Some people say that they cannot believe in Christ because they did not live when He was on the earth. They have not seen Him so they will not believe. What we need to remember is the fact that many people who DID see Christ when He was on the earth did not believe. Seeing isn’t enough. The way that we come to know Christ is through the Spirit. Whether we live before Christ, after Christ or while He was on the earth, we can know through the Spirit.
I love this verse from The Book of Mormon where “he” is talking of Christ:
…thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever…
2 Nephi 2:4
Jacob (to whom this verse is addressed) came to know Christ and he lived about 600 years before Christ. This verse emphasizes the fact that the Spirit is the way to know Christ lives regardless of when we live on earth. Studying the scriptures, praying to God to know and being willing to follow God’s commandments gives the Spirit the opportunity to bear witness that Christ lives.
I encourage you to ask God if you don’t already know that Christ lives because I know that He will help you know Christ. God loves you and wants you to be happy :)
Tonight I was reading in The Book of Mormon of how he was led by God to accomplish his commandments. Here is the verse in 1 Nephi 4:6:
6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
The thing I want to point out is that Nephi tried two different ways to fulfill God’s commandment before being led by the Spirit and not knowing what to do. This isn’t a rule by any means, but the principle is that the Lord may expect us at times to do what we think is best before providing a solution. Obviously if He gives you a solution right away, do it! But don’t be surprised if the Lord allows you to think for yourself. He gave you a powerful thing called a brain so use it!
When at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Nephi, a prophet in The Book of Mormon, helps us see that we need to keep trying. The Lord commanded them to get the plates from Laban and their first attempt failed. His brothers were ready to give up, but here is what Nephi says:
15 But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.
1 Nephi 3:15
I love Nephi’s attitude here! How often do we try to do something and give up after an initial setback? Probably all too often. Let us press forward with faith and do all that we can in our power, even when things don’t work out like we would expect.
I’ve started reading the Book of Mormon again and as we know it is another testament of Jesus Christ, a companion to the Bible. I hadn’t noticed before that it begins with a vision of Jesus Christ shown to the prophet Lehi. Here are verses 8, 9, and 10 of 1 Nephi chapter 1:
8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.
9 And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day.
10 And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.
Here Lehi sees God in heaven, Jesus descending to earth and the 12 Apostles 600 years before Christ would come to earth. It is so fitting that this book, whose purpose is to testify of Christ, begins with a vision of the Savior. I’m so grateful to have the Book of Mormon and Bible to help me learn about and come unit Christ.
Today is Sunday School we talked about Lehi’s vision of the tree of life in the Book of Mormon. It’s found in 1 Nephi 8. We talked about the group that came to the tree of life by “clinging to the rod of iron”. I’ve always wondered what this means and thought I would share an insight that came to me today. Here are two verses of scripture in 1 Nephi 8:24-25
24…they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree
25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.
We see from these verses that the people ate of the fruit but did not realize the significance of the fruit. They did not have a deep testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel.
Definition of clinging: overly dependent on someone emotionally
I looked up the definition of clinging and found the definition above. This made me think of how some people rely on the testimonies of their parents or friends. They don’t spend the necessary time and effort to gain a true testimony of Jesus Christ. They go through the motions but miss the true meaning and importance of the Gospel. Or maybe they do the right things but their heart is not in it.
So let’s make sure we do things for the right reason and that we recognize the importance of the Savior and His Gospel. This will help us gain deep testimonies of the Savior and help us be happy now and forever.