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.

Among those also who professed to belong to the church of God

Helaman 4

Amidst an account of war amongst the Nephites and Lamanites, verse 11 reads as follows (emphasis added):

Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God.

The author’s choice of words here is telling. It was among those who “professed to belong” to the church. This suggests to me that I can of myself claim membership in the kingdom of God, but if my action indicate otherwise, all the professing in the world is a vain hope.

Helamán 4

El problema que los nefitas tiene es con los miebros de la iglesia que rebelaron contra la iglesia. Son estos disidentes nefitas que van a los lamanitas para incitar a ellos a la guerra contra los Nefitas.

Esto es un capítulo que relata al arrepentimiento de los Nefitas. Aquí esta el Cristo.

Sometimes we don’t recognize the blessing that we have until they have been taken away. This seems to be the sad state of the Nephites at the end of chapter 4. No longer did they believe in the spirit of prophecy and revelation. No longer were they being protected by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I find it very curious in deed that one of the most obvious signs of apostasy according to Mormon was that they no longer sought after nor believed in the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

In the Sincerity of Thier Hearts

Helaman 3

In verse 15, amidst accounts of the growth and prosperity of the Nephite nation we get this short little verse that points out that the Nephites were they that kept records of all sorts. This little bit of insight comes to me at a time, when I’ve been contemplating records, and record-keeping.

It is not necessarily an evidence of righteousness, though records are typically kept more regularly amongst the righteous.

I am paused on verse 27, reflecting upon how in these quiet moments of the early morning, this scripture study is primarily for me. Oh, how it is for me, and not another. Oh, how I need to remember to remain sincere, honest, heartfelt and diligent. When a righteous man turns from his righteousness, he is no longer righteous. When a good man turns from the sincerity of his heart, to the rote and vain things of this word, his prayers are empty and without meaning. God hears none such.

Opposition from within the church (because of pride) actually brought the most humble part to a place of purification and sanctification.

…Stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ

vs. 35

On a personal note, in the next verse it talks about how the people grew richer and more prideful. I am reflecting upon how the Lord has through His Spirit taken me in a humble course, almost devoid of the things of this world. This is a personal journey and sanctioned of God, but not one that I should condemn others for not following my path. It is a hard road that I travel at times.

Helaman 3 (en español)

Estoy contemplando estos versículos en un tiempo cuando la importancia del matrimonio y la famila se hacen hincapíe en mi mente. El Espíritu es fuerte en esta cosa mientres leyo estos versículos. Pero no hallo nada de esta lectura que hable expresadamente de la familia o la importancia del matrimonio. Sin embargo, todo esto exisite y sucede entre una orden familiar. Es este orden que es en peligro de destruir en nuestros dias. Esto es muy importante.

Aunque es difícil ver, esto es un capítulo de la familia. Estamos hablando de las doctrinas de la familia, los cuales son también las doctrinas de Cristo. Son iguales. Pero a verlo del perspectivo de familia, me ayuda ver como es que al vivir en una familia, todavía no estamos logrando éxito como familia. Porque no estamos viviendo los principios de la familia, los cuales son los principios del evangelio de Cristo.

La tarea es mío solamente.

La familia ha fracasado porque las familia no han vivido de acuerdo con las enseñanzas que preservaren a la unidad de la familia. Y por esto, las personas supongan que es la organización de la familia que no funcione. En la realidad es porque los individuos no quieren vivir de acuerdo con los principios que permiten que la familia existiere.

This Was Their Secret Plan, and Their Combination

Helaman 2

Combination – an alliance of individuals, corporations, or states united to achieve a social, political, or economic end; two or more persons working as a team


See also Moses 5:18-31

Helamán 2 (in Spanish)

Al contemplar el propósito de convenios y pactos, es para fortalecernos en nuestros debilidades. También nos polariza más al bien o al mal. Los que hace convenios para cumplir con la maldad no son a quien jugar, sino es un asunto de seria gravidad.

The Spirit of the Lord bids me to revisit this chapter before moving on. Here I am reading about Kishkumen’s motives to murder Helaman, the new chief judge. Gadianton had made a promise to Kishkumen and others that if they would place him on the judgment seat, that he would in turn secure their places of power within the government. These high stakes motives were compelling enough for Kishkumen to take action.

Among the Number Who Where Slain

Helaman 1

This morning I’ve read the first 13 verses and am drawn to the fact that wickedness was protected by covenant or oath.

But then I’m also asking the question, why do we see it as such as wrong thing (we = modern culture) to bind ourselves by covenant especially in matters of righteousness. And why do we equate such actions with the devil. These are tools of serious commitment whether in the hands of God or of the adversary. What is noteworthy is the seriousness of the covenants that these wicked people made to protect themselves, but further, to overthrow the freedoms of the people.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised to consider that the same seriousness of obligation exists today, in who knows what forms of corruption and greed. The opposition in organized.

( I am starting today’s study with a spiritual confirmation that the Lord has prepared a “meal” for me today. It is my challenge to be attentive enough to receive it. )

Vs. 14, by this point in the Lamanite history of opposition, which is actually rebellious Nephite opposition empowered by Lamanites as their pawns, they have learned the importance of physical preparations for war, and their efforts are now exhaustive.

So Coriantumr successfully takes the city of Zarahemla by force. It was the strongest city of the Nephites, but it was poorly defended at the time of the Lamanite invasion, which led to an easy takeover. What was more, there were numerous other internal factors at play that put Zarahemla at a weakened state, making it an easy prey for the Lamanites. Perhaps, most notable is the fact that the Nephite armies were busily engaged elsewhere in the land. This is important to note because it is Coriantumr’s assumption that because he took Zarahelma, he could easily march forward towards the land Bountiful. Attacking the biggest city, in a weakened state of defense, gave Coriantumr a false sense of confidence.

Pride is a powerful motivator. It can enable a man to undertake great and mighty campaigns of wickedness. It can be the source of great false confidence. It can lead a man to his destruction, as was the case of Coriantumr.

Helaman 1:1-13 (in Spanish)

Reflexionando sobre estos versículos me ha causado despartar. Estamos en una temporada de trabajo y peligro, si no actuamos.

Estos son tiempos peligrosos. Esta contención entre el pueblo no vino sin consecuencia. Si debilita la organización por adentro puede atacarlo por afuera también. Me hace considerar la esclavitud que es tan abundante en nuestra tierra hoy día. Me hace considerar como esto se aplica a mi familia. El Espíritu me causa contemplar estos versículos.

Helaman 1:14-34 (in Spanish)

La oposición que se organizó contra los nefitas fue de entre los que antes habían nefitas. Y así es con nosotros, nuestra oposición más organizado es de entre los que una vez pertenecía al pueblo de Dios.

Los atributos que el rey de los lamanitas valuó de Coriántumr fue su fuerza y gran sabiduría– atributos que fueron aparentes por lo superficial. Este punto es de suma importancia. Es la razón por lo cual fracasaron.

Into the Land Northward

Alma 63

This chapter has me puzzling quite a bit, because the spirit of the Lord is strong in these verses, but I am not seeing it. I’m not understanding why it is strong.

This chapter gives several accounts of Nephite migrations into the lands that were beyond a narrow stretch of land north of the land of Bountiful. Shipping is discussed briefly, especially as it relates to the enterprising efforts of one man by the name of Haggoth.

I think to myself that this is the human spirit at work. Man’s natural desire to expand, explore, make something new is illustrated here. I think that this happens immediately following the great war between the forces of Moroni and Amalekiah/Ammoron is also significant. After so many years of oppression, here comes a time a growth.

And yet there are some that are lost. Some boats didn’t return.

These verses also feel like post war, early 1950s. Or quiet suburbia, homes build on the outskirts of civilization, people looking for just a quiet spot of land were in to establish their quiet existence. I’m still not sure what these verses are trying to say about all this, as there is no commentary about whether this is good or bad, only that it happened.

Alma 63 (en español)