Sunday, January 11, 2009

3 Nephi 9-16

Week 23
3 Nephi 9
Come unto the Savior as a little child. Observe how children act – observe their honesty, candor, willingness to please, humility, eagerness to learn, etc. – and emulate those attributes.

3 Nephi 10
We have a Savior who loves us. He has gathered and nourished us, he would have many times more if we had only let him, and he will gather us in the future if we repent and come unto him.

3 Nephi 11
Note that the destruction and darkness came at the beginning of the 34th year (3 Nephi 8:5) and that Christ appears at the end of the 34th year (3 Nephi 10:18). This gave the people time to gather at the temple. How often do we meet at the temple to “converse about Jesus Christ”? God has a small voice that is not harsh, yet it can pierce us to our souls. In order to understand this voice, we must focus our attention: open our ears and look steadfastly towards the voice. Christ’s doctrine is really quite simple: repent and be baptized. He repeats this message four times and then promises us that if we center our lives on him “the gates of hell shall not prevail against [us].” He then urges us to share this message with others. Remember James 1:22 – “Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.”

3 Nephi 12
It’s not enough to just not kill, we’re supposed to not even get angry. It’s not enough to love just our friends, we need to love our enemies as well. Just doing the minimum isn’t enough, we need to go beyond that, always striving for improvement and excellence. I’m not sure why I was reminded of this story, particularly since it has more to do with avoiding temptation (originally found in the Aaronic Priesthood manual 1 “temptation” lesson) than with striving for excellence, but I was, so read it here.

We are commanded to let others see our good works so that they may glorify God. We shouldn’t worry about being thought of as “goody-goody” by others, we should only be concerned with what God thinks of us.

Christ invites all to “come unto him” – which reminds me of a favorite song “Come Unto Christ.”

3 Nephi 13
Charity is something that we do, not just give away. Pray for the Father’s will to be done. Pray for forgiveness, and then forgive others. Pray for strength to overcome temptation. Work towards building up treasure in heaven, not on earth. When we are focused on giving glory to God, our whole beings can be filled with light, and we are able to comprehend and understand everything we need to. (See D&C 88:67.) Seek God first.

“If our lives and our faith are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right.” (Howard W. Hunter, “Fear Not, Little Flock,” 14 March 1989 BYU devotional)

3 Nephi 14
Heavenly Father wants to give us good things. We need to have faith and ask. We also need to build strong foundations. Remember “The Wise Man and The Foolish Man.” “We do not live in a world where we experience nothing but the spiritual, but we can fortify our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth, so that we will not falter, we will not fail. How, you may ask, can we most effectively gain and maintain the foundation needed to survive spiritually in the world in which we live? May I offer three guidelines to help us in our quest. Fortify your foundation through prayer, [study the scriptures and serve others].” Thomas S. Monson

3 Nephi 15
Jesus Christ is the law and the light. If we look unto him, and endure to the end, we will live.

3 Nephi 16
We gain testimonies of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father through the witness of the Holy Ghost. See D&C 42:17.

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