Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reading, writing and grammar classes are important!

It's interesting that king Benjamin taught his sons all about the language of his fathers - he felt it was important that they learn how to read and understand the language so that they could become men of understanding.  It is a sad thing to watch people struggle to read and many times I have thought how hard it is for a person who can't read to ever succeed and prosper in general nor come to understand deeply the things of God.

King Benjamin understood how important it was to teach his sons to read and understand the language but he also knew it was important to teach them what they should read.  "And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God."  He goes on for several verses talking about how important the Plates of Brass are to them and then says "And now, my sons, I would that ye should remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby . . . " (Mosiah 1:2-7)

What can we take from these verses?  I think one thing to take away is that knowing how to read and understand what we read is an important skill to learn and to teach our children.  And just as important as learning how to read is learning what to read.  Reading the scriptures regularly is crucial to developing and maintaining a testimony of the Savior and having it grow deep enough to sustain us.  It is often while reading the scriptures that the Spirit speaks to us and gives us the personal revelation we need to see things as they really are and so we won't be deceived. (Jacob 4:13)

". . . whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." (1 Nephi 15:24)

Oh how I love the scriptures!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thankfully God cannot lie

I was reading Enos a couple of days ago.  In response to Enos' mighty prayer and supplication, when he had cried all the day long and into the night, a voice came to him and assured him that his sins were forgiven.  I am always struck by the next verse when he says "I knew that God could not lie; wherefore my guilt was swept away."

Knowing that God never lies and knowing that all that God speaks will come to pass and all of His promises are sure is the reason it is possible to have faith in Him.  We can confidently place our trust in all that He says and with certainty choose how to act because we know that He cannot and will not ever lie.

This is a  quality that we can and must develop as well.  It is part of our work in this life as we strive to develop Christlike qualities and strive to be like Him.  Can our words be trusted to be truthful?  Do we do what we say we will do? Can our friends and our children act in faith based on what we say?  This characteristic is one huge difference between God and Satan!

In the book of Omni we see evidence of this characteristic.  In verse 5 Amaron says that the more wicked part of the Nephites had been destroyed.  And in verse 6 he says "For the Lord would not suffer, . . . yea, he would not suffer that the words should not be verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: 'Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall not prosper in the land.'"

Joseph Smith taught in Lectures on Faith 4:16 "And lastly, but not less important to the exercise of faith in God, is the idea of the existence of the attribute truth in him; for without the idea of the existence of this attribute the mind of man could have nothing upon which it could rest with certainty - all would be confusion and doubt.  But with the idea of the existence of this attribute in the Deity in the mind, all the teachings, instructions, promises, and blessings, become realities, and the mind is enabled to lay hold of them with certainty and confidence, believing that these things, and all that the Lord has said, shall be fulfilled in their time; and that all the cursings, denunciations, and judgments, pronounced upon the heads of the unrighteous, will also be executed in the due time of the Lord: and by reason of the truth and veracity of him, the mind beholds its deliverance and salvation as being certain."