Title Page of the Book of Mormon

In the current edition of the published Book of Mormon is a “Title Page,” translated by Joseph Smith from the record, and placed at the beginning of the book like we typically see for a title page. But this is not where Moroni placed it:

“I wish also to mention here, that the Title Page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated; the language of the whole running same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that, said Title Page is not by any means a modern composition either of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation”  – Joseph Smith (The Joseph Smith Papers, History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]).

This is the last notes left by Moroni after writing chapter 10 of his own writings. He felt prompted to write one last thing, to fill the space on the plates to emphasize who the record was made for. As with the rest of the record, there was no punctuation or chapters.

The Book of Mormon, [the actual title given from Moroni] an account written by the hand of Mormon upon plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi; wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites [the words of two great peoples]—written to the Lamanites [Native American peoples who are decedents of these people], who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—written by way of commandment [revelation from God], and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation [ Prophecy is to say what the Lord directs, revelation is to do as the Lord directs and to understand His ways.]—written and sealed up [Closed from the world], and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed—to come forth by the gift and power of God [the gift of Translation] unto the interpretation thereof—sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile [They were hid more than once until they had their final resting place in the Hill Cummorah.]—the interpretation thereof by the gift of God. An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven [Tower of Babel]—which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord [The fullness of the Everlasting Covenant, which shall be unsealed at the great day when the Lamanites shall be converted.], that they are not cast off forever—and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ [And this event shall lead the way to the final conversion of the House of Israel.], the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations [Through His servants, the Anointed 144k, the Saviors on Mount Zion, the Just Men and Women Made Perfect, the Fourth Estate]—and now, if there are faults [in the translation] they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ. [These mistakes are not to be laid upon Mormon or Moroni, or even Joseph Smith. They are the misunderstood false traditions that have given meaning to certain words that allow their true meaning to be veiled.]

“Behold, it is finished.” [Moroni’s last words regarding the writings.]

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The Gifts – Moroni 10:1-34

1 Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good [These are what Moroni considers to be his last words, what he wants to share before the record is sealed up.]; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites; and I would that they should know that more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away since the sign was given of the coming of Christ. [Why does Moroni specifically want to write to the Lamanites? He knows that the Nephites are no more, that they are the only remnant of his brethren that will some day read this book.]

2 And I seal up these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

This is a popular verse, often used in missionary work to invite someone to pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Pondering is a form of prayer, and if someone were to consider the dealings of God in history since the time of Adam it is not farfetched to think that a book like this is possible.

4 And when ye shall receive these things [the book and the knowledge contained herein], I would exhort [strongly recommend to] you that ye would ask God [pray specifically], the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true [exactly as they are written without exaggeration]; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent [expecting to receive an answer], having faith in Christ [Christ is the foundation of your faith], he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. [Through the gifts of the Spirit, whether that be revelation, the ministering of angels, or some other way.]

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

“The power of the Holy Ghost” is another way of saying the gifts of the Spirit. This is how the Lord communicates with us. This is how “all things” are made known to us regarding the past, present, future, truth, error, the physical, the spiritual, and the mysteries of all creation. 

Many people are confused by this part of scripture, wondering how the Holy Ghost can truly manifest that truth to them. Most, simply wait for a warm feeling, or some emotion to come upon them when they ask. Is this the “manifestation” that Moroni is suggesting? Such feelings may follow a true manifestation as we feel emotions of gratitude or love, but they are not the manifestation of the Spirit which teaches truth.

When the Spirit of revelation is given it comes as clear thoughts upon the mind and heart of an individual. Like looking upon your infant child for the first time and knowing they are truly yours. Like trying to decide something after prayerfully seeking an answer and knowing exactly how to proceed without question. This is the first step in exercising the power of the Holy Ghost or the gift of discernment. But how well can a person know?

The Lord blesses all who come to Him (in the name of Christ) asking that they may know enough to move forward. Their faith will not yet become perfect, but they will know if it is a good and will persevere until they shall truly “know the truth of all things.” That statement is not a sudden gift given to all who simply ask. It requires much faith, diligence, and patience, until they are able to ask all their questions freely in the presence of the Lord. And that is the truth of the matter.

6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is. [Moroni is referring back to his father’s epistle in Moroni 7. For anything that preaches Christ and acknowledges Him is from the Spirit of God.]

7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God [gifts of the Spirit]; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever. [Without faith (seeking God’s will and acting upon it), you will not exercise such power.]

8 And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny [reject] not the gifts of God, for they are many [too many to count]; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. [The gifts of the Spirit come in such diversity, because the Lord’s works cover many people, their levels of faith, and situations. Often they are referred to as miracles, because they cannot be understood by the carnal mind. Some are very specific, and other gifts cross over in their application. Some gifts are required to begin the journey to come unto Christ, and others are not given until one has matured in their faith and become a servant of the Lord.]

9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; [The “word of wisdom” is how the Lord expects us to apply His laws and ordinances. It requires revelation and at time prophecy, which are also gifts.]

10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same [gift] Spirit; [The “word of knowledge” is the same as above, but suggests the kind of prophecy that is given from one who knows the Lord and shares such information, such as a prophet, seer, and revelator.]

11 And to another, exceedingly great faith [Those who have “exceedingly great faith” go to great lengths to know the Lord and do His work, this is a gift of the Spirit.]; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; [The same kind of desire leads to the ability to heal in Christ’s name.]

12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles; [Every gift of the Spirit is a miracle, but the “mighty” ones are the kind that change the course of history. Sometimes, they come in the form of small acts of faith.]

13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things; [This gift is available to any man, women, and child. Do you believe it? The Lord can speak through His Spirit to anyone with the purpose of sharing to another.]

14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels [resurrected beings of great light sent to perform a mission] and ministering spirits; [usually spirits of the righteous dead who come to assist the living] 

It is not uncommon for those who have removed their false traditions (unbelief) to begin to see in the Spirit and converse with angels and ministering spirits. Such things seem deceptive to those with hard hearts, but we remember the words of Moroni, “Nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowlegeth that he is.”

15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues; [There are many kinds of tongues that can be spoken. There are the languages used in the world to communicate between people, and the prayer of tongues where an individual can pray to God with great power.]

16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers [various] kinds of tongues. [This is more for doing the labors of the kingdom in gathering Israel and preaching repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost. All servants of the Lord called to this capacity in the end of times will exercise this gift, and we are not talking about learning a foreign language.]

17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will. [They come for the purpose of establishing the kingdom of Heaven, the gathering of Israel, and to bring us to Christ. Every person who comes unto Christ receives them in multiples, even as many gifts as they need without restraint.]

18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ. [It all comes through Christ. This is why every prayer to the Father is in the name of Christ, because without Him we cannot exercise any of the gifts of the Spirit, including discernment, revelation, etc. He is the light that connects us to heaven. It is all Him, and no other!]

19 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men. [How many read the scriptures and think that such miracles do not occur to them in their lives. How many hold tight to the false traditions that prevent them from exercising these gifts. Are people controlled by the culture of propriety that surrounds their civic, church, and personal lives? Have you heard that only the clergy or authority have the right to exercise these gifts of the Spirit? Many are rebuked for attempting to use them, or even share what they experience. What do you think about this? What will you do?]

It is important to remember that God’s House is one of order. But, how is that handled amongst the believers? Using the gifts of the Spirit is a sacred trust and requires careful application. When we seek any gifts to gratify our pride, gain attention, gather a following, or simply to seek for a sign, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved and we are back to square one.

20 Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity. [Again, Moroni refers back to his father’s epistle in chapter 7. Faith, hope, and charity – the Doctrine of Christ. These three principles of the Gospel create a platform to exercise all the gifts of the Spirit.]

21 And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope. [All three, repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost make it possible to come unto Christ and be saved in His Kingdom.]

22 And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity. [If we do not exercise the virtues of godliness we are not filled with light and will suffer because of despair, the result of iniquity and separation from God.]

23 And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me. [Faith is the root of repentance, seeking the will of the Lord in our life (the Path of Salvation). As the disciple of Christ exercises faith they are given the gifts of the Spirit to guide them to the rod of iron. Then they are given the Holy Ghost and further gifts to help them to reach the Tree of Life and partake of the fruit.]

24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth [To every soul, both the remnant of Jacob, the Jews, and the Gentiles]—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. [false traditions, and rejecting the gifts of God.]

25 And wo [so sad and cursed be their situation] be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.

This is a bold declaration. There are many “good” people in the world according to the definition most would use to describe people who are kind, generous, loving, and responsible. But, this is not the kind of good that Moroni is referring to. He writes to those who are coming to Christ and in harmony with His light, as the gifts of God are manifest. For only by the faith we exercise in coming to Him can we receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost and have Eternal Life. All else remains in the telestial sphere in which they reside, unless they choose perdition.

26 And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not.

27 And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust? [All who shall read this book and reject it shall have to admit that the truth was in their hands.]

28 I declare these things unto the fulfilling of the prophecies. And behold, they shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the everlasting God; and his word shall hiss forth [attract attention] from generation to generation.

29 And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true. [speaking to us]

30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing. [In the attempt to come unto Christ and exercise the gifts of the Spirit there can be the possibility of touching that which is unclean or evil. What would that be? For every gift of God there is a counterfeit of the Adversary. We should avoid spiritualism, magic, conjuring spirits, fortune telling, and other forms of miraculous experiences, which are popular in today’s culture and promise instant results. Such does not bring one closer to Christ, but teaches the person to trust in the arm of flesh and another as their source for accessing the supernatural.]

If you ever feel that your only way to access God is by leaning on another, especially if they require money for their assistance, run away as fast as you can. If their words teach you to come unto Christ and that He will help you to know what to do next, embrace it!

31 And awake, and arise from the dust [your carnal and sinful state of being], O Jerusalem [My people]; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments [the gift of the Holy Ghost, the garment of glory], O daughter of Zion [The remnant that has strayed and now is found]; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever [the establishment of Zion in the last days], that thou mayest no more be confounded [fall into apostasy], that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled. [the final realization of the Everlasting Covenant given to her upon this temporal earth]

32 Yea, come unto Christ [seek Him both mentally, spiritually, and physically], and be perfected in him [by being born again in His image, the bapstim of fire and the gift of the Holy Ghost], and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. [This is the perfect formula for coming to Christ and finally receiving the promise. Fill yourself with virtue, love Him with all your heart and soul, then you will not be able to “deny” the power of God as you are changed to become His literal Son or Daughter, to be raised to a higher resurrection and inherit Eternal Life.]

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God [His Atonement that prepares the way for you to advance in glory] are perfect in Christ [Made clean and have glory added upon you], and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified [made holy] in Christ by the grace [glory] of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ [Atonement], which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot. [You will be perfect in Christ, never to be forsaken worlds without end, unless you choose otherwise.]

34 And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen. [Moroni expects to die soon. He looks forward to death rather than endure without his family. But, the Lord has other plans.]

This is one of my favorite chapters of the entire Book of Mormon. Moroni sums up the purpose of the Book of Mormon – to bring us into the presence of the Lord. He emphasizes the gifts of the Spirit here more than any other part of the record. He knows the lack of faith that will exist amongst those who will receive this book in the last days and warns us. Do you understand the message? Is it not clear what he is saying? We must awake and arise and prepare ourselves to meet the Bridegroom. The Book of Mormon is the most clear roadmap to coming to Christ than any book ever written. Study it often and seek your personal revelation.

The purpose of sharing my thoughts by annotating the Book of Mormon was to inspire you to seek personal revelation, to ask additional questions, and prepare you to receive more holiness. Who are you? What is your path in this life? Prepare yourself to receive Him.

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The Fall of the Nephites – Moroni 9:1-26

Moroni included three additional writings of his father Mormon in his Addendum to the Book of Mormon before he sealed it all up. First was a sermon he gave on charity (chapter 7), second was a letter given to him from Mormon when he began his ministry (chapter 8), and third was a letter he received just before his father died (chapter 9). 

This second to last chapter of the Book of Mormon is the darkest of all writings in the entire record. It demonstrates how low the descendants of Lehi fell before they were destroyed. It is hard to read without the heart aching, but Moroni follows it up in chapter ten with a joyous prophetic declaration.  

1 My beloved son, I write unto you again that ye may know that I am yet alive; but I write somewhat of that which is grievous.

2 For behold, I have had a sore battle with the Lamanites, in which we did not conquer; and Archeantus has fallen by the sword, and also Luram and Emron; yea, and we have lost a great number of our choice men.

3 And now behold, my son, I fear lest the Lamanites shall destroy this people; for they do not repent, and Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with another. [Uncontrolled anger is a sign of demonic possession.]

4 Behold, I am laboring with them continually; and when I speak the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; wherefore, I fear lest the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them. [Another sign of demonic possession is the manner in which the wicked respond to rebuke. They will shake and gnash their teeth, as they desire to strike out even though no violence has been given.]

5 For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually. [This is a sign of one completely giving themselves over to Satan. Like the pigs who ran over a cliff, these individuals seek to murder others and even throw themselves in harms way. (Mark 5:11-13)]

6 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God. [It is their calling to rescue as many as they can while in mortality.]

7 And now I write somewhat concerning the sufferings of this people. For according to the knowledge which I have received from Amoron, behold, the Lamanites have many prisoners, which they took from the tower of Sherrizah; and there were men, women, and children.

8 And the husbands and fathers of those women and children they have slain; and they feed the women upon the flesh of their husbands, and the children upon the flesh of their fathers; and no water, save a little, do they give unto them. [These depraved people take pleasure in creative torture, and cannibalism. A sign of the dark oaths.]

9 And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—

10 And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery. [A complete collapse of humanity. These people are owned by the Adversary and will continue as such for eternity.]

11 O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization—

12 (And only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people)

13 But O my son, how can a people like this, whose delight is in so much abomination—

14 How can we expect that God will stay his hand in judgment against us?

15 Behold, my heart cries: Wo unto this people. Come out in judgment, O God, and hide their sins, and wickedness, and abominations from before thy face! [When the dark oaths reach their zenith amongst a people, God’s wrath pours out judgment upon them. In this case there were pockets of such depravity. When it is an entire city, God destroys by fire. Otherwise they are destroyed in other ways.]

16 And again, my son, there are many widows and their daughters who remain in Sherrizah; and that part of the provisions which the Lamanites did not carry away, behold, the army of Zenephi has carried away, and left them to wander whithersoever they can for food; and many old women do faint by the way and die. [The Lamanites had enslaved the women and daughters of the Nephites. They left the tower to go to battle and the Nephite troops led by Zenephi took possession. They cleaned out all the remaining food and the freed prisoners were left to wander for food.]

The Nephite men were so hungry for blood that they did not desire to tend to the needs of the women and children.

17 And the army which is with me is weak; and the armies of the Lamanites are betwixt Sherrizah and me; and as many as have fled to the army of Aaron have fallen victims to their awful brutality.

18 O the depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy. Behold, I am but a man, and I have but the strength of a man, and I cannot any longer enforce my commands. [It is past hope. They do not even follow the orders of their commander, as they seek blood and carnage endlessly.]

19 And they have become strong in their perversion; and they are alike [both Nephite and Lamanite] brutal, sparing none, neither old nor young; and they delight in everything save that which is good; and the suffering of our women and our children upon all the face of this land doth exceed everything; yea, tongue cannot tell, neither can it be written.

20 And now, my son, I dwell no longer upon this horrible scene. Behold, thou knowest the wickedness of this people; thou knowest that they are without principle, and past feeling; and their wickedness doth exceed that of the Lamanites. [The reason that the Lamanites were allowed to endure.]

21 Behold, my son, I cannot recommend them unto God lest he should smite me. [for it would be a lie]

22 But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that he will spare thy life, to witness the return of his people unto him, or their utter destruction; for I know that they must perish except they repent and return unto him. [Mormon prayed in faith that the Lord would preserve the life of Moroni.]

23 And if they perish it will be like unto the Jaredites, because of the wilfulness of their hearts, seeking for blood and revenge.

In the previous chapter I mentioned that Moroni witnessed the massacre of almost his entire family. In context of the brutality of the Lamanite’s treatment of prisoners, it was a very quick death and a preferable way to die. All Nephites died except the few who defected to the Lamanites and Moroni himself.

24 And if it so be that they perish, we know that many of our brethren have deserted over unto the Lamanites, and many more will also desert over unto them; wherefore, write somewhat a few things, if thou art spared and I shall perish and not see thee; but I trust that I may see thee soon; for I have sacred records that I would deliver up unto thee. [the golden plates]

25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.

26 And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen. [Both Mormon and Moroni had witnessed the Throne of Heaven. They knew the mercies of God and did have great reason to rejoice. But, it is heart-wrenching to witness the fall of their people! Such will be the heartache of those who witness the fall of this country we live in today.]

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The Gift of Charity – Moroni 7:1-48

1 And now I, Moroni, write a few of the words of my father Mormon, which he spake concerning faith, hope, and charity; for after this manner did he speak unto the people, as he taught them in the synagogue which they had built for the place of worship. [There were few who were willing to worship in the synagogue in the later years of Mormon’s life. This sermon so impressed Moroni that he kept it and was inspired to include it in the final text of the record.]

2 And now I, Mormon, speak unto you, my beloved brethren; and it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy will, because of the gift of his calling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you [in this manner] at this time.

3 Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ [always repenting], and that have obtained a sufficient hope [through baptism] by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord [the gift of the Holy Ghost], from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.

4 And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men. [How you conduct yourself with other people.]

5 For I remember the word of God which saith by their works [fruit] ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.

6 For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. [What are the results of an evil man praying to God? Where is the fruit?]

7 For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.

8 For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift [blessing or offering], he doeth it grudgingly [Regretting the act, for his heart is not there, and wonders how it will help him.]; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God. [Evil is a strong word, meaning it is by the power of the Adversary to do his will. Such a person is a hypocrite who pretends to pray to God, but there is no fruit.]

9 And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.

10 Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift. [Mormon’s words encourage each of us to focus upon the results of the acts of one professing to be from God.]

11 For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil. [This all makes sense, but how do you judge this in real life? Imagine if your church leader appeared in every way to be righteous: he looks like a saint, he speaks of Jesus, he prays eloquently of the Gospel, he councils kindly, but something is missing. How can you discern they are not of God?]

12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

Satan is not stupid, even though many would like to think so. How could he fall after knowing the Lord to the degree he did? Satan has chosen the path he walks and knows exactly what he is doing. He knows that the righteous will not follow him at first. They must be seduced, one small sin at a time. Give them a hundred truths, and inject a single lie. Lure them carefully away from the light. Evil is that one lie, enough to canker the heart and lead away. What will that lie be for you? Here, we must judge righteously.

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. [We are told that “every thing” that leads to goodness, to love God, and serve him is inspired of God. What if a person is teaching these good things, but there is a lie injected? We must exercise discernment.]

14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

One of the slippery slopes of our time is the preacher that sets themselves up as a light as they preach the platitudes of righteousness. Words of truth that the people agree are of God. But, then they demand their followers to look to them for their light, to live by their words, and not to truly know the Lord. The only thing that a servant of God truly preaches is repentance. This includes the why’s, what’s, how’s, and when’s of the process. There should be no question of how to come unto Christ. Mormon is about to explain this in detail.

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. [Easy as one, two, three.]

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. [What is it that persuades a person to believe in Christ? Is it the warm hearted stories from the pulpit? Is it the reading of essays by scriptural scholars, or those who have high standing of leadership? No, it is the participation in the “power of the gift of Christ,” which are the gifts of the Spirit.]

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

The only way to “do good” is to follow the doctrine of Christ and participate in the gifts of the Spirit, which are many and will be touched upon in this chapter and chapter ten.

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge [divide the good from the evil], which light is the light of Christ [The Spirit], see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged. [You will follow that which you judge. If you judge evil to be good (which is what evil does), you will choose darkness.]

19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently [It is a process and great work to do this.] in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ. [As you earnestly seek every good thing, judging between the good and evil, you will find the Lord.]

20 And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? [He is about to explain further the process.]

21 And now I come to that faith [the foundation], of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.

22 For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.

23 And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come. [Believe in Christ and the words taught by the prophets. This is the foundation of your faith.]

24 And behold, there were divers [many different] ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.

25 Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God [by revelation, scripture, and hearing the voice of others], men [all people] began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.

26 And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name [receieved the Holy Ghost]; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good [according to God’s will], in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. [The “believing” part is critical, for the Lord requires that we take action and if we do not believe our faith is dormant.]

27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles [the gifts of the Spirit] ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?

28 For he hath answered the ends of the law [Atonement], and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave [grab hold] unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. [There is a difference between having “faith in him” and having faith of him, or about him, or like him. We are saved as He becomes a part of us. This is charity, the pure love of Christ. After we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost we exercise, “The pure love in Christ.” For as we become one with him we are claimed as His Son or Daughter under the Atonement.]

29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. [Miracles will follow them that believe “in Christ.”]

30 For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves [the angels] unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.

This is a key scripture to opening a particular gift of the Spirit which includes the ministering of angels and the beholding of angels. Angels only come to those who exercise faith. These individuals are seeking truth, they believe in the gifts, and do not block the reception of them because of false traditions (unbelief). How will an angel come to you? There are divers ways [various methods] this can occur. If one has “strong faith” [seeking the Lord’s revelation and acting upon it], and they have a “firm mind in every form of godliness”[mind is filled with virtue and belief in the Lord’s power in them], they will not be inhibited from conversing with the angelic host.

31 And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance [bring them to Christ], and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father [in regards to the Everlasting Covenant], which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord [3rd and 4th estate], that they may bear testimony of him.

32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men [second estate] may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.

33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. [You will be given the gifts of the Spirit as they are needed.]

34 And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved. [First step of the Doctrine of Christ, repent and come unto Him.]

35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?

36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? [Are there no miracles? Will angels cease to visit the followers of Christ? No way!]

37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo [sad and cursed] be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief [false traditions], and all is vain. [There is no hope.]

38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name [seek Jesus and act upon His words]; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made. [They will continue as a second estate forever.]

39 But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness [seeking His will above all things]; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.

40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? [The second step of the Doctrine of Christ.]

41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. [This promise is made to the Father when we are baptized in water, a reminder of the resurrection of the soul unto Christ and life eternal.]

42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. [You must have a broken heart and contrite spirit to accomplish this.]

44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart [full repentance, and full submission to the Lord]; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. [Charity is the power of God that opens the door to baptism of fire and the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the “pure love in Christ.”]

Mormon now gives us a list of attributes that are obtained by those who acquire charity. These are some of the “fruits” of charity:

45 And charity suffereth long [patient in afflictions], and is kind, and envieth not [does not compare their possessions to others], and is not puffed up [humble], seeketh not her own [focused on other’s needs], is not easily provoked [slow to anger], thinketh no evil [virtuous thoughts], and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth [thoughts filled with the joy of the Lord] , beareth all things [that the Lord gives them], believeth all things [that the Lord gives them], hopeth all things [are possible through the Lord], endureth all things. [every sacrifice the Lord requires]

46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— [To receive charity is to receive the promise of the Father that you are worthy of receiving the gift of Christ. This is the turnkey moment in your judgment, where you are found worthy to approach the Lord. Shortly thereafter the baptism of fire is given and the gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed, as you are made holy and worthy to enter the presence of the Lord. Without this cleansing and holy sanctification, your attempt to ascend the hill of the Lord will fail.]

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

There are seven virtues of godliness that lead to charity. Once we are fully tested, the Father opens our heart and the light pours into us. We are ready to receive the Son.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart [full submission, contrite heart], that ye may be filled with this love [light of Christ], which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons [and daughters] of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. [Our spirits are made pure and holy when we receive the third part of the Doctrine of Christ, the baptism of fire and the gift of the Holy Ghost. By this, we are able to stand in His presence, filled with light and glory, and be like Him in that we will not wither in His presence.]

This truly is a beautiful sermon given of Moroni’s father Mormon. He lays out the Gospel in its simplicity and the pitfalls that prevent many from receiving a fullness.

Posted in BofM Thoughts | 5 Comments

When We Pray With the Tongue of Angels

A couple nights ago I was listening to some beautiful instrumental music as I pondered upon the Lord – I felt the Lord’s Spirit come over me and wrote the following:

Cleanse my heart – lift me up to the Mighty Throne.

Your love is like a waterfall that shoots up with unspeakable power, your light, your glory!

How can you be so far and yet so close, my friend, my God, my Father.

Is there anything more I can ask that you would not provide?

Please Lord, extend my faith to a place I need to be, to stand upon the mountain of glory, the sea of salvation, the planes of eternity, the City of Eternal Covenant.

I am your son. You are my Father. We are together.

Your children need thee. We can find them and bring them home.

Shower your beautiful gifts upon us, our friends, your servants. That we may find each of your precious lambs and bring them home.

Your arms are wide, your bowels are filled with love.

Give me the patience to endure the wind, the storm, the fire, the tempest.

Bend my sail to the place I must be, to carry them home.

Eternal Father, Amen

When we are bathed in the light, our spirit is given to know what to pray for. In this case, the Lord helped me to express in English what my heart and spirit needed to ask. In such a state we are able to pray with the tongue of angels.

Note: Its not the flowery language that makes it holy, but what lies behind the words as given to us by the Spirit.

Posted in Prayer, The Gift of Tongues | 10 Comments