualmente referimos a las ordenanzas, que también son convenios. Pero aquí, se nos acuerda del convenio que hizo el pueblo de Ammón de no tomar armas de guerra. Aunque no fue ordenanza, ellos sin embargo hicieron convenio con Dios. Y la seriedad de este convenio fue tanto que aún en este tiempo de peligro, el profeta de Dios les avisó no violar su convenio. (versículos 6 – 8; véase también Alma 24:17-18)

Hay un sentimiento de entusiasmo juvenil en la respuesta de los hijos de Helaman. Lo reconozco en la espíritu de BYU, con experiencias de mi juventud. Siento que puedo tener este sentimiento aquí entre los jóvenes de Marshall.

Sus madres (de los dos mil joven) enseñaban de que si no dudaban en Dios, Dios los libraran. Esto fue su creencia publica. Esto es lo que enseñaban sus madres. Y sabían que sus madres sabían. Nos gusta hablar de los que vivan por el testimonio de sus padres. Pero muy poco hablamos de los que reciben un testimonio por causa del testimonio de sus padres y sus madres, o los jovenes que tienen un testimonio del testimonio de sus madres.

¿Y sobre cual doctrina o enseñanzas se base de que si confiaron en Dios, ellos estarían entregados de la muerte por mano de Dios?

Esto es la doctrina: Si uno pone su confianza en Dios, Él lo librará.

Al terminar este capitulo, me reflexiona sobre el milagro de los joven ammonitas. Tal vez mejor es no mirar a esto como un milagro increíble (aúnque lo fue), sino mirar lo como una muestra del poder verídico de Dios.

La Creatividad

Alma 55

La creatividad es el acto de crear algo que nunca se ha creado antes. He estado leyendo últimamente las palabras de Hugh Nibley referente a la creación. Uno de los podres de Dios, los llaves de la creación se ha reservado para después de esta vida. En estos capítulos, Moroni se inventa nuevos estratagemas para lograr sus propósitos. Si hubiera repetido un estratagema que ya habian empleado, el enimigo sabría como responder. Con la creativadad, uno nunca sabe como responder. Por definición la creatividad es algo que nunca antes había hecho.

La creatividad no supera la ley, sino utiliza la ley para lograr su exploraciones.

He Knew that [He] Knew

Alma 55

Moroni at the start of this chapter is angry with Ammoron because he (Moroni) knows that Ammoron knows that he is not justified in his actions of war against the Nephites. This knowledge that Moroni now has, this assurance of Ammoron’s fraud, (which he already had, but now having it expressly presented to him) changes the course and approach of Moroni in how he hopes to liberate his captive people. Instead of hoping for some peaceful compromise, he instead uses strategy to secure their liberty.

The interesting thing about Moroni’s anger, which is clearly a motivating force throughout this account (see Alma 51:14, 54:13, 55:1), is that it never causes him to lose control.

Take home: if you know the difference between right and wrong, and wrong is being presented as right or acceptable, then there is need to take action to correct that which is wrong, not in uncontrolled confusion, but in intentional clarity.

Concerning the Justice of God

Alma 54

Last evening as I was listening to a talk, I was distressed with an example that was used during the talk, as it caused me to feel guilty about my current situation. This morning, reflecting back on the talk and the particular story that was used as an example, I realized that it wasn’t used to convict me, but rather it was used to illustrate an abstract gospel principle.

So now I am reading about Moroni’s response to Ammoron, I am asking myself: what are the principles?

The premise of Moroni’s epistle is based upon points of doctrine (that’s why it is included in the scriptures, Brent). Justice, the wrath of God, repentance and its conditions, these are things that Moroni says he would endeavor to spell out to Ammoron if he were capable of understanding them.

Moroni’s principles are so clearly established within himself, the absolute truth of the reality of their present condition is what compels him, even in his anger, to defend his people.

Justice of God

Are the justice and indignation of God real? In Isaiah 26:10 and 11, it talks about favor being shown to the wicked, and yet they do not learn righteousness and they are oblivious to the God of the land.

Romans 2 in its entirety is an excellent chapter on the Judgment of God. In sum, God judges the heart of man.

It is God’s justice that divides the wicked from the righteous. Man is not responsible for this division. Lehi, and subsequently Nephi, saw it symbolically represented as a “great and terrible gulf”.

Indignation of God

By modern definition, indignation means:

feeling or showing anger because of something unjust or unworthy

anger about a situation that you think is wrong or not fair

So when we couple the word “indignation” with “God”, the relativity of wrong or not fair is removed. If God is indignant with me, I am not in the right. And so we get verses like this:

God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalms 7:1

La Obligación Familiar


–¿Cómo me apunta esto a mi al Cristo?–

2 Nephi 25:23-29

En estos versículos, el enfoque es en el Cristo. Pero también enseña la importancia y la ley. Aunque para ellos, la ley hubo muerto, lo enseñaron a sus hijos, porque los mandamientos se guardaron por medio de la ley.

En nuestros días es igual con las estandartes para los jovenes, son como la ley de Moisés. Son importantes a comprender y vivirlos, sin embargo en ellos no hay salvación. Son muertos pautas en sí mismos. Pero la pregunta es: ¿Adónde nos lleva?

Las estandartes me ayudo encontrar al Cristo, pero aún más importante, después me ayudó guardarme seguro el camino de Cristo.

A Facebook Post (that I will not post to Facebook):

Here’s a little religion for us this morning. Recently, President Nelson (my faith’s prophet-leader), spoke to the men of the Church. I found it interesting how in speaking to the men, he still spoke of standards, though it was a different group of standards than what he spoke to the women of the Church six months earlier. To the men, he spoke of repentance, physical health, family relationships, and entertainment. To the women, he spoke of scritpure study, entertainment, temple and church attendance. On both sides, he addressed standards that are found in among the youth’s standards from the Church. These standards in and of themselves don’t save us, but they do serve to protect us from unnecessary hardship. Some have expressed concern that he spoke differently to the men, than he did the women. And of course he did. But it is two sides of the same coin. Both were discussions on standards.