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And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring... 

Gaining further light and knowledge

This past week I was studying 3 Nephi chapters 12-17 in the Book of Mormon and I came across the verses where Jesus explains to the people that they are his other sheep but there are yet more that He will visit as well.  This passage is familiar to me and I always enjoy reading the account of Jesus visiting the people of the Book of Mormon.  Well, this time in reading these chapters, I was impressed by a passage that in the past had not held much meaning for me.  This passage is chapter 15 verses 18 and 19 as follows:

18 And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.

19 But, verily, I say unto you that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity that they know not of you.

I was struck with such power with an understanding of how it is that further light is given or withheld from us depending on our ability and willingness to change our lives to accommodate the new light and knowledge.  You see, the people in Jerusalem were not willing to learn more from the Savior.  Because of this, He was commanded to “say no more” to them.

So, how does this relate to us?  Well, as we learn we are required by the Lord to align our behaviors with the new light and knowledge.  If we do not then that will be the end of our ability to receive more from Him.  Now, this may sound a bit harsh or strict but it really is our Heavenly Father showing compassion on us.  You see, if we learn something we are then accountable for adhering to the new understanding.  If we are not willing or even capable of living according to the additional knowledge then it would be condemning us to provide even more light and knowledge. 

Our Heavenly Father does not want us to gain only an intellectual knowledge of gospel principles but He wants us to gain the knowledge and understanding that only comes from living according to the principles.  It is only in this way we can come to know Him and as He has told us, “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3


Posted by Perry Raleigh Feb 28, 2016 09:17 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures

Thou … hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will 

Lessons from Nephi in the book of Helaman

In the past when I thought of the book of Helaman in the book of Mormon I didn’t think of Nephi but instead thought about the Gadianton robbers and the wickedness of the people.  Well, that changed this past week.  As I studied the last several chapters for my BYUi Book of Mormon class, I was reminded just how amazing this Nephi is.  In Helaman chapter 10 we learn just how great he really is.  Here is what the Lord says to him just as Nephi is feeling down about all of the wickedness of the people.

3 And it came to pass as he was thus pondering—being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people of the Nephites, their secret works of darkness, and their murderings, and their plunderings, and all manner of iniquities—and it came to pass as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold, a voice came unto him saying:

 4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

 5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

 6 Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.

 7 Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.

Helaman 10:3-7

How would it be to just be walking along thinking about your concerns for the people you home teach or perhaps your neighbors and the Lord says something like that to you?  Somehow I don’t think it just came out of the blue and certainly not because the Lord didn’t have anyone better to reach out to.  Clearly Nephi has established a pattern of living such that the Lord knew with no doubt that he could be trusted.  This goes back to a principle of Faith that we discussed last semester.  We need to live our lives trusting that the Lord will keep the promises He has made to us but we also need to live in such a way that the Lord can trust us to keep the promises we make to Him.

This semester I am pursuing a deeper understanding of how to develop that kind of faith.  A faith that is both comforting and powerful.  I believe it has to do with being submissive to the Lord.  This is not just to say that we are willing to endure and suffer through this life.  No, somehow that thought has me 

Posted by Perry Raleigh Feb 13, 2016 09:14 PM Categories: BYUi Pathway Gospel Study Scriptures Spiritual
Perry E Raleigh