Wednesday, September 21, 2011

{the book of mormon}

President Ezra T. Benson:

...If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, “Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Moroni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?
And there is example after example of how that question will be answered. For example, in the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming. A major portion of the book centers on the few decades just prior to Christ’s coming to America. By careful study of that time period, we can determine why some were destroyed in the terrible judgments that preceded His coming and what brought others to stand at the temple in the land of Bountiful and thrust their hands into the wounds of His hands and feet.
From the Book of Mormon we learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war. From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling reality. In the Book of Mormon we find lessons for dealing with persecution and apostasy. We learn much about how to do missionary work. And more than anywhere else, we see in the Book of Mormon the dangers of materialism and setting our hearts on the things of the world. Can anyone doubt that this book was meant for us and that in it we find great power, great comfort, and great protection?

Ensign, November 1986

{continually hold the rod of iron to endure to the end}

Elder David A. Bednar talks about the two groups in Lehi's vision who held on to the iron rod and made it to the tree of life.

"It is significant that the second group pressed forward with faith and commitment. They also had the added blessing of the rod of iron, and they were clinging to it! However, as they were confronted with persecution and adversity, they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost. Even with faith, commitment, and the word of God, this group eventually was lost - perhaps because they only periodically read or studied or searched the scriptures. Clinging to the rod of iron suggests to me only occasional "bursts" of study or irregular dipping rather than consistent, ongoing immersion in the word of God.
In verse 30 we read about a third group of people who pressed forward continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree. The key phrase in this verse is continually holding fast to the rod of iron.
...Perhaps it was the spiritual nourishment and strength provided by continually feasting upon the words of Christ that enabled this group to heed not the scorning and mocking of the people in the great and spacious building. This is the group you and I should strive to join."

Ensign, October 2011, page 35