9.06.2013

Powerful Lessons from 1 Nephi 12-14

When I first read these chapters in preparation for teaching last year I thought, "What am I to teach from this?  It's just an overview of history."  Well, I found some exciting stuff!  And since I didn't get to teach this lesson because of illness, I will write some thoughts here instead.  :-)

First, take a moment to create a timeline of your life.  Just something brief with significant dates and moments that have occurred.

Now, we all know this timeline began much sooner than when we were born.  We know there was a war in heaven and that that war continues even today.   In this war there are two sides.

And he said unto me: Behold there are save atwo churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the bother is the church of the cdevil; wherefore, dwhoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the ewhore of all the earth.

In studying different wars throughout the history of this earth, we see that each war is made up of smaller battles.  Some of those battles include the Nephites and the Lamanites (1 Ne. 12:15-18; 15:28-30), the Revolutionary War (1 Ne. 13:17-18), the wrath of God vs. the Spirit of God (see 1 Ne. 13:12), and the battle of the churches (1 Ne. 13:5-9).  The war still continues and we are in the final battle.   What are some smaller battles in your life that have shown you the Lord will help you to overcome?

In Doctrine and Covenants 93:53 we read, "And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should ahasten to btranslate my scriptures, and to cobtain a dknowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of elaws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen." 

How is it that obtaining a knowledge of history can help us to build up the kingdom of Zion?

Weopons of War
We know from studying history that the Lord protects the righteous and those who choose to build up Zion. 

And ablessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my bZion at that day, for they shall have the cgift and the dpower of the Holy Ghost; and if they eendure unto the end they shall be flifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting gkingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall hpublish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.  (! Ne. 13:37)

We have been given other weapons as well with which we can fight this battle.
1) The Book of Mormon contains plain and precious truths with which we can rely on in bringing forth the kingdom of God upon the earth (see 1 Ne. 13:38-40).

2)  We have made sacred covenants with the Lord which will sustain us and strengthen us in this great and final battle (see 1 Ne. 14:17).

3) We also have the Lord's own power to protect us as we call on Him.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were aarmed with brighteousness and with the cpower of God in great glory.

How to Win
What must we do to win this great battle?  
1 Ne. 14:1 - And it shall come to pass, that if the aGentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in bpower, in very deed, unto the ctaking away of their dstumbling blocks— 

1 Ne. 8:33-34 - And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of ascorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.

1 Ne. 14:5 - And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying: Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be awell with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard that whoso brepenteth not must perish.

I tell my kids all the time, "The Lord is going to win.  It's up to you to decide which side you're on."  We are small in number , but if we heed to the counsel of the Lord, repent and obey His words we will be armed with power and righteousness.  As we look at our own lives, let us recognize the Lord's hand in the battles we have won and as we search for ways to continually win the future battles that may arise.

For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the awrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.  Wherefore, he will apreserve the brighteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire. . . . And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded (1 Ne. 22:16-17, 22).

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