Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Book of Mormon will answer your questions – part 5.

Most of us have some hard questions in the back of our minds – the kind no one else can really answer for us.  Some are far-reaching questions about the nature of our existence …

Note:  These questions are GOLD.  When chatting with someone, even just casually, and you feel you could offer them guidance, advice, or words of encouragement, the Book of Mormon can be PRICELESS.

How can I balance my family and career?

My advice would be to re-prioritise.  Simple enough?  What do the scriptures say?

In the Book of Mormon, we are taught to lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth (3 Nephi 13:19–24).

It was the Saviour Himself who said these words, as He taught the people AFTER His resurrection.  Yup, He visited His sheep, wherever they were, and taught them the same things.  You can read all about it here – He taught them about the sacrament, how to pray and say the Lord’s Prayer, and set up His church.

And He was teaching His apostles about the temporary nature of earthly treasures.

“Our affections are often too highly placed upon the paltry perishable objects. Material treasures of earth are merely to provide us, as it were, room and board while we are here at school. It is for us to place gold, silver, houses, stocks, lands, cattle, and other earthly possessions in their proper place.

“Yes, this is but a place of temporary duration. We are here to learn the first lesson toward exaltation— obedience to the Lord’s gospel plan.” [1]

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break though nor steal.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Sounds familiar?  Of course it does – the Bible and Book of Mormon teach the same principles!  See Matthew 6:19–21 for where the Saviour the same.

A living Apostle of the Lord, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, has given us insight regarding the treasures we may lay up for ourselves.  He clarifies WHAT to prioritise:

“In light of the ultimate purpose of the great plan of happiness, I believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.” [2]

How can I strengthen my relationship with my spouse?

The Book of Mormon teaches us the doctrine and teachings of Jesus Christ.  Plain and simple.  So it’s not surprising that the Book of Mormon and the Bible overlap and sometimes read the same.

When Jesus Christ visited the Americas (see here) after His resurrection, He ensured all of God’s children were taught the same gospel – the same blueprint for our lives.  Makes sense.  We read about it in 3 Nephi.

At one point, Jesus commands the people to Judge not.  So important for everyone to hear this message, that it was taught and recorded on both continents – see Matthew 7 and 3 Nephi 14.  It is this message that helps answer our question.

Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Any why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother:  Let me pull the mote out of thine eye – and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? (3 Nephi 14:1-4)

There is a difference between righteous and unrighteous judgments.

“I have been puzzled that some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge and even tell us how to do it. But as I have studied these passages I have become convinced that these seemingly contradictory directions are consistent when we view them with the perspective of eternity. The key is to understand that there are two kinds of judging: final judgments, which we are forbidden to make, and intermediate judgments, which we are directed to make, but upon righteous principles. . . .

“First, a righteous judgment must, by definition, be intermediate. . . .

“Second, a righteous judgment will be guided by the Spirit of the Lord, not by anger, revenge, jealousy, or self-interest. . . .

“Third, to be righteous, an intermediate judgment must be within our stewardship. . . .

“Fourth, we should, if possible, refrain from judging until we have adequate knowledge of the facts.” [3]
Jesus then went on to teach ‘the golden rule’ for all mankind:  Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. (3 Nephi 14:12 – see Matthew 7:12)

It is a simple rule expressed in many theologies and ethic codes, one that encompasses “the moral code of the kingdom of God. It forbids interference by one with the rights of another. It is equally binding upon nations, associations, and individuals. With compassion and forbearance, it replaces the retaliatory reactions of ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ [Matthew 5:38].” [4]

These teachings can be found in the Sermon on the Mount – teachings that were also taught in the Book of Mormon. “Christ came not only into the world to make an atonement for the sins of mankind but to set an example before the world of the standard of perfection of God’s law and of obedience to the Father.” His Sermon gives us a glimpse into His character, which was perfect. It is therefore an autobiography of His character and deeds, and thus “a blueprint for our own lives”. [5]

The Book of Mormon Forum

If you wish to order a free copy, let me know or click here.
Feel free to read or listen to it here.

[1] Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, June 1971, 33
[2] Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1993, 75
[3] Dallin H. Oaks, “‘Judge Not’ and Judging,” Ensign, Aug. 1999, 7, 9–10
[4] Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, Nov. 2002, 39
[5] Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living [1973], 55–56

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