Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book of Jenne and Carolyn: The Book of Mormon Abridged

This summer, my mom started studying the gospel and investigating the LDS church in her most serious attempt yet since my baptism 9 years ago. Her efforts came after she had a stroke at the age of 56 and in a blessing of healing afterwards, she was counseled to study and learn about the gospel. To my surprise, she listened. After attending church with me one Sunday, she discovered she really liked the format of the Gospel Principles manual. She's been reading it on her own and tonight she reported to me that she's on Chapter 13. Last time I asked probably a month ago, she was on Chapter 6 so I'm pleased to hear of her progress. '

One of the things she requested of me before I said left for home last was that I help her find the scriptures in the Book of Mormon that were meaningful and instructive without having to get bogged down in the storyline or dealing with the objectionable warlike culture of the Nephites and Lamanites. She's tried to read the Book of Mormon before but has struggled and given up. I feel she wants to find the special and profound information present in the Book of Mormon but doesn't know where to look.

Her request came at the time when I had been thinking about compiling all of my favorite Book of Mormon verses together in one place for my own quick and easy reference when wanting to turn to familiar, comforting and instructive words. Off the top of my head, I know that swaths of 2 Nephi, Mosiah, Alma and Moroni will be included, including also the vision of the tree of life in 1 Nephi.

Don't be surprised if you see this post become the receptacle of these verses.

Also please suggest some of the most instructive, comforting, inspiring or otherwise useful verses in the comments. My mother, lovely woman that she is, has been subject to a great deal of suffering, disillusionment and unfulfilled dreams throughout her life. She struggles with a sense of worth and purpose. I'm open to suggestions on Book of Mormon verses that might address the feelings of her heart and give her hope in the gospel as a source of fulfillment and joy.

The Book of Jenne and Carolyn: Abridged and Annotated Book of Mormon for Mom
1 Nephi 8: Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life
1 Nephi 11: Nephi's vision of the Tree of Life
And for some scripture mingled with (very interesting) philosophies of men: Nephi and His Asherah
1 Nephi 12, 13, 14: Nephi's vision and prophecies of Christ and the gospel (symbols and languages explained)

Second Nephi
This is my favorite book of the Book of Mormon because it teaches the plan of salvation, explains clearly Christ's role and how we are helped every step of our lives as we are faithful to him.
2 Nephi 2 in its entirety but for highlights see below:
Note: when Lehi addresses Jacob or his sons, replace their names with yours to read the personalized message of Christ's gospel
  • 2 Nephi 2:2: "thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain."
  • 2 Nephi 2:11: "opposition in all things"
  • 2 Nephi 2: 14, 16: "the Lord God gave unto man that he should aact for himself"
  • 2 Nephi 2: 25-28: "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."
2 Nephi 3: 6-24: Prophesy of Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon and the restoration
2 Nephi 4:15-24, 33-34: Blessings of scriptures, God's hears prayers, love of God
2 Nephi 9: 4-17: Inevitability of death, Means for escape from death provided by Christ, need for the atonement, division of spirits in paradise and prison(cross reference to D&C: 138: 8, 28 Christ preaches to the spirits in prison and offers a means of salvation i.e. baptism for the dead)
2 Nephi 9:21-24: Christ "suffereth the pains of all men, yea the pains of every living creature, men, women and children."
2 Nephi 9:27-39: Sin described and examples given of actions that separate people from God
2 Nephi 10: 23-25: "remember you are free to act for yourselves...wherefore reconcile yourselves to the will of God"
2 Nephi 18:19: "should not a people seek unto their own God for the living to hear from the dead?"
2 Nephi 19: 6-7: prophesy of Christ's birth (text became Handel's Messiah)
2 Nephi 21:1-9: Description of Christ's personality, temperament, mission and values "for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord"
2 Nephi 22:2: "God is my salvation; I will trust...Jehovah is my strength and my song."
2 Nephi 24: 12-14: The downfall of Satan, pride without humility
2 Nephi 25:23-27: Nephites lived the law of Moses and believed in Christ, looked forward to his coming (vs. 19- prophesy of when Christ will come and what he shall be called)
2 Nephi 26:11 & 13, 32-33: "The Spirit will not always strive with man" but Christ beckons to and blesses those who live the commandments and "inviteth all to come unto him."
2 Nephi 27: Prophesy of Book of Mormon
2 Nephi 28:3-31: A description of the evils that will exist in our day
2 Nephi 29: The Book of Mormon is intended to be in addition to the Bible (Fools say: "A Bible, a Bible, we have got a Bible and there cannot be any more Bible!")
2 Nephi 31: The necessity of baptism, "Wherefore you must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, with a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men."
2 Nephi 32:1-6: After baptism you are led by the Spirit through reading the scriptures and prayer "the words of Christ [and the Holy Ghost] will tell you all the things you should do"
2 Nephi 32: 9: Pray Always and the Lord will "consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of your soul."

The Book of Jacob:
Jacob 2: 17-19: description of social justice "Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you."
Jacob 4:3-13: through faith and prayer, revelation will be given

The Book of Enos: 1-9 example of sincere prayer leading to conversion

The Book of Mosiah: 

Mosiah begins with the reign of King Benjamin who is the king over the Nephites at the time. He was a faithful man and a conscientious leader. At one point in his reign, he gathered his people to together and expounded on the scriptures and taught them principles of the gospel. Chapters 2-5 are his address to the people. Linked verses are highlights of his address. 

King Benjamin's Discourse: 
Mosiah 2:17: Perhaps the most famous line from King Benjamin "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings are ye only in the service of your God." 
Mosiah 2: 19-22: Give thanks to God for creating you, recognize their (Father's and Mother's) role in your life
Mosiah 2: 23-24: What God requires in return: keep commandments and he/they "doth immediately bless you." 
Mosiah 2:34: "ye are eternally indebted to your heavenly father (+mother), to render to (them) all that you have and are"
Mosiah 2:41: "the happy state of those who keep the commandments of God, they are blessed in all things temporal and spiritual."
Mosiah 3: 5-11: prophesies of the coming of Christ. 2 important things here: King Benjamin reveals the name that Christ will be known by. Verse 7 teaches us that Christ, in his atonement, also experiences our suffering including our pain (from any cause), our fatigue (which can be caused by frustration, weariness in suffering, physical disability, etc). 
Mosiah 3:14: Little children cannot sin. They must come to an awareness of right and wrong before they can be held accountable for their mistakes. Cross reference: Moroni 8:8 
Mosiah 3:18-19: The Atonement does not work for those who do not accept and believe in it. We must "yield to the enticings of the Spirit" and "becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ."
Mosiah 3: 24-25: "whereof they shall be judged, every man according to his works." At that time, it will be clear to each of us the results of our actions during life. Cross reference: Alma 11: 43 We will have a bright recollection of our guilt. Our understanding will not be clouded anymore and we will know perfectly where we went wrong. That awareness can be horrific to possess because we are our own worst critics. There is pain that comes from realizing our mistakes. That pain is what is being described by scriptural references to "fire and brimstone." Alma describes it as wishing that he could cease to exist but knowing that he could not and would have to live with his mistakes and the hurts he caused others. This is where the Atonement comes in and why it is so useful and necessary. It makes it possible for us to forgive ourselves for the hurt we cause ourselves and others. Once we forgive ourselves we can carry on with hope and assurance that despite our mistakes we are good people. 
Mosiah 4:9: "believe that [God] has all wisdom and all power both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things that the Lord can comprehend" Yet we are promised that we can and will comprehend all the things the Lord can comprehend IF we are willing to do what it takes to get to that point when we are ready to learn those things, even "all wisdom and all power." 
Mosiah 4:10: "if you believe all these things see that ye do them." 
Mosiah 4:11: Strike out "unworthy creatures" and its a great verse showing how we can feel God's love through forgiveness and how we can go about living a faithful life. 
Mosiah 4:12: if you are faithful, ye shall be "filled with the love of God" and "ye shall grow in knowledge of that which is just and true." To me, this means a perfect knowledge and understanding of what is right. The world needs a great deal more of that and I take hold upon the promise that I can find it from the source of all true and goodness with the hope that everyone else can do the same. 
Mosiah 4:13: Those who come to know the love of God (whether you think its how to love like God, be loved by God or show love to God), "ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably." 
Mosiah 4:15: I'm really just including this verse because its one of my favorites and is my hope for what my children learn: "ye will teach [your children] to love one another and to serve one another." 
Mosiah 4:16: Ye will succor those that stand in need of your succor, ye will administer of your substance unto him who standeth in need." And thus begins some of the greatest social justice verses in all of scripture. Also, cross-reference to the baptismal covenant (i.e. the covenant a member of the LDS church makes at baptism). 
Mosiah 4:19-22, 26: Like I said, some of the best verses on the topic of social justice in all of scripture, perhaps all religion in general. This is the gospel of Christ in word and action. 
Mosiah 4:24: Also empathizes and excuses those who feel guilty for not having enough to give. "I would that ye would say in your hearts, I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give."
Mosiah 4:27: Wise words indeed: "See that all things be done in wisdom and order, for it is not requisite that a  [wo]man should run faster than [s]he has strength."
Mosiah 5:2 and 5, 7, 8 and 15: Effects of conversion: "because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change  in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually...And we are willing to enter into a covenant  with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days....  Because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed  through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. And under this head ye are made free.... Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good  works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal  you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen."
Mosiah 7: 18-19: Working through difficulties, obtaining strength during affliction: "O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made. Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your  trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought  the children of  Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them."
Mosiah: 7:29-30, 33: The effects of wrongdoing and the balm: "I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them. And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap  the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison....But if ye will turn  to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."
Mosiah 8:15-17: description of seer (yay mysticism!) "But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed."

1 comment:

Jenni "Bee" said...

My sister's favorite is 2 Nephi 2:24...we often focus on the verse after (men are that they might have joy) but 24 is truly moving in and of itself as well:

All things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things.

My mother's favorite is Helaman 5:12, about being able to withstand the mighty storms and shafts in the whirlwind so long as we are built on the rock of our Redeemer.

I honestly don't have a favorite. :)