Scripture Study

Heritage of Servants of the Lord (3 Nephi 22)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 04 December 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 95

Heritage of Servants of the Lord (3 Nephi 22)

"Heritage" generally refers to practices or characteristics that are passed down through the years from one generation to the next.

For example, our family's recipe for making sauce for pasta (or gravy for macaroni, depending on who in the family you talk to) is part of our Italian heritage. For me personally, the lovely dark tan I get in the summer comes from that same heritage.

Speech mannerisms in different parts of the country — the way yinz or y'all pronounce certain words — are part of the heritage of those geographic areas. Historical landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell, are part of the American heritage — these items are not owned by any individual but are collectively owned by the American people and are passed down from one generation to the next.

City Building (3 Nephi 21)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 140

City Building (3 Nephi 21)

For about the past 30 years, there has been a genre of computer games known as "city building" games. These games allow the participants to build virtual (pretend) cities on their computer, designing the individual buildings, laying out the streets, etc. The grandfather of all city-building games was called "SimCity," which is considered rather basic today but paved the way (ha ha) for many other games to be created over the years.

The top-of-the-line city-building game available today is one known as "Cities: Skylines." If you invest enough time in this game, you can build a sprawling metropolis for which you will determine how to run power lines and water pipes, which businesses should be established, how taxes will be collected, what type of transit system to create, etc. By the time you're done, you will have put in enough effort to have built a real city.

In 3 Nephi 21, Jesus describes to the Nephites a city-building opportunity that will be presented to their descendants as well as others of the House of Israel:

How to Have Beautiful Feet (3 Nephi 20)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 20 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 212

How to Have Beautiful Feet (3 Nephi 20)

Welcome to today's beauty tips column. Here are a few tips for maintaining your feet that come from actual websites on this subject:

  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Perform regular self-examination; deal with problem areas immediately.
  • Moisturize the skin; remove dead skin.
  • Exercise on a regular basis — walking, etc.

In 3 Nephi 20, Jesus describes to the Nephites the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants, specifically the House of Israel. He mentions how the House of Israel has been scattered but will eventually be gathered together again in a place referred to as Zion. He then quotes Isaiah 52:7, which makes reference to those who will assist in bringing about Zion:

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace;…that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!" (3 Nephi 20:40)

The above verse contains four actions that workers for Zion will undertake with the House of Israel to help bring them to a knowledge of Christ. These same activities can be undertaken by any of us as part of our Christian walk in the hopes that people we come in contact with can be brought to a knowledge of Christ. Let's see how we can make our feet beautiful upon the mountains in the way this verse describes.

Why Do You Travel So Far for Church? (3 Nephi 19)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 13 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 208

Why Do You Travel So Far for Church? (3 Nephi 19)

For quite a few years, my family lived in the town of Thorndale, Pennsylvania, and we attended church services in the town of Levittown, Pennsylvania. If you look on a map, you will see that these two towns are both located in eastern Pennsylvania, but they are in fact 60 miles apart! Yes, every Sunday, my parents and my sister and I dutifully piled into the car by 8:45 a.m. to make the hour-plus trip to Levittown for Sunday school and the worship service and then traveled the same distance to return home, arriving home sometime in the mid-afternoon.

Every so often, one of us would be in a conversation with someone about the church, and when we mentioned where the church was, the same questions would be asked. Why do you travel so far for church? Isn't there a church in this area that you can attend?

Woman with the Issue of Blood: She Chose to Live

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Thursday, 07 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 352

Woman with the Issue of Blood: She Chose to Live

I know that I’ve written about this woman before, as she is one of my favorite stories in Scripture. In my very humble opinion, this story has a million different layers and viewpoints, and that’s what makes it so compelling. For someone there that day, it was a day of business and activity, but for this woman, it was the day that she was healed completely.

That being said, there are a lot of different ways that this blog could go, but I’m going to talk about a concept that I think is really important. There’s a really popular phrase that Christians say: “God never gives us more than we can handle.”

The woman with the issue of blood is the antithesis of that statement.

God had given her a lot more than she could handle.

Worthy to Partake (3 Nephi 18)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 06 November 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 307

Worthy to Partake (3 Nephi 18)

In 3 Nephi 18, Jesus instructs His twelve disciples to obtain bread and wine and then instructs them to distribute it to the multitude in remembrance of His body and His blood. This, of course, corresponds to what we do today, which we refer to as communion, sacrament, or "The Lord's Supper".

When the above is complete, Jesus further instructs His disciples to continue to do the same thing on an ongoing basis, distributing bread and wine to "those who repent and are baptized in my name" (verse 11). Jesus emphasizes the importance of not giving the bread and wine to those who have not repented and been baptized — He refers to them as being "unworthy" to partake of His flesh and blood and that "whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul" (verse 29).

The Blessing of Little Children (3 Nephi 17)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 30 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 417

The Blessing of Little Children (3 Nephi 17)

Babies and little children are innocent in the sight of God. They have no sin and therefore have no need for repentance or baptism while they are in that innocent state. Later, when they reach an age of understanding and are able to comprehend sin and the commitment associated with being baptized, they are then able to consider taking that step and giving their lives to the Lord.

For children who have not yet reached an age of understanding, The Church of Jesus Christ offers the opportunity for a baby or little child to be "blessed" by a minister of The Church. This blessing consists of a prayer that is offered by the minister, asking God to watch over that child until he or she is old enough to be capable of making his or her own decision about serving God.

The process used for the blessing of children is based on the following scripture:

"Jesus…said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:14,16)

10 Ways Our Lives Would be Different If We Were Unbelievers (3 Nephi 16)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 23 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 283

10 Ways Our Lives Would be Different If We Were Unbelievers (3 Nephi 16)

In 3 Nephi 16, Jesus describes to the Nephites some of the consequences that will come about as a result of the unbelief of the House of Israel (of which the Nephites are a part). Specifically, He mentions the following:

  • The House of Israel "shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief" (verse 4). History shows that this did occur, and the House of Israel remains in a scattered state as of today, even as we look forward to the time when they will be gathered together again.
  • "In the latter day shall the truth come unto the Gentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto them" (verse 7). Because of the unbelief of Israel, God turned to the Gentiles in the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon, and He continues to use them today to share the gospel with the House of Israel.

Jesus adds, however, that after God has allowed the Gentiles to be used to smite some of the House of Israel (such as the Native Americans), if the Gentiles then become unbelievers, He will use the House of Israel to "tread them down" (verse 15). Without dwelling too much on what is meant by being "tread down," the tone of this prophecy makes me glad I'm not an unbeliever.

Sometimes It Is All About You (3 Nephi 15)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 16 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 778

Sometimes It Is All About You (3 Nephi 15)

You sometimes encounter people who are completely wrapped up in themselves. Whatever happens, their first thought is, "How does this affect me?" For example, you fall and break your leg, and the other person says, "Oh no, now I'm going to have to take you to the hospital and we're going to be there for hours and I had so much I wanted to get done tonight" — and meanwhile you're lying on the ground, writhing in pain. Or, you come home and tell your family you've lost your job, and your teenager says, "You're still buying me a new cell phone, aren't you?"

If you want to show off your vocabulary, you could call this type of person a narcissist. Or, the phrase that's often used today is, "I guess it's all about you."

Huldah: Obedience Without Question

Written by Alena X. Ricci on Thursday, 10 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 313

Huldah: Obedience Without Question

Quite frankly, if any of you reading this have done a deep-dive into Huldah before, then I am thoroughly impressed.

Here is a woman who played an important part in the execution of God’s plan, and yet.. how many times do we use her as an example of faith?

You can read her story in 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34, but basically, the King of Judah and the high priest come to her and ask her if the words on the scroll are true. She reads them, sharing God’s message with them, spurring them to action, and the rest is history.

Do You Know the Way? (3 Nephi 14)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 09 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 317

Do You Know the Way? (3 Nephi 14)

It still amazes me that this GPS app on my phone knows how to direct me anywhere that I want to go. I identify my desired destination, and it maps out the best way to get there.

It wasn't that long ago that I had to rely on other sources to know the way to get somewhere. I used to keep printed maps in the glove compartment of my car, but those weren't very detailed, and they became outdated as roads changed over time. So, my preferred method for finding my way to get somewhere I hadn't previously been was to get directions from someone else who knew the way.

In 3 Nephi 14, as Jesus concludes the version of the Sermon on the Mount that He delivered to the Nephites, He addresses the two possible destinations that we are all headed to and describes the way that leads to each:

Sorry, I Have to Take This (3 Nephi 13)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 02 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 283

Sorry, I Have to Take This (3 Nephi 13)

It happens from time to time. I'm talking to someone and their cell phone rings. After they glance at the screen to see who's calling, I get the inevitable, "Sorry, I have to take this," and the person who was talking to me is now talking to someone else.

Now, there's not necessarily anything wrong with my former conversation partner talking to whoever is calling — it could be their spouse, parent, boss, someone they've been trying to get in touch with, etc. Regardless, the point is that the person was focused on talking to me and has now chosen to turn their focus elsewhere.

Considering how automatic the above actions are for most anybody today, how would I feel if you and I were talking, and you refused to look at your phone when it rang or even went as far as turning it off so it wouldn't be a distraction? I would feel quite honored and respected that you would be willing to focus on me for that period of time.

Gomer: A Sinner But Loved Anyway

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Tuesday, 01 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 280

Gomer: A Sinner But Loved Anyway

Today we're bringing you another installment in Sister Alena's series "Women of the Bible."

Gomer’s story can be found in Hosea, and she marries Hosea only to be unfaithful to him. Thus far, I have stayed away from the “villains,” women like Jezebel or Delilah. But there’s something to Gomer that makes her different. She is no more a villain than you or I because how often are we unfaithful to God in the face of His mercy?

Hosea loves Gomer, through all of her sin and mistakes, he loves her and shows her grace upon grace.

But eventually, he gets tired and just wants to take her by the shoulders and tell her everything, but instead, he hears God tell him to love her and take her back, no matter what.

Gomer’s purpose is to show how much God loves us.

Preparing for the Storm

Written by Sister Lori Kimmel on Monday, 30 September 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 369

Preparing for the Storm

Today, instead of a typical Miracle Monday, we're bringing you a scripture study sent to us by Sister Lori Kimmel. We hope you enjoy it, whether you apply the scriptures personally or you use this as the basis for a church class or group discussion.

The topic, "Preparing for the Storm," will seem very practical to you if you live in an area that's periodically threatened by any type of natural disaster.

This study takes a real-life scenario and gives it a spiritual application. The remainder of the article is in Sister Lori's words.

But I Say Unto You (3 Nephi 12)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 25 September 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 283

But I Say Unto You (3 Nephi 12)

During the visit of the resurrected Jesus Christ to the Nephite people in the Americas, the Lord shares many teachings, including the equivalent of the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew 5-7. 3 Nephi 12-14 lines up almost exactly with the three Matthew chapters, although there are several differences. I would recommend comparing the chapters yourself when you have some time and take note of the differences.

One of the key differences is that the version of the sermon delivered to the Nephites occurs after the resurrection of Christ, so it is noted that the Law of Moses has now been "fulfilled" such that the followers of the Lord are now guided by the Holy Ghost within them rather than by a series of laws.

Some might say, "Yay! No more laws! Now we can do whatever we want!" This would be the reaction of people who desire to sin and do evil; they're admitting that it's only the law that stops them from doing so (if it even stops them at all).

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