Nephi sees the formation of a great and abominable church in the old world among the Gentiles. The desires of this church are riches, fine clothing, harlots. Nothing good. That church also wants the “praise of the world” and they “destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.” (9)
That’s a good measuring stick to see where we fall. Have we joined with the great abominable church which fights against God, or are we eager seekers of the fruit of the tree of life?
If we seek and get praise of the world, we might want to do a deep spiritual evaluation to see if we have strayed. Usually, the world doesn’t praise that which is good and right. Many today get applauded for being courageous, when what they’re really doing is breaking God’s commandments to go their own way. The world feels that ‘being ourselves’ (the natural man) is better than being what God wants us to be (which is to become like He is).
The Gentiles who escaped the old world to come to the new promised land included the pilgrims and early settlers of America who escaped England’s spiritually and physical tyranny (the great and abominable church). They were blessed in the promised land because “the power of the Lord was with them.” (16)
Is the power of the Lord with me?
God blesses those who humbly seek Him. Those Gentiles who left the tyranny of the old world centuries ago were fleeing religious oppression. They wanted to worship God as they felt best—not be dictated how to worship by a corrupt political, power-hungry church. So they fled to find freedom to worship God as their consciences told them to.
Am I humbly seeking to find God in my life? To worship Him and give thanks to Him for all He has given me?
Am I seeking His will so I can help others come unto Him?
Delivered by God’s Hand
Nephi sees the Gentiles prosper and be delivered from all other nations by the hand of the Lord BECAUSE of their humility and trust in Him—not because they were powerful on their own merits.
Sometimes when God blesses us to overcome, we can come to falsely believe it is because of our wisdom, our strength, or our influence that we have triumphed. That is pride…and pride turns us inward, so we don’t Look Up to God anymore, but to ourselves or the world. When we do this and don’t heed the warnings God gives us to repent and turn back to Him, eventually we reap the rewards of pride…destruction.
Nephi sees the Bible carried among the Gentiles who have fled to this land. The angels explains that it’s a record of the Jews and contains “the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.” (23)
The angel tells him the book was pure when it left the hand of the Jews, but that the great and abominable church “have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.” (26) That wicked church perverted God’s word to blind and confuse men, and to harden their hearts to the truth.
But God will be merciful unto Lehi’s seed and also to the Gentiles in the land who are “in that awful state of blindness…because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.” (32) He will “bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.” (34)
Christ tells Nephi that He will manifest Himself unto many of Nephi’s seed and they will write what they see and learn and “these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb. (35) And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.” (36)
This is the Book of Mormon which we have today, and it truly is plain and most precious—the word of God to help clear His gospel up and go along with the Bible.
And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tiding of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.”1 Nephi 13:37
Do I publish peace, or tidings of great joy that bring others to Christ?
The Book of Mormon “shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.” (40)
Is it no wonder we want to share these marvelous truths with others? The Book of Mormon has helped me more than any other thing in this life. It has taught me eternal truths and principles that guide me, comfort me, and give me an assurance of hope for the future.
If a sincere seeker of truth reads from it and ponders its messages and then asks God to give them a personal witness of its truth and divinity, God will follow through. You can know for yourself that this book is true. Please don’t take my word for it. Moroni (the last ancient prophet to write in the Book of Mormon) puts it best:
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. / And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”Moroni 10:4-5
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