Thursday, April 30, 2020

Zeniff’s Lost People (Mosiah 7-11)


Backstory Summary:

Earlier in the reign of King Benjamin, a group of Nephites wanted to return to the Land of Nephi from the Land of Zarahemla, where the Nephites had lived for the first 300 or so years of their colonization of the Americas (see Omni 1:27-30).  The Lamanites had taken over that land and Zeniff, the Nephite leader, made a treaty with the Lamanite King for some land, in return for which they would pay tribute to the Lamanites (see Mosiah 7:21-22).  The Lamanites wanted to enslave the Nephites and profit from their industry, so they broke the treaty and attacked them twice (Mosiah 9:14 and Mosiah 10:8).  Zeniff and the Nephites prayed and defeated the Lamanites both times (Mosiah 9:18 and Mosiah 10:19-20).  King Zeniff died and conferred the kingdom upon his son, Noah.  But King Noah was wicked and did not walk in the ways of his father (Mosiah 11:1-2). 

The account starts in chapter 7 at the time of King Mosiah II’s ascent to the throne with a scouting party from Zarahemla, led by Ammon I, which finds the descendants of Zeniff’s lost people, now led by King Limhi, the son of Noah and grandson of Zeniff.  By this time, the people were in bondage to the Lamanites.  Limhi is overjoyed to hear that the main group of Nephites are still alive and he wants to lead his people back to the Land of Zarahemla to reunite with them.  Previously, Limhi had sent a scouting party out to try and locate Zarahemla.  While they did not find that land, they did find a land of bones and a record on gold plates.


A Seer:

READ Mosiah 8:5-9
Whose record did they find recorded on the 24 gold plates?
The record of the Jaredites (see Mosiah 28:11-17; Ether 1:1-2).

READ Mosiah 8:12, 19
What information and “mysteries” are on these plates?
There is a record of the people who were destroyed (see the Book of Ether).
But the greater part of the record is the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon which Moroni summarized, which contains Mahonri’s vision of all things – the history of the earth from the beginning to the end (see Ether 3:25-26).

READ Mosiah 8:13
What does a seer do?
See.
They have vision and can see hidden things.
They see the truth – things as they are, were and will be.
They see beyond the veil.
They can translate records.
What is the opposite of the visionary seer?
Those who are blind – they cannot see.
They are blind in their minds (see 1 Nephi 14:7; Jarom 1:3; Alma 13:4; Alma 14:6; 3 Nephi 7:16; Ether 4:15; Ether 15:9).
They are blind in their hearts (see D&C 58:15; Ephesians 4:8).
So, why can’t the blind “see”?
Spiritual blindness is a voluntary condition (see 2 Nephi 9:32) – they “will not see” rather than “cannot see”.
They refuse to receive what has been made available to them – the “gift from God”.
Seers choose to be seers in that they choose to see with their minds and hearts – they live higher principles and are filled with light as a result – light is what helps people to see in the physical world and in the spiritual realm.  Seers “climb” to the “high places” or “mountain tops” from where they see the visions of eternity through choosing to be obedient to their Lord and moving from a small capacity to a great one.
What does Ammon teach Limhi regarding how a seer “sees”?
They have “wherewith that he can look” – they have tools that enable them to see.
Examples include a Urim and Thummim, used by Mosiah, Joseph Smith, Mormon, Moroni, Abraham (see Abraham 3:1), and Moses (Leviticus 8:8), a seer stone (Joseph Smith), a divining rod (Aaron – Exodus 7-8; Numbers 17, 20:8; Oliver Cowdery – D&C 8:6-8), and a silver cup (Joseph of Egypt – Genesis 44:2, 5).
When anyone has possession of such an instrument, they are a seer by definition, as the instrument itself allows the possessor to see the past, present and future.
Does a seer need a device to enable them to see?
No – the instrument is an enabler but is not required.
Seers who did not use tools included Jesus Christ, Enoch (see Moses 6:35-36), Isaiah, Nephi I (1 Nephi 11-14), Daniel (Daniel 2, 10).
What is the difference between a seer’s tool and a crystal ball or other “magic” device?
The Lord must command the seer to look into the tool – otherwise he might look for that which he ought not and should perish – which may or may not include immediate physical death.
Any other tool for “seeing”, which is not governed by the Lord, is not guaranteed to show the “seer” truth, because it is not of God, who is a God of truth, although it may “work” or show them something .

READ Mosiah 8:14-16
How is a seer a revelator and a prophet also?
One who “sees” the truth can also reveal it or prophesy of it, if commanded (see Jeremiah 23:28; Alma 12:9) – if you find a seer, you have found a prophet and a revelator.

READ Mosiah 8:17-18
What does a seer see?
Things which are past, things which are to come.
Hidden and secret things from the present.
All things.
Seers see the truth – things as they really are, were and are to come (see D&C 93:24).
What is implied by the fact that without revelation there are things “which otherwise could not be known”?
Divine knowledge does not come through scholarship.
There is information beyond the human capacity to gain, no matter how long the effort, how sensitive the scientific tools, or how smart the person seeking it.
Some things are not within human comprehension without divine intervention, i.e. direct revelation and quickening (see D&C 76:116).
It requires faith to receive this higher knowledge from God (see D&C 88:118).
We can only receive some things directly from God through revelation – some things can be learned but cannot be taught by men (see TPJS 365:1).
What is the relationship between the office of Apostle, the titles of “Prophet, Seer and Revelator” and the gifts of prophesy, seership, and revelation?
Inside the Church the current interpretation is that the “office” has associated with it a “title” set out in scripture.  The “office” of the President of the High Priesthood (see D&C 107:65-66), who is the President of the Church, also bears the “title” of “prophet, seer and revelator” (D&C 017:91-92). 
The current interpretation of these verses is that the possessor of the office is entitled to the title of “prophet, seer and revelator” by virtue of office alone.  Therefore, nothing more is needed in current church usage other than possession of the office, which alone gives the possessor of the office the title accorded to the office.  So, no, our current Church terminology does not require something other than office to have these titles.
This means that you can sustain a man in his office with the title of “prophet, seer and revelator” without having to swear an oath that you “know” or even believe that they actually possess the spiritual gifts of prophesy, seership and revelation; on the flip side, they do not have to have these gifts to be called by the titles, as long as they have been sustained in the office of Apostle, so if you are expecting them to demonstrate these gifts of the spirit, you may be disappointed; but worse for them would be if they inferred actual prophesy when there was none (see Jeremiah 23:16-17, 21-23, 30-32).
The titles and the gifts of prophesy, seership and revelation are not the same thing; the gifts are “gifts of the spirit” and are connected to the powers of heaven, which can only be handled or controlled based on the principles of righteousness, regardless of whether they are bestowed upon us as a title or not (see D&C 121:36-37) – it is similar to the discussion of the “authority of the priesthood” which is placed by ordination and the laying on of hands vs. the “power of the priesthood” which requires a connection directly to heaven .
But one must ask themselves, what benefit to one’s fellow beings is it for a person to hold the title of prophet, seer and revelator and yet not possess the spiritual gifts that allow them to actually prophesy, see and reveal the truth?


The Wickedness of King Noah

“The church is prospering and succeeding. All the church’s efforts meet with success, the leaders are respected and loved, and the religion is popular and accepted. The people are faithfully living their leaders' teachings that tell them of their relationship with God, and the responsibilities they must live up to as His chosen people. They are busy doing all that is asked of them. Your tithes are being put to good use; the building program has produced many beautiful and impressive buildings, including a new conference center, office tower, and a gorgeous temple. Prior attacks by those not of your faith have been put to rest, and you can live and practice your religion in peace, without fear of persecution. All is well in Zion. Yea, Zion prospereth.  Then in the midst of this comfortable prosperity, out of nowhere, a crazy man begins to publicly level accusations against your church. He says that you are not chosen, but are instead horribly wicked. He tells you your religion is an abomination and threatens that terrible destruction is coming if you don’t repent. What’s worse, he begins attacking your leaders as being corrupt, greedy, ignorant, and uninspired. The man who makes such accusations has no authority, title or office. He’s a “nobody,” neither known nor respected in the church. He’s so deluded he actually claims God talks to him and tells him to say all these horrible, unkind, and hurtful things about your church and its leadership.  Of course, he is wrong. All the evidence shows that God is pleased with your church and pouring out His choicest blessings on the leadership. Anybody can see that. Consequently, many are hurt and angered by this man. They feel threatened. They fear him and his message. Oh, sure, he preaches about God, but he obviously has no idea that a loving God would never say such things and cause such pain. The God that you know delights to pour out blessings, not destruction. He rewards you for proper behavior, rather than punishing you for error. He raises up chosen leaders to show you the right way, and would never allow them to lead you astray. Why would God ever let his church fall into corruption?  The crazy man is deluded, and easily dismissed. Efforts to ignore him ensue, though he just won’t shut up. Ultimately, as one who may potentially mislead, and even eternally damage those who listen to him, he must be stopped in any way possible. He’s threatening the peace and stirring up unrest. Isn’t it better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief? Unfortunately, efforts to arrest and punish him for his crimes fail, as he gets wind of what’s coming and leaves the country. He makes a clean getaway, and is safe…” 

READ Mosiah 11:1
Why do the scriptures use the metaphor of walking a road or  path or “way” for being obedient?
Obedience is displayed in the face of opposing enticements and a law or standard of behavior (a “right” way of being), which in the case of eternal law, is a way of being that fills one with light, spirit, intelligence, truth, glory and happiness.
Obedience is a choice that is made in a moment in time through the use of agency (see Alma 13:3-5) but as we all must grow from a small capacity to a great one (see TPJS 391:2), not possessing a fullness of light and truth at the beginning (see D&C 93:12-14), means we must continue to be obedient to the light we have and then seek for more and in turn be obedient to that new knowledge.
This movement from grace to grace, from eternity to eternity, is a journey made down a “road” or “way” over time or “times” or lives (see D&C 130:18-21; D&C 132:21-25; TPJS 390-393); it is not all to be understood or accomplished in this life, as we have to ascend on “Jacob’s Ladder” one rung at a time.

READ Mosiah 11:2-8
Contrast King Noah’s “walk” with that of King Benjamin’s – what are the key differences?
Noah did not keep the commandments of God while Benjamin was receiving the ministering of angels.
Noah walked after the desires of his own heart while Benjamin had offered the sacrifice of his broken heart to the Lord and covenanted to walk in His way.
Noah flattered the people with praise while Benjamin told them they were unprofitable servants and less than the dust of the earth.
Noah brought his people down into sin and abomination by making them feel great about themselves while Benjamin raised his people to salvation by showing them their fallen and awful state.
Noah taxed his people (v3) to support his lifestyle while Benjamin labored with his own hands for his livelihood.
Despite imposing a 20% flat tax and requiring much more labor, how does Noah win over the hearts of the people?
He flatters them with praise – “you are industrious; you are a rich and successful people; you are unbeatable in war; and all these things demonstrate that you are blessed by God”.
He builds beautiful public buildings and churches to demonstrate their success as a society.
He encourages them to participate in immorality, which they enjoy.
How does idolatry result from flattery?
People are drawn to others that make them feel good about themselves.
Flattery is a great way to make others feel good about themselves.
The individual who makes a lot of people feel good about themselves builds great regard with and a following among those people.
People prefer to be flattered by others that they regard as credible and successful – more so than themselves, as it gives credence to the flattering words, so there is a natural desire from the one being flattered for the flatterer to be someone worth idolizing.
All of this is a self-fulfilling prophesy which results in idolatry or worship of the man or woman doing the flattering – it is a “win-win” for both parties – but it is all built on a lie (the flattery) and on deception (the flatterer is trying to gain power).

READ Mosiah 11:10-11
Why does Noah spend money on a fine temple if he doesn’t keep God’s commandments?
He knows that a religion that makes you feel good about yourself is a powerful tool – it brings people together, it placates their guilt, it makes them feel like good people.
Religion is a great way to exercise control over people – they are concerned about their souls in eternity and blessings now.
Elevating priestly office in the eyes of the people through beautiful buildings, “chief seats”, and the ability to speak to the people “lying and vain words” on a regular basis is key to retaining control – there are many subliminal messages that are given: priests are better (more righteous, smarter, blessed by God) than you, so you better listen to them!  And when those words are flattery – it’s a “win-win” and the people will support the priests in anything they’d like to do – whatever prophetic prerogatives they would like to accomplish.

READ Mosiah 11:16-19
What is the difference between Noah’s armies and Captain Moroni’s?
While both fought a reactive, defensive war (i.e. the Lamanites attacked them first and were unprovoked), and were defending their countries (religion, freedom, peace, families – see Alma 46:12)…
Noah’s armies delighted in killing and boasted in their own strength while Captain Moroni’s armies were not “men of blood” (see Alma 44:1) and trusted in the Lord to deliver them (see Alma 56:46-47).

READ Mosiah 12:8
Why is it important in the latter days for us to know of the wickedness of Noah’s people?
Because we may suffer from the same sins (we are “men of blood”, love to idolize men, equate material success with God’s blessing for righteous living, mask religious abominations with beautiful temples, etc.).
And we may suffer the same outcome if we do not listen to unlikely sources who are actually sent from the Lord, like Abinadi was – and repent ourselves.
Mormon and Moroni saw our day and included what they included from 1000 years of history for us and the Remnant to learn from.


The Ministry of Abinadi

READ Mosiah 11:20
Where did Abinadi come from?
He was one of the subjects of King Noah (“a man among them”).
He was a total unknown – he was not one of Noah’s inner circle but he was not one of Zeniff’s priests, either.
There is no mention of family or anything about him.
We have no way of knowing if he was a Nephite, Lamanite or from a people that was already living in the vicinity – but he does know the Hebrew scriptures.
Why does Abinadi say “thus sayeth the Lord” and what does that imply?
What he is about to say is a direct quote from the Lord.
Abinadi is not on his own errand but has been sent with a specific message to deliver, in fact, he was commanded to deliver it.
The Lord spoke with Abinadi directly and gave him this message.
True messengers have messages from God – they are not “freelancing”, however well intentioned, and giving their own guidance, no matter how inspired.

READ Mosiah 11:21
What is the only way Noah’s people can avoid being enslaved by the Lamanites and why would the Lord “enforce righteousness” in them instead of honoring their agency?
They must repent to avoid being enslaved.
He’s not forcing them – He is telling Noah that He has been protecting his people but will no longer do so but will let the natural order take its place (bigger armies beat small armies, unless they have way better technology – which they haven’t, or strength – which they don’t, or intelligence – all they have is a high tower, or are protected by the Lord – which is what they will be losing).
They still have their agency but the Lord is telling them what the consequence will be of casting away the Lord’s protection through an unwillingness to repent.

READ Mosiah 11:22-24
How will the people know that the Lord is their God?
By His absence.
They will realize all of the grace He was extending to them and the power He had to protect them when He steps aside.
And by the fact that they will not be able to rescue themselves from bondage – only the Lord will be able to do that.
He will wait until the people have really repented, so that they will know that it is by Him that they are saved, not by their own strength – He’s not slow to hear their cries because He is trying to punish them or is passive-aggressive, but for their own good (see Alma 34:31 and Mosiah 2:24 for how quickly the Lord will forgive or bless His people as they come unto Him in meekness).

READ Mosiah 11:25
What does it mean to “repent in sackcloth and ashes”?
Sackcloth was a very course material usually made of black goat’s hair and was uncomfortable to wear.
Ashes signified desolation and ruin; the individual would sit in the ashes and put them on top of their head.
Sackcloth and ashes were used as an outward sign of one’s inward condition – a symbol of godly sorrow and a change of heart.
It showed the sincerity of one’s grief for sin and humble repentance.
It was the Lord’s duty to remove the sackcloth and clothe the person in “joy” through forgiveness of sin, if the repentance was acceptable to the Lord (see Psalm 30:11).

READ Mosiah 11:26
How did the people react to Abinadi’s message of destruction, coming so soon after their decisive victory over the Lamanites?
They refused to believe it – they hardened their hearts to the message.
But not only that, their disbelief almost immediately turns to violence toward the messenger.

READ Mosiah 11:27
What is Noah implying about Abinadi when he says “who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him”?
Abinadi holds no position or credibility among the people – socially, economically, or politically.
Abinadi has no religious authority with which to rightfully cast this judgment at Noah.
How can we make sense of Noah’s question about the Lord – does he really not know who God is?
He doesn’t really believe in God, or he wouldn’t be acting the way he is or changing the doctrine and ordinances to support his immorality.
Or if he somehow believes in God, he believes that God either can’t be bothered or has not the power to intercede in the lives of his people in such an intimate (and destructive) way.
Or he is casting aspersions at the God Abinadi has been preaching about or has been sent from, saying in effect, “the God I worship would never treat us the way you say God will treat us, thus your God is false – who is He?  He doesn’t exist”.
But no, Noah definitely does not KNOW the Lord!  God is far from the thoughts and intents of Noah’s heart (see Mosiah 5:13).

READ Mosiah 11:28-29
How is Abinadi’s message stirring up the people to contend with anger with each other?
The wicked take the truth to be hard – they react in anger.
It sounds like some were open enough to Abinadi’s message to use it or parts of it to debate or contend with each other.
The fact that this was being done “in anger” shows how far they have to go to come unto Christ.
Although it was the Lord who told them He would visit them in anger – which could mean “to obtain satisfaction from the offending party, to take vengeance, to press, squeeze, make narrow or strangle” (1828 Webster’s Dictionary).
Why do you think the Lord sends Abinadi at a time when, in Noah and his people’s eyes, everything is going so well – economically, socially, and militarily?
Because things are not going so well spiritually.
But they are practicing religious abominations – in other words, they think or pretend to be worshipping appropriately but they are not (they have adopted Solomon’s polygamy, for instance).
Who blinded the eyes of the people so that they could not “see”?
They blinded their own eyes through their disobedience to God’s commandments – they are filled with darkness instead of light by their own doing.
What results from being blind?
A hard heart against the word of the Lord.
An unwillingness to repent.
An inability to see the truth – things as they really are.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Zeniff’s Lost People (Mosiah 7-11) QUESTIONS

Backstory Summary:

Earlier in the reign of King Benjamin, a group of Nephites wanted to return to the Land of Nephi from the Land of Zarahemla, where the Nephites had lived for the first 300 or so years of their colonization of the Americas (see Omni 1:27-30).  The Lamanites had taken over that land and Zeniff, the Nephite leader, made a treaty with the Lamanite King for some land, in return for which they would pay tribute to the Lamanites (see Mosiah 7:21-22).  The Lamanites wanted to enslave the Nephites and profit from their industry, so they broke the treaty and attacked them twice (Mosiah 9:14 and Mosiah 10:8).  Zeniff and the Nephites prayed and defeated the Lamanites both times (Mosiah 9:18 and Mosiah 10:19-20).  King Zeniff died and conferred the kingdom upon his son, Noah.  But King Noah was wicked and did not walk in the ways of his father (Mosiah 11:1-2).  

The account starts in chapter 7 at the time of King Mosiah II’s ascent to the throne with a scouting party from Zarahemla, led by Ammon I, which finds the descendants of Zeniff’s lost people, now led by King Limhi, the son of Noah and grandson of Zeniff.  By this time, the people were in bondage to the Lamanites.  Limhi is overjoyed to hear that the main group of Nephites are still alive and he wants to lead his people back to the Land of Zarahemla to reunite with them.  Previously, Limhi had sent a scouting party out to try and locate Zarahemla.  While they did not find that land, they did find a land of bones and a record on gold plates.


A Seer:

READ Mosiah 8:5-9
Whose record did they find recorded on the 24 gold plates?

READ Mosiah 8:12, 19
What information and “mysteries” are on these plates?

READ Mosiah 8:13
What does a seer do?
What is the opposite of the visionary seer?
So, why can’t the blind “see”?
What does Ammon teach Limhi regarding how a seer “sees”?
Does a seer need a device to enable them to see?
What is the difference between a seer’s tool and a crystal ball or other “magic” device?

READ Mosiah 8:14-16
How is a seer a revelator and a prophet also?

READ Mosiah 8:17-18
What does a seer see?
What is implied by the fact that without revelation there are things “which otherwise could not be known”?
What is the relationship between the office of Apostle, the titles of “Prophet, Seer and Revelator” and the gifts of prophesy, seership, and revelation?


The Wickedness of King Noah 

“The church is prospering and succeeding. All the church’s efforts meet with success, the leaders are respected and loved, and the religion is popular and accepted. The people are faithfully living their leaders' teachings that tell them of their relationship with God, and the responsibilities they must live up to as His chosen people. They are busy doing all that is asked of them. Your tithes are being put to good use; the building program has produced many beautiful and impressive buildings, including a new conference center, office tower, and a gorgeous temple. Prior attacks by those not of your faith have been put to rest, and you can live and practice your religion in peace, without fear of persecution. All is well in Zion. Yea, Zion prospereth.  Then in the midst of this comfortable prosperity, out of nowhere, a crazy man begins to publicly level accusations against your church. He says that you are not chosen, but are instead horribly wicked. He tells you your religion is an abomination and threatens that terrible destruction is coming if you don’t repent. What’s worse, he begins attacking your leaders as being corrupt, greedy, ignorant, and uninspired. The man who makes such accusations has no authority, title or office. He’s a “nobody,” neither known nor respected in the church. He’s so deluded he actually claims God talks to him and tells him to say all these horrible, unkind, and hurtful things about your church and its leadership.  Of course, he is wrong. All the evidence shows that God is pleased with your church and pouring out His choicest blessings on the leadership. Anybody can see that. Consequently, many are hurt and angered by this man. They feel threatened. They fear him and his message. Oh, sure, he preaches about God, but he obviously has no idea that a loving God would never say such things and cause such pain. The God that you know delights to pour out blessings, not destruction. He rewards you for proper behavior, rather than punishing you for error. He raises up chosen leaders to show you the right way, and would never allow them to lead you astray. Why would God ever let his church fall into corruption? The crazy man is deluded, and easily dismissed. Efforts to ignore him ensue, though he just won’t shut up. Ultimately, as one who may potentially mislead, and even eternally damage those who listen to him, he must be stopped in any way possible. He’s threatening the peace and stirring up unrest. Isn’t it better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief? Unfortunately, efforts to arrest and punish him for his crimes fail, as he gets wind of what’s coming and leaves the country. He makes a clean getaway, and is safe…” 

READ Mosiah 11:1
Why do the scriptures use the metaphor of walking a road or  path or “way” for being obedient?

READ Mosiah 11:2-8
Contrast King Noah’s “walk” with that of King Benjamin’s – what are the key differences?
Despite imposing a 20% flat tax and requiring much more labor, how does Noah win over the hearts of the people?
How does idolatry result from flattery?

READ Mosiah 11:10-11
Why does Noah spend money on a fine temple if he doesn’t keep God’s commandments?

READ Mosiah 11:16-19
What is the difference between Noah’s armies and Captain Moroni’s?

READ Mosiah 12:8
Why is it important in the latter days for us to know of the wickedness of Noah’s people?


The Ministry of Abinadi

READ Mosiah 11:20
Where did Abinadi come from?
Why does Abinadi say “thus sayeth the Lord” and what does that imply?

READ Mosiah 11:21
What is the only way Noah’s people can avoid being enslaved by the Lamanites and why would the Lord “enforce righteousness” in them instead of honoring their agency?

READ Mosiah 11:22-24
How will the people know that the Lord is their God?

READ Mosiah 11:25
What does it mean to “repent in sackcloth and ashes”?

READ Mosiah 11:26
How did the people react to Abinadi’s message of destruction, coming so soon after their decisive victory over the Lamanites?

READ Mosiah 11:27
What is Noah implying about Abinadi when he says “who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him”?
How can we make sense of Noah’s question about the Lord – does he really not know who God is?

READ Mosiah 11:28-29
How is Abinadi’s message stirring up the people to contend with anger with each other?
Why do you think the Lord sends Abinadi at a time when, in Noah and his people’s eyes, everything is going so well – economically, socially, and militarily?
Who blinded the eyes of the people so that they could not “see”?
What results from being blind?

Friday, April 24, 2020

A Mighty Change of Heart (Mosiah 4-6)

Obtaining a Remission of Sins Through the Birth of the Spirit

READ Mosiah 4:1
Why does it require this message from the angel (see Mosiah 2-3) to produce this result – why is it necessary to tell them of eternal suffering rather than telling them they are God’s chosen and elect?
·       In our pride we assume that “chosen and elect” means “much better than” instead of “servant to”
·       Unless we have experienced the Fullness of the Gospel (i.e. Sealed up to eternal life by the Father) we still have need of repentance and the probation continues  (See D&C 93:19-20)
·       The wicked take the truth (this truth) to be hard: “repent and come unto Christ or suffer the eternal consequences” and “that means YOU!  You have great need of repentance”; and remember, unless we’ve been sealed up, we are all “wicked”
·       We must awake to our awful state and receive the gift of Godly sorrow, which is a clear understanding of our need for Christ, or we will not be willing to sacrifice what is required in repentance: our whole souls
·       Teaching the consequences of neglecting to repent is the shock therapy needed many times to “awaken” the individual (see Mosiah 3:3) if the “glad tidings of great joy” don’t do it
What was it about King Benjamin’s speech in Mosiah 3 that caused the “fear of the Lord” to come upon the people?
·       “Fear of Lord” = dread which connotes awe or reverence; fear in anticipation of something bad happening
·       Christ will come to earth to suffer, die and attain the resurrection so that a righteous judgement can come to mankind (v3-11)
·       The natural man is an enemy to God and will be unless he yields to the Holy Spirit, puts off the natural man and becomes like a child (v19)
·       Only children will be blameless (v20-21)
·       The people are not blameless and the just punishment is terrible – to drink out of the cup of the wrath of God, as Christ did (v22-27; also D&C 19:15-20)
Why do the people fear this message if they “have been diligent people in keeping the commandments of the Lord” (see Mosiah 1:11)?
·       While they might be “good people” or do much good and try very hard to keep the commandments…
·       They are not blameless (see Mosiah 3:22-27)
·       So, there is more required to take upon you the Name of Christ then just commandment keeping

READ Mosiah 4:2
To what are the people responding when they all cry out?
·       The combination of:
·       Truly viewing themselves as they really are – in a carnal state, despite seeking diligently to keep the commandments;
·       And understanding that such a one cannot abide the presence of God in any degree 
How does one come to “view themselves in their own carnal state” and what does that mean?
·       Carnal = in its natural, unregenerative state (1828 Webster’s Dictionary)
·       Viewing yourself in this way is a spiritual gift, the gift of godly sorrow - to see yourself as God sees you: fallen, lost, carnal, which is your true standing before God
·       Seeing yourself as you truly are in the context of the predicament in which you find yourself (godly sorrow) leads you to understand your absolute need for Him
·       Implied is that under normal circumstances, we don’t realize the state we are in – we have to come to view ourselves in it by revelation from God, otherwise it doesn’t occur to us; fish discover water last
Why would “diligent commandment keepers” see themselves “less than the dust of the earth”?
·       They finally “see” through the Spirit what Benjamin was trying to teach them (see Mosiah 2:20-25) – that the dust obeys its creator but mankind (and you, specifically) will not (see Helaman 12:6-17)
·       While they may be “trying to diligently keep the commandments,” they are not as obedient as the other elements, like the dust
·       In an interesting paradox, being a “diligent commandment keeper” can either prepare a person to have this kind of realization of their standing before God (they are born again to “see” – John 3:3) because their obedience has filled them with light and their hearts are turned to Christ (humble and childlike – and able to hear God and identify His voice) OR if they focus completely on outward performances (works), they will think themselves pretty righteous people (prideful and full of their own “knowledge”, which is scholarly not experiential by definition, because the heavens are actually closed to them (see D&C 121:34-40) and they think in their “commandment keeping” that they have no need to repent – at least not to this level
Why would a loving God ever want His children to experience this kind of devastating, self-esteem destroying insight?
·       The natural man must be “put off” or “crucified” in sacrifice
·       While God is the father of our spirits, we are spiritually still-born in our “natural” or carnal condition – we need to be “begotten” and “born again” spiritually or we will not become “Sons and Daughters of God” 
·       He wants us to experience this because He loves us and wants us to be saved – and this is the first step in the Way
What do the people ask for and how is it related to being diligent in keeping the commandments?
·       Mercy – they don’t want what’s coming to them (see Mosiah 3:22-27)
·       Grace – apply the atoning blood of Christ, a blessing they don’t deserve, as they are unprofitable servants, less than the dust of the earth
·       Forgiveness – they acknowledge their total failure to keep the commandments (regardless of “diligently” trying), now that they “see” the standard against which they will be judged in the context of Eternal Law (see LoF 7:9, 15-16)
·       Sanctification – that their hearts might be purified and receive a mighty change and be filled with light/glory/intelligence/spirit that they might become “precisely” like (or more like – progressing from a small capacity to a great one until they themselves attain to the resurrection of the dead and can dwell in eternal burning – see TPJS 391:2) their just and holy Lord, the prototype of the saved being (see LoF 7:9, 15-16)
·       And it is all through their faith in Christ, who they have learned about and (hopefully) drawn closer to by attempting to do His works as they were diligently trying to keep His commandments; now that they truly see their awful state, they turn to Christ in faith that He is the only one who can save them now.  They “cry” unto God for His son’s grace – with their whole souls they cry!
What is the significance in the titles for Christ they use (Son of God, Creator, Anointed One)?
·       They realize their indebtedness to Christ, who “owns” (created) the elements they are using in this earthly probation and whose Spirit is keeping them alive from moment to moment
·       And they acknowledge the great condescension He must perform to come down to earth (formerly a God in heaven) to be tabernacled in a mortal body in order to save them all

READ Mosiah 4:3
What has to happen to the people before the Spirit comes upon them in power?
·       They must cry out to the Lord for mercy through the atonement
·       God honors our agency by requiring that we ask for blessings, rather than foisting them upon us
·       To activate a covenant and receive the promised blessings, we must be compliant with the law that governs that blessing – in the case of a covenant, the terms of that covenant (see D&C 130:20-21); which in this case is the offering of our whole souls or a broken heart and contrite spirit (see Omni 1:26; 3 Nephi 9:19-20)
What does the Spirit do when it descends upon the people?
·       It is the vehicle through which their sins are remitted 
·       Their spirits are purged or purified – they are “quickened”; they are not just declared forgiven but the Holy Spirit actually affects the “DNA” of their spirits, as fire does to metal or pressure to coal
·       As a result of which they are filled with joy and peace of conscience – their guilt for sin is swept away because they’ve become actual new creatures, spiritually
What might we call this experience?
·       The baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost (see 3 Nephi 12:1)
·       The birth of the Spirit (see Alma 36:24)
·       Being born again (see John 3:5)
·       Entering in by the Gate (see 2 Nephi 31:17-18)

READ Mosiah 3:4-5
Why does Benjamin seem to glory in the destruction of the peoples’ “positive self-image” by rubbing it in?
·       It is a lie that needs to be debunked
·       It is essential that they see life (specifically their standing before the Lord and the state it puts them in) as it truly is, that they wake up to the reality of their situation – which is that anyone less than or different from Christ cannot be saved (see LoF 7:9, 15-16) – and they are less than or different from Him
·       Because their positive self-image is false – they are unprofitable servants
·       A positive self-image can have an insidious side-effect: it may convince the individual that they don’t need to repent and change as they are already good enough (especially when compared to peers) and especially that they don’t have to sacrifice their whole souls – maybe just a few “last” sins

READ Mosiah 4:6-7
What must we know if we are to be the person “who receiveth salvation”?
·       God’s goodness
·       His matchless power
·       His wisdom
·       His patience
·       His long-suffering
·       His Atonement, which He prepared from the foundation of the world
What does a personal knowledge of these six things enable?
·       Truly putting your trust (faith) in the Lord
·       Diligence in keeping the commandments
·       Abiding in covenant from now to the end of your life
·       …Which are the only conditions whereby mankind can be saved
What is the difference between being “diligent in keeping His commandments” post-birth of the Spirit vs prior to this event (see Mosiah 1:11)?
·       Best case scenario, diligent commandment keeping pre-birth of the Spirit is done out of a desire to come unto Christ and experience the birth of the Spirit – it is doing the best one can with the light one has; it is the “seekers offering”
·       However, diligent commandment keeping before receiving the birth of the Spirit can also be seen as either 1) an end in and of itself (a requirement of salvation), or 2) a way to “earn” Christ’s grace (the idea that grace kicks in after a certain threshold of righteousness has been achieved)
·       Diligent commandment keeping afterward happens because you love your Lord (see John 14:15-24), as you know to a much greater degree what He has done for you and your need for it, and you love Him for it

READ Mosiah 4:8
These (v6) are the only conditions for salvation – so what about repentance and baptism?
·       Trusting in the Lord, loving Him (being diligent in keeping His commandments), and continuing in the faith (“covenant” not “religion”) are the “conditions” under which the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, and the baptisms) can save you
·       These conditions enable the Doctrine of Christ to work in you – as the birth of the Spirit which demonstrates proof to each of them that their sacrifice has been accepted by God – only He will baptize you with fire, though (see 3 Nephi 12:1)
·       But there is nothing more than this – no other conditions for baptism!  No attestation that you believe an individual is a prophet or that you won’t drink wine in the sacrament or that one of your parents is in a homosexual relationship, etc.…


Retaining a Remission of Sin Through Charity

READ Mosiah 4:9-10
If the people had just received a remission of their sins, why is Benjamin telling them that if they believe in God they should “see that they do” repent, forsake their sins and humbly ask for forgiveness from God?
·       He is teaching them how to retain a remission of their sins for the rest of their lives (v12)
·       Entering the Gate through the birth of the Spirit is a real event that must take place, but it is just the first step on the path back to the “Tree” – they must “continue in the faith” which requires continuing to live in the mindset they are now in: acknowledging their need for God and indebtedness to Him and their need for on-going repentance over the course of their lives – and then actually repenting and becoming more like Christ
·       He’s saying “go forward and do these things” from here on out – it’s a lifestyle they must adopt – not a “one and done” proposition

READ Mosiah 4:11
Why is Mosiah essentially repeating the same thing 3 times?
·       “Three” is a significant “sealing” number – the number of the Godhead, Three Degrees of Glory, Mankind-Christ-the Father, etc.
·       He is testifying to them and to heaven that he understands that they say they now understand the following: they don’t merely know OF God’s glory but they have COME TO A KNOWLEDGE of it through firsthand experience with God; that they KNOW of their own nothingness and need for Christ; that they KNOW of their indebtedness to God; that they KNOW that they must stand steadfastly in this faith for the rest of their lives…
·       And their blood is no longer on his garments – he has accomplished the mission he was assigned by God: to teach these things with the tongue of angels such that all those who are prepared will hear it with the same Spirit and come to know God themselves!
What is Benjamin teaching us about the mindset in which we must live our daily lives in order to retain a remission of our sins and abide in the covenant we have made?
·       Always remember (in actual memory and the mindset which flows from it) and retain in remembrance (through ceremony):
·       The absolute need you have for God due to your nothingness,
·       Your indebtedness to Him for this probationary state, and
·       Your indebtedness to Him for His on-going blessings
·       … That you might humble yourselves to the depths
·       … So that you will always remember to call upon Him daily
·       … And exercise faith in the hope (promise) of Christ who is to come to you (both the Atonement of Christ and more personally, the Second Comforter)

READ Mosiah 4:12-16
Benjamin lists 7 things that the people will always do – but under what circumstances will they do them? 
·       It is a test of whether or not they have: a) truly made the covenant with Christ, or b) are still abiding in that covenant (“if you do this, ye shall always rejoice...” then he lists what you will do)
·       The logic of the test is: if you are doing what it takes to receive salvation, then you will also be doing or experiencing these things; so if you aren’t doing or experiencing these things, then you aren’t doing what it takes to receive salvation
·       Note, this list is not what is required of salvation but the things that come or flow naturally from one who is doing those things – (what is required for salvation is entering and then abiding in the covenant with Christ and the mindset of indebtedness, the humility, the repentance, and the faith that accompany it)
·       The list of 7 includes: always rejoice, be filled with the love of God, always retain a remission of sins, grow in knowledge of God’s glory, not have a mind to injure each other, teach your children to love, succor those in need
Is there a difference between “him that standeth in need” and the “beggar” who puts up his “petition” to you?
·       Yes – the beggar asks but the one in need may not ask
·       No – in that Benjamin makes it very clear that we are to succor both; implied is that even if the “beggar” who puts up his petition to you is not actually in need, you are still to succor him; this may be because we don’t know the real needs of a person and we’re not to judge anyway – we are to give and the Lord will sort out the rest

READ Mosiah 4:17-18
How might one judge the beggar?
·       He brought this misery upon himself
·       He’s going to use the money for alcohol, drugs or tobacco
·       He’s a con artist – he probably drives away in a BMW at the end of the day
What if the man really has brought upon himself his misery and you know it to be true?
·       It doesn’t matter – unless you repent of your judgement and selfishness you have no interest in the kingdom of God – judgement is for the Lord alone

READ Mosiah 4:19-22
Why would saying this about any beggar mean that we have no interest in the kingdom of God – what if I pay a generous fast offering every month?
·       If we have any ability to relieve the suffering of others at any time, we are to do it – we are to do our Master’s work so that we might be filled with the same love He is filled with, for how know we the Master we have not served or attempted to emulate His works (Mosiah 5:13)
·       Did Christ just suffer for those who He knew would come unto Him (His “seed”)?  No, He suffered an infinite and eternal suffering for all (see D&C 19:16)
·       While paying a generous fast offering is a commendable thing, it doesn’t excuse you from helping those in need that are right in front of you – who has the stewardship for your charitable deeds, a bishop in your ward or an institution (you have no say in where the money is spent after you have donated it) or you, with the influence of the Holy Spirit?
·       But the most foundational reason we would have no interest in the Kingdom of God is because by judging the beggar, we are activating the Eternal Law of Reciprocity – by the standard of judgement we judge, so are we also judged – and we will absolutely fail that judgement, as we are all beggars (3 Nephi 14:1-2)
Why must we “impart of our substance”?
·       Because the Father imparts of His substance to us and Eternal Law requires that if He who is indebted to no one imparts of His substance through His grace (it is a gift – He doesn’t owe it to anyone – it is “unfair” or “unjust” for Him to have to bless us but He does it regardless because of His love for us), then we, who are completely indebted to Him for everything, impart of ours, too
·       Because “our” substance isn’t really ours anyway, but God’s. We have NO GROUNDS from which to withhold God’s substance from others.
·       Because we have been asking for things we don’t begin to deserve (as unprofitable servants) and yet God has listened to our prayers and given us incredible blessings – spiritual gifts, in particular
Why does the verse say “substance” and not “wealth”?
·       God has given us everything – life, all temporal and spiritual blessings, love, His Spirit – “substance” is much more than our wealth (excess money) 
·       We must do likewise – money is just small part of what God would have us “impart” to each other

READ Mosiah 4:23-26
At what point can we deny the beggar because we cannot give to him – how little can we have?
·       If we have any ability to relieve the suffering of others, we must do it
·       Remember the widow’s mite – she “cast in ALL that she had, even all her living” (see Mark12:41-44)
·       Remember the widow of Zarephath – she had NO money, just enough ingredients to make one last meal for her son and her before they starved to death (see 1 Kings 17:9-16)
·       Remember Peter and John and the man born lame – they had no money but they offered the gift of healing (see Acts 3:1-8)
Notice the qualifier on our administrations to the needy – “according to their wants” – what does that mean?
·       Our goal is “no poor among us” because no one wants to be poor
·       We cannot impose our judgment upon them regarding what they “need” vs “want” because God says to cater to their wants, as He caters to ours – He has taken our ability to say “you don’t need that so I won’t provide it” off the table by saying “according to their wants” (see Matthew 14:7; John 15:16; Enos 1:15; Mosiah 4:21)
What is the Lord really trying to teach us when we happen upon a beggar? 
·       It is an exact microcosm of our relationship with Him
·       We ARE the beggar 
·       And we will be blessed and judged in the exact way in which we react to the beggar kneeling before us (see Matthew 25:37-40) 

READ Mosiah 4:27
What is Benjamin talking about doing in wisdom and order?
·       Not necessarily caring for the poor
·       He is talking about retaining a remission of your sins, which includes caring for the poor
·       Our spiritual development is not going to happen in a day – oil is added to lamps over a lifetime of “living and learning”
·       Wisdom and order requires us to take some thought and care to our spiritual development and relationship with Christ
·       Although we can offer our whole souls to Christ and receive the baptism of fire in a day (enter the Gate), many of our life’s problems did not develop overnight and so will not be overcome in a day, either (walking the path)
Why shouldn’t we try to run faster than we have strength – shouldn’t we plan on “sleeping when we’re dead” – we’re here to try and become exalted, right?
·       We can’t buy exaltation on a credit card – we can’t buy now what we can’t currently afford
·       Our job on earth is to lose ourselves for others’ sakes (see Matthew 16:25); it is to soften our hearts and offer our whole souls to God (see Omni 1:26 and 3 Nephi 9:19-20); it is to love as our Lord loves (see Moroni 7:47-48) and seek diligently to keep His commandments because we love Him (John 14:15-24)
·       Joseph Smith said that it will be a “great work to learn our salvation and exaltation beyond the grave” and that the principles of exaltation are learned “step by step” but it will be a “great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them” (see TPJS 392:2-393:1)
When is the battle waged?
·       In the moment; a few minutes at a time
·       Dwelling on past failings or obsessing about an uncertain future are both distractions the Adversary uses to get you from winning the only battle you can actually win on earth: will you live with love and grace now – this minute – in the present?
·       Enduring to the end happens in the moment – that’s why some Eastern meditation practices are centered on “mindfulness” and “being present”
·       It is about diligence or persistence from one moment to the next
When is the “prize” to be won?
·       First, there are multiple prizes
·       The prize to be accomplished here in this “estate” is to receive a promise of exaltation from Christ and the Father for some time in the future 
·       As Joseph Smith said, it is not all to be accomplished here in this mortal probation (see above TPJS quote)
·       Christ is our example and He did not have a “fullness” at first but progressed from grace to grace until He obtained a fullness (see D&C 93:8-20)
·       As Christ is the prototype of the saved being (see LoF 7:9, 15-16), we must follow His example if we are to gain eternal life, going from a small capacity to a great one, from exaltation to exaltation, until we also attain to the resurrection of the dead (see TPJS 391:2)

READ Mosiah 4:28-30
How many ways are there to get it wrong in life and how many ways are there to get it right?
·       Wrong = countless ways to sin
·       Right = one way, which is to come unto Christ and sacrifice your whole soul so that He might be able to save you from your sins and your sinfulness
How do you “watch yourselves” so much that you avoid “perishing”?
·       Remember to do all things in order, not running faster than you have strength
·       If you don’t know the errors you are committing, ask the Lord to reveal them to you and read the scriptures to help this process
·       Identify your main propensities for sin and begin there
·       “Bury your swords” or do whatever you can to shield yourself from temptation in those areas where you have propensities (see Alma 24:10-18)
·       “Keep the faith” or in other words, fill your life with light rather than focusing always on combating the darkness – keep the commandments so you will be filled with light; seek for answers, revelation, visions and knowledge; receive the ministry of angels (who will open the scriptures to you); obtain the gift of charity and lose your life in service to others
·       Ask “what lack I yet” and obey His voice in what He tells you, very specifically, to do (see Matthew 19:20 and D&C 93:1)


A Mighty Change and a New Name

READ Mosiah 5:1-2
How do the people know of the truth of Benjamin’s words with a surety?
·       Because each of them have received a mighty change of heart – something that they could not manufacture on their own
·       Spiritual knowledge is experiential – a change in the physical world has been made through spiritual means – God has reached through the veil and connected with them via His Spirit, filling them with a whole new level of light and knowledge that they’ve not experienced before in mortality (see Alma 38:6; Alma 36:26)
·       Watching these people over time will demonstrate that their hearts have been changed, their dispositions are different because they act fundamentally different
·       They are not the same men and women they were before – and there is no going back to that old state or neutral ground, they now know too much through their experiences
Who changed their hearts and what does this imply?
·       God changed them
·       They are “new creatures” filled with a “new spirit” – the natural man (and its spirit) is dead and gone
·       Implied is that they could not and would never be able to change their own hearts regardless of their faith or works (the labor of repentance, overcoming their own evil dispositions or sins through “white-knuckling it”, doing good deeds, etc.)
What does a “mighty change of heart” mean?
·       You have a new (holy) spirit within you (see Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Moses 6:61; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
·       Your mind is renewed (see Romans 12:1-2)
·       Your heart has been changed (see Alma 19:33) so that you have no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually (see Mosiah 4:13)
·       Your spirit is “quickened” with light such that your frequency is raised to be filled with more glory (see Moses 6:65-66; Alma 5:7)
·       You are released from the chains of hell and bands of death and freed from darkness (see Alma 5:7-14)
·       You begin to receive Christ’s image (light or glory) in your countenance or face (see Alma 5:14)
What is a “disposition to do good continually” and how can you say that you have that if you still sin?
·       Disposition = a natural state or constitution of the mind; an inclination or propensity; a frame of mind; a natural tendency (1828 Webster’s Dictionary)
·       With this disposition, one no longer tends to do evil naturally or without thinking about it
·       Your desire is to do good but the effects of the fall in the flesh sets up a battle royale within the individual and the spirit will not come out of it unscathed – our propensities for sin, physical and emotional trials, and other weaknesses (thorns in the flesh) are there for our good to humble us and always keep us relying on the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Helaman 12:27)
·       Having a disposition to hate sin and do good is like having a button that, if pushed, would prevent temptation and enable one to live perfectly – one having that disposition would push it immediately and never look back – they do not enjoy being tempted before saying “no” to it

READ Mosiah 5:3
What signs or “fruit” follow the birth of the Spirit?
·       Spiritual gifts like prophesy, casting out devils, speaking in tongues (see Mark 16:17; D&C 63:9-10; D&C 84:65-72)
·       They are the evidence that the individual is filled with a fundamentally higher level of light and that the association they now share with heaven (as light attracts light) results in an increase in  “supernatural” (through the veil) gifts and experiences 

READ Mosiah 5:4
What is the relationship between what a man can teach you and an experience like the birth of the Spirit which can only come from God?
·       A man can teach true principles that he receives from angels or God Himself – those true principles lead each individual who will follow them back to God themselves
·       The testimony of a man about the existence and character or attributes of God is necessary to sow the seed of faith within any rational being (see LoF 2:54-56)
·       God is hidden until He reveals Himself to man – mankind cannot find or figure out God on their own

READ Mosiah 5:5
What covenant have they made?
·       The baptismal covenant (see Moroni 4:3)
·       While they have most likely been baptized prior to this “birth of the Spirit” event, they had not fully lived the terms of the covenant sufficient to receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, until now
·       The baptism by fire or birth of the Spirit happens when the Lord accepts our part of the terms – the sacrifice of our whole souls or broken hearts and contrite spirits (see 3 Nephi 12:1; Omni 1:26; 3 Nephi 9:19-20; 3 Nephi 12:19; D&C 59:8)
Who makes the covenant?
·       God makes it – He offers the covenant to us
·       We can choose to accept it or not
·       Mankind cannot instigate covenants with God – all we can instigate on our own are vows to Him

READ Mosiah 5:6-8
What does it mean to be spiritually begotten by Christ?
·       To extend the family of God by adding new sons and daughters (see Jacob 5)
·       Only by connecting to Christ will we be able to qualify for what He, as our spiritual Father, has to offer
·       Christ, as our father, redeems us from our fallen state (see Ether 3:13) and changes our nature (see Mosiah 27:25-26)
·       We become Christ’s children – His “begotten” “sons” and “daughters” and Christ becomes our Father in Heaven (see Psalms 2:7) because He is also a God; it is to take Christ’s family name upon us through “legal” adoption into it
·       As we don’t forget our earthly fathers, we should always remember Him, that we may always have His spirit to be with us (see Moroni 4:3; Isaiah 49:14-16)
·       Implied is that over the course of the eternities, we likely have many “fathers” in heaven
Who is Christ to those who have become His sons and daughters?
·       He is their “head”
·       He is their Father (in Heaven)
·       Their God
When do King Benjamin’s people become Christ’s children and what is implied?
·       On “this day” or on a specific day through a specific covenant – a specific event is implied
·       Implied is that they were not Christ’s children before but were the “children of men” because we are “natural men” (see Mosiah 3:19)
Benjamin’s grammar makes being free and receiving salvation parallel – how do they mean the same thing?
·       Salvation is freedom from sin and death, which bind or constrain your eternal progress (i.e. damn or stop it)
·       Exaltation is not freedom to do whatever one wants without consequence, because God would cease to be God if He did not comply with Eternal Law (see Alma 42:13, 22, 25) but one is free to do the will of one’s Father in bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man by organizing spirits, creating worlds, and redeeming them

READ Mosiah 5:9-10
What does it mean to be called by the name of Christ or to take upon ourselves Christ’s name?
·       To have been adopted into Jesus Christ’s family through covenant, by virtue of His atonement – you are called by the Lord’s “family name” or “last name” at the last day - you become His literal spiritual son or daughter and by so doing you take upon yourself His name
·       Since the gospel covenant requires that we become one with the Lord, when Christ is called to walk through the gate of heaven, all those who are “one” with Him and “perfect in Christ” may also walk through, as He has declared us clean and paid an eternal price to redeem us
·       Christ means “anointed one” – we must also become anointed ones
How do you become an anointed one or “Christ”?
·       You must be decreed by Christ personally to be His child (see D&C 88:75 and Psalms 2:7) through legal adoptive covenant
·       You must do His works – He set the pattern and is our example; He is the prototype of the saved being – we must be precisely as He is and nothing else or we cannot be saved (see LoF 7:9, 15-16)
·       His anointing was to be the one to make the eternal sacrifice to save His creation and exalt all those who were depending on Him – all who would come unto Him in covenant; He attained to the resurrection so that He could seal all those that He would up to salvation and eternal life
·       An anointing with oil on the head (in a temple) is symbolic only – it is a sign that one has been anointed or called or set apart to serve and sacrifice – which is the way of or to salvation – to become as Christ is 
·       We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if we suffer with Him (see Romans 8:15-18)
·       It is vain for persons to fancy to themselves that they are heirs with those who have suffered their all in sacrifice… unless they in like manner offer the same sacrifice (see LoF 6:8, 12)
·       We must “learn to be Gods ourselves” – to “go from a small capacity to a great one, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until we also attain to the resurrection of the dead and can dwell in everlasting burnings” – “we must work out our own kingdom with fear and trembling (see D&C 19:18) and present it to our Father,” who is Christ if we come unto Him and take upon ourselves His name (see TPJS 390:1-393:1)
·       Christ is our example in all things and we must follow Him by doing His works and becoming a “Christ” – He would have us be perfect as He and His Father are perfect (see 3 Nephi 12:48) 
What other names might we be called by?
·       Satan – as one can become a child of Christ by covenanting with Him, one can also become a child of the devil (John 8:44) by covenanting with him and doing his will – although Satan doesn’t uphold his children at the last day as God does (2 Nephi 9:9; Alma 30:60)
·       Our own name – if you relied on the arm of your own flesh or chose to follow your own way
·       The name of a prophet or man that one relied upon for salvation or worshipped to some degree – even if they are saved themselves, they cannot save others, however (see D&C 76:98-101)

READ Mosiah 5:11
In the Church we usually hear the phrase “name be not blotted out” in the context of our names from the records of the Church if we transgress and do not repent; what does it mean to have Christ’s name blotted out of our hearts?
·       It is us that reject Christ – we pass judgment on Him – we refuse to let Him enter our hearts or be gathered under His wings; we seek to forget Him or “blot” Him out of our lives (see Isaiah 53:3; 1 Nephi 19:9; Revelation 3:20; Matthew 23:37)
·       He does not blot us out of His heart – He will not forget us - He is ever willing to take us in if we will come unto Him as the prodigal son did (see Isaiah 49:14-16; Luke 15:11-32; 3 Nephi 10:6; Alma 34:31)

READ Mosiah 5:12
What does it mean to retain the name of Christ written always in your hearts?
·       A mortal can only think about one thing at a time and the necessities of sustaining life require that many times the mind is forced to engage in thinking about more temporal matters
·       The heart doesn’t work the same way – the desires that one has shape, in many cases, what the mind thinks about or even the lens through which the mind thinks, so retaining or keeping the name of Christ always “written” in your heart should mean that the lens through which you see the world and think about it is completely Christ-centered
·       This will only happen to the degree that you have given your heart to Christ – you love Him with your whole soul – He is the desire of your heart
How does retaining the name in your heart enable you to hear and know Christ’s voice and the name He shall call you?
·       Christ’s voice is carried at a particular “frequency” which, although quiet, can pierce anyone (good or evil) to the core
·       But most of the time you must be “tuned” to the frequency to hear it well – this requires being filled with light sufficient to be near enough to Christ’s frequency to hear Him – otherwise the noise from the world and your own fears and desires drown out Christ’s voice
·       Having your heart centered on Christ or in other words, your love for Christ being your overriding priority or “desire of your heart” enables your spirit to be “tuned in” to Christ’s frequency better because you are seeking to do His will and are filled with more light by so doing – enabling you to hear His voice more clearly and know that it is Him and not the Adversary pretending to be Him

READ Mosiah 5:13-14
What kind of service brings you to a point that you KNOW your Master?
·       Taking up your “cross” and following Him by serving as He served and suffering the scorn of the world because of it (see Mark 8:39)
·       Living the principles of the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5-7; 3 Nephi 12-14), not in a self-righteous way (the proud hypocrite), but as the servant of others
·       As we begin to act like He did – forgiving those who harm us and do not ask for forgiveness, interceding on their behalf before God because we truly love them with charity – our countenance will begin to look more like His – more humble, contrite, obedient and filled with light than it is now
·       And as we do these things, and by so doing become these things, we will be “like Him, able to see Him how He is” because we have been purified even as He is pure, allowing the veil to be parted and we will be admitted into His presence to know Him personally (see Moroni 7:48)
Who do we belong to?
·       The Master we have served
·       If we are a stranger because we haven’t served Him and therefore don’t know Him, we will be cast out from His flock because we are not His
·       We will be called by some “other name” because we no longer belong to Christ but to someone else

READ Mosiah 5:15
What does it mean to be steadfast and immovable – steadfast and immovable with respect to what?
·       Steadfast = firm, with constancy or steadiness of mind (1828 Webster’s Dictionary)
·       Immovable = not to be moved from its purpose; cannot be altered or shaken; cannot be affected; fixed, in a permanent place (1828 Webster’s Dictionary)
·       Steadfast in keeping the commandments of the Lord (1 Nephi 2:10; Alma 1:25; 3 Nephi 6:14) and immovable in the faith or abiding in the covenant (Helaman 15:8) so that you are not overcome (JS Matthew 24:11)
What does “abound” mean and how is “abounding in good works” not the same as being saved by your works?
·       Abound = from the Celtic word for fountain; to have or possess in great quantity; to be in great plenty; to be very prevalent
·       The good works or obedience to commandments or alignment with Eternal Law is what comes naturally from the individual who has come unto Christ and received the birth of the Spirit, with the disposition to do good continually and love their Master by serving Him or following His example; abounding in good works is the natural state of the true follower of Christ – they are filled with His Spirit and His charity, so the good works come naturally in great quantity
·       Being saved by ones works may look very similar to the outside observer watching the behavior or demonstrated, observable performance of a person, but the inner motivation is completely different – the person seeking to save themselves is amassing “points” in their mind to earn salvation through compliance with a standard of righteousness, where the person “abounding in good works” is just being their new selves, having already been redeemed (and changed to be a new creature) by Christ; one is slavishly planful and executes their good works while the other just “is”
What does it mean that Christ may “seal you His”?
·       He bares His testimony to the Father, in your presence, that you are one that He (Christ) declares clean through His (Christ’s) blood, fulfilling the promise (hope) He had made to you earlier when He promised you exaltation – this is the “more sure” word of that prophesy when you are actually sealed up to eternal life (see D&C 88:75)
·       You are sealed to Christ, forever, as His Son or Daughter – His child spiritually begotten through His atonement
What does it mean for Christ to “bring you to heaven”?
·       You ascend the fiery portal or door into heaven (see Revelation 4:1)
·       You are ushered into the Throne Room of God the Father in the Heavenly Temple at the Sides of the North
·       You enter the presence of Ahman, God the Father (D&C 78:20)
What does Christ bring you to Heaven before He who is “God above all” to do?
·       Have the Father seal upon you your exaltation (see also John 17:3)
When must you be brought to Heaven to be sealed up to eternal life?
·       During your mortal life in the flesh (see D&C 132:21-25; John 14:15-24; D&C 130:3; D&C 76:51, 74; D&C 88:75; D&C 132:7)


God’s Character and Attributes (Lectures on Faith 3-4) QUESTIONS

A Correct Idea of God’s Character   READ LoF 3:2-5 What is necessary for any rational and intelligent being to exercise faith in God u...