Scripture Study

Teaching the Untaught (Mosiah 24)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 18 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 205

Teaching the Untaught (Mosiah 24)

Mosiah 24 describes the education of the Lamanite people under the rule of Amulon. From a worldly perspective, they are well educated; they learn the Nephite language and are trained in writing and doing business with others. As a result, they begin to accumulate riches and are described as a “cunning and wise people, as to the wisdom of the world.”

However, the one thing missing from their education is also identified: “They knew not God; neither did the brethren of Amulon teach them anything concerning the Lord their God, neither the Law of Moses; nor did they teach them the words of Abinadi.” (Mosiah 24:5) As a result, although the people are described as wise and cunning, they are also described as “delighting in all manner of wickedness and plunder.”

As Good as Your Word (Mosiah 23)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 11 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 249

As Good as Your Word (Mosiah 23)

At the end of the previous chapter, the people of King Limhi had escaped from the city where they were in bondage to the Lamanites. The Lamanite army tried to pursue them, but they just wound up getting hopelessly lost in the wilderness. In Mosiah 23, this lost army stumbles upon the city where Alma and his followers are living. The people of Alma were the ones who had chosen to serve God, so they had been in hiding from King Noah and were consequently not among the people of King Limhi (Noah’s son) who had returned to the land of Zarahemla.

The Lamanites are prepared to put Alma’s group into bondage as they had previously done with Limhi’s group. However, they make an offer to Alma and his people: Show us the way back to the city of Nephi (where the rest of the Lamanites live) and we’ll let you go free. No killing, no bondage, no problem. Alma agrees and leads the Lamanites where they want to go. However, “after Alma had shown them the way that led to the land of Nephi the Lamanites would not keep their promise; but they set guards round about the land of Helam, over Alma and his brethren.” (Mosiah 23:37)

Flesh for Stone

Written by Brother Jordan Champine on Tuesday, 10 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 299

Flesh for Stone

God’s interaction with man since the foundation of human existence has always incorporated covenants. It is a divine characteristic of having a relationship with Him. Due to Israel’s disobedience, the Old Testament covenant through the Law of Moses was just as hard and heavy as the literal tablets on which they originated.

In describing it, Paul states, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20).

Drunk or Filled with the Spirit? (Mosiah 22)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 04 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 307

Drunk or Filled with the Spirit? (Mosiah 22)

In Mosiah 22, Gideon shares a plan with King Limhi to free the Nephites from being in bondage to the Lamanites. Knowing that the Lamanite guards get drunk every night until they pass out, Gideon suggests that the Nephite people gather their belongings and prepare to depart during the night after the guards have passed out. Limhi agrees with the plan and even sends a gift of extra wine to the Lamanite guards.

God Eases Your Burden – But You Still Have It (Mosiah 21)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 September 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 414

God Eases Your Burden – But You Still Have It (Mosiah 21)

After losing several battles to the Lamanites, the Nephites under the rule of King Limhi find themselves in bondage to the Lamanites in Mosiah 21, “submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their enemies.” (Mosiah 21:13)

Now, these particular Nephites were not exactly godly people; they were followers of the late King Noah. However, as often happens when people are in trouble, they now turn to God to deliver them from their condition. God hears their cries and responds, though not exactly as they may have hoped:

“The Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.” (Mosiah 21:15)

Unintended Consequences (Mosiah 20)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 13 September 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 268

Unintended Consequences (Mosiah 20)

During the Great Plague of London in the 1600s, it was decided that dogs and cats throughout the city should be killed so people wouldn’t catch the deadly disease from their pets. However, eliminating these animals allowed the rat population to thrive, and the city was then overrun with rats. Oh, and by the way, the rats carried fleas, which were able to spread the disease even faster.

As illustrated above, some actions have unintended consequences.

Fighting the Real Enemy (Mosiah 19)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 06 September 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 284

Fighting the Real Enemy (Mosiah 19)

Everything unravels for the evil King Noah in Mosiah 19. After his army is unable to locate Alma’s hidden group of converts, Noah’s people start fighting among themselves. During this contention, a strong man named Gideon, who is an enemy to the king, takes advantage of the situation to engage King Noah in hand-to-hand combat. Gideon overpowers Noah and chases him up a tower and has his sword drawn, ready to kill the king.

From the top of the tower, the king is able to see in the distance that the Lamanite army is approaching, entering into the Nephite land, ready to attack the Nephite people. The cowardly king uses this as a ruse to prevent Gideon from killing him:

So, Now You're an Orphan (Mosiah 18)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 30 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 250

So, Now You're an Orphan (Mosiah 18)

In Mosiah 18, Alma, now a former priest of King Noah, begins to meet privately with as many people as possible to preach and teach the words that the prophet Abinadi taught prior to his death. He finds that many are accepting of his teachings and are willing to change their lives to be people of God.

In a famous scene, Alma addresses a congregation gathered at a place called the Waters of Mormon and invites them to begin their new lives by entering the waters of baptism. Here is an excerpt of his address to them:

Denying Your Testimony (Mosiah 17)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 23 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 338

Denying Your Testimony (Mosiah 17)

In Mosiah 17, the reaction of King Noah to the words of the prophet Abinadi is to sentence him to death. It’s not too surprising since Abinadi had called out the king and his priests for their sinful lifestyle, telling them that God was not pleased with them and that they needed to repent.

However, perhaps realizing that it wouldn’t look good to execute someone for making basically true statements, the king counsels with his priests for three days and finally decides that Abinadi should be put to death for a different reason — because he said that “God himself [in the form of Christ] should come down among the children of men” (Mosiah 17:8).

The Carnal Mind (Mosiah 16)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 16 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 469

The Carnal Mind (Mosiah 16)

What does it mean to be “carnal”? No, it doesn’t refer to someone who eats meat — that would be a carnivore. It does relate to flesh — not the eating of it but rather the pleasing of it.

There are many things we can do that please our human forms. Many of these are not sinful. In general, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life and doing things that make you happy. However, when the things of the flesh become foremost in our mind, we then have what is referred to as a “carnal mind,” one that seeks out things that please the flesh, whether they are sinful or not, typically overriding the prompting of the Spirit of God.

The First Resurrection (Mosiah 15)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 09 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 295

The First Resurrection (Mosiah 15)

As the prophet Abinadi continues his message to King Noah and his priests in Mosiah 15, he describes the concept of a “resurrection,” an event during which people who have died are “raised to dwell with God” (verse 23).

This brief description helps us to understand that a resurrection is not an event when a person is restored to life on earth but is something very different.

Standing Up for Jesus Christ (Mosiah 14)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 02 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 303

Standing Up for Jesus Christ (Mosiah 14)

If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ, then you have probably been called upon at various times to stand up for the restoration of the gospel, the Book of Mormon, and various other beliefs of our church. Such conversations most likely occurred with people who are associated with other Christian faiths.

Have you ever had a conversation about Jesus Christ with someone who doesn’t already believe in Him? If you wanted to try to convince someone that Jesus is the Savior of the world, what approach would you take?

He Protects You While You Work (Mosiah 13)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 26 July 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 257

He Protects You While You Work (Mosiah 13)

In Mosiah 13, King Noah and his people react to the preaching of Abinadi by attempting to put him to death. However, Abinadi halts their attempt with these words:

“Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver ... therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time.” (Mosiah 13:3)

The people of King Noah felt the power of God emanating from Abinadi, so they backed off and let him finish his message.

The Desensitizing of God’s People (Mosiah 12)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 19 July 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 339

The Desensitizing of God’s People (Mosiah 12)

The difference between then and now:

  • In 1939, some moviegoers reportedly ran out of theaters with their hands over their ears after viewing the movie “Gone With the Wind” and hearing the leading man say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a d***." Today, it would seem laughable to have such a reaction to hearing that word, and we have in fact “advanced” to the point where there are no words that are off limits when it comes to entertainment, regardless of the venue.
  • In 1960, people were afraid to take a shower after witnessing the brutal murder of the female star in the movie “Psycho.” Today, that scene is considered extremely tame; on-screen murders are now commonplace and are depicted in increasingly graphic ways.
  • In 1997, the TV show “Ellen” ended its fourth season with the lead character coming out as a lesbian. The fifth season’s ratings were so poor that the show was cancelled. Today, it seems that virtually every TV series has a gay character and story line as well as some poor misguided oaf (or religious person) who needs to be straightened out.

Each of the above illustrates how people become desensitized over time. Something that is shocking or draws a strong emotional reaction today becomes less shocking and even commonplace as time passes and as we are exposed to it over and over again.

Parents, Don’t Blame Yourself (Mosiah 11)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 12 July 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 280

Parents, Don’t Blame Yourself (Mosiah 11)

In Mosiah 11, Zeniff retires as king and names his son, Noah, as the new king. Unfortunately, Noah was nothing like his father:

  • He did not keep the commandments of God.
  • He had many wives and concubines.
  • He was lazy and levied a 20 percent tax on the people to support his lavish lifestyle.
  • He fired all the priests of his father and replaced them with men who were like him.

Under the leadership of King Noah, the people also became sinful. It got so bad that God sent a prophet to preach repentance to the king and his people, but the words fell on deaf ears, and they threatened to kill the prophet.

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