Scripture Study

Majority Rules (Mosiah 29)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 22 November 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 251

Majority Rules (Mosiah 29)

"Majority rules" is a simple concept. It’s when you make a decision by having everyone vote on some question and then implement whichever option gets the most votes. It’s how the U.S. government is designed to operate. The majority of voters select elected officials, and the majority of those elected officials enact laws and policies. The majority makes the rules.

In Mosiah 29, King Mosiah realizes that none of his sons have a desire to follow him as king (since they’re now much more interested in doing missionary work for the Lord) so he puts into place a new form of government in which judges govern the people. These judges will be elected by “the voice of the people” (majority rules).

Being Missionary-Minded (Mosiah 28)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 15 November 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 244

Being Missionary-Minded (Mosiah 28)

Having been converted to Christ in the previous chapter, the four sons of Mosiah express a desire to do missionary work in Mosiah 28. Their choice of preaching the gospel to the Lamanite people is somewhat surprising though, considering that:

  • Their lives will be in danger. (The Lamanites hate the Nephites.)
  • They will have virtually no credibility. (Why would the Lamanites even listen to them?)
  • Their likelihood of success will be extremely slim. (The Lamanites are not the type of people who will look to God under any circumstances.)

On the other hand:

  • They won’t be greeted with a response of “We already have a church.”
  • They recognize that they themselves were vile sinners and God was merciful to them.
  • They consider the Lamanites their brethren, so they would love to see their lives changed by knowing the Lord.

Your Conversion Experience (Mosiah 27)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 08 November 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 229

Your Conversion Experience (Mosiah 27)

In Mosiah 27, Mosiah and Alma face a difficult situation. Their adult sons are rebelling against the church. Alma, the son of Alma, is a particular problem as he is good with words, and he is convincing others to follow in his ways.

After much prayer by their parents, the five young men encounter the angel of the Lord who appears to them and speaks to them with a voice of thunder, causing them to be overcome and fall to the earth. Alma is unable to stand or move for the next two days. During this time, he has a powerful conversion experience. In his words:

Dealing With Sin in The Church (Mosiah 26)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 November 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 256

Dealing With Sin in The Church (Mosiah 26)

In Mosiah 26, Alma begins to face some of the issues that come into play with a growing church that is reaching out to many people:

  • There are people who can’t bring themselves to believe in what is being taught.
  • There are people who hear the word but refuse to be baptized.
  • There are people who try to convince members of the church to commit sin.
  • And, unfortunately, there are some members of the church who do fall into sinful ways.

When Alma becomes aware of the sin in the church, he struggles with how to handle the situation. It’s not hard to understand his struggle. He loves the people; he doesn’t want to reprimand anyone, and he certainly doesn’t want to lose anyone from the church. On the other hand, it has reached the point where it can’t be ignored: “there were many witnesses against them; yea, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance.” (Mosiah 26:9)

Tell Them It Was God (Mosiah 25)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 25 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 530

Tell Them It Was God (Mosiah 25)

In the previous chapter, Alma and his group were miraculously delivered from bondage to the Lamanites and arrived in Zarahemla, joining up with Limhi and his group who had also been delivered from Lamanite bondage. In Mosiah 25, Alma speaks to all of the people, delivering a specific message to those who have been delivered from bondage:

“And he did exhort the people of Limhi and his brethren, all those that had been delivered out of bondage, that they should remember that it was the Lord that did deliver them.” (Mosiah 25:16)

Perhaps some of the people thought their deliverance was due to their own strength or cunning. Perhaps others remarked that they were lucky to have gotten away. Alma made sure to tell them that it was God who had done this for them.

Teaching the Untaught (Mosiah 24)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 18 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 345

Teaching the Untaught (Mosiah 24)

Mosiah 24 describes the education of the Lamanite people under the rule of Amulon. From a worldly perspective, they are well educated; they learn the Nephite language and are trained in writing and doing business with others. As a result, they begin to accumulate riches and are described as a “cunning and wise people, as to the wisdom of the world.”

However, the one thing missing from their education is also identified: “They knew not God; neither did the brethren of Amulon teach them anything concerning the Lord their God, neither the Law of Moses; nor did they teach them the words of Abinadi.” (Mosiah 24:5) As a result, although the people are described as wise and cunning, they are also described as “delighting in all manner of wickedness and plunder.”

As Good as Your Word (Mosiah 23)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 11 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 299

As Good as Your Word (Mosiah 23)

At the end of the previous chapter, the people of King Limhi had escaped from the city where they were in bondage to the Lamanites. The Lamanite army tried to pursue them, but they just wound up getting hopelessly lost in the wilderness. In Mosiah 23, this lost army stumbles upon the city where Alma and his followers are living. The people of Alma were the ones who had chosen to serve God, so they had been in hiding from King Noah and were consequently not among the people of King Limhi (Noah’s son) who had returned to the land of Zarahemla.

The Lamanites are prepared to put Alma’s group into bondage as they had previously done with Limhi’s group. However, they make an offer to Alma and his people: Show us the way back to the city of Nephi (where the rest of the Lamanites live) and we’ll let you go free. No killing, no bondage, no problem. Alma agrees and leads the Lamanites where they want to go. However, “after Alma had shown them the way that led to the land of Nephi the Lamanites would not keep their promise; but they set guards round about the land of Helam, over Alma and his brethren.” (Mosiah 23:37)

Flesh for Stone

Written by Brother Jordan Champine on Tuesday, 10 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 338

Flesh for Stone

God’s interaction with man since the foundation of human existence has always incorporated covenants. It is a divine characteristic of having a relationship with Him. Due to Israel’s disobedience, the Old Testament covenant through the Law of Moses was just as hard and heavy as the literal tablets on which they originated.

In describing it, Paul states, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:19-20).

Drunk or Filled with the Spirit? (Mosiah 22)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 04 October 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 340

Drunk or Filled with the Spirit? (Mosiah 22)

In Mosiah 22, Gideon shares a plan with King Limhi to free the Nephites from being in bondage to the Lamanites. Knowing that the Lamanite guards get drunk every night until they pass out, Gideon suggests that the Nephite people gather their belongings and prepare to depart during the night after the guards have passed out. Limhi agrees with the plan and even sends a gift of extra wine to the Lamanite guards.

God Eases Your Burden – But You Still Have It (Mosiah 21)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 September 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 671

God Eases Your Burden – But You Still Have It (Mosiah 21)

After losing several battles to the Lamanites, the Nephites under the rule of King Limhi find themselves in bondage to the Lamanites in Mosiah 21, “submitting themselves to be smitten, and to be driven to and fro, and burdened, according to the desires of their enemies.” (Mosiah 21:13)

Now, these particular Nephites were not exactly godly people; they were followers of the late King Noah. However, as often happens when people are in trouble, they now turn to God to deliver them from their condition. God hears their cries and responds, though not exactly as they may have hoped:

“The Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.” (Mosiah 21:15)

Unintended Consequences (Mosiah 20)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 13 September 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 330

Unintended Consequences (Mosiah 20)

During the Great Plague of London in the 1600s, it was decided that dogs and cats throughout the city should be killed so people wouldn’t catch the deadly disease from their pets. However, eliminating these animals allowed the rat population to thrive, and the city was then overrun with rats. Oh, and by the way, the rats carried fleas, which were able to spread the disease even faster.

As illustrated above, some actions have unintended consequences.

Fighting the Real Enemy (Mosiah 19)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 06 September 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 314

Fighting the Real Enemy (Mosiah 19)

Everything unravels for the evil King Noah in Mosiah 19. After his army is unable to locate Alma’s hidden group of converts, Noah’s people start fighting among themselves. During this contention, a strong man named Gideon, who is an enemy to the king, takes advantage of the situation to engage King Noah in hand-to-hand combat. Gideon overpowers Noah and chases him up a tower and has his sword drawn, ready to kill the king.

From the top of the tower, the king is able to see in the distance that the Lamanite army is approaching, entering into the Nephite land, ready to attack the Nephite people. The cowardly king uses this as a ruse to prevent Gideon from killing him:

So, Now You're an Orphan (Mosiah 18)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 30 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 292

So, Now You're an Orphan (Mosiah 18)

In Mosiah 18, Alma, now a former priest of King Noah, begins to meet privately with as many people as possible to preach and teach the words that the prophet Abinadi taught prior to his death. He finds that many are accepting of his teachings and are willing to change their lives to be people of God.

In a famous scene, Alma addresses a congregation gathered at a place called the Waters of Mormon and invites them to begin their new lives by entering the waters of baptism. Here is an excerpt of his address to them:

Denying Your Testimony (Mosiah 17)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 23 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 417

Denying Your Testimony (Mosiah 17)

In Mosiah 17, the reaction of King Noah to the words of the prophet Abinadi is to sentence him to death. It’s not too surprising since Abinadi had called out the king and his priests for their sinful lifestyle, telling them that God was not pleased with them and that they needed to repent.

However, perhaps realizing that it wouldn’t look good to execute someone for making basically true statements, the king counsels with his priests for three days and finally decides that Abinadi should be put to death for a different reason — because he said that “God himself [in the form of Christ] should come down among the children of men” (Mosiah 17:8).

The Carnal Mind (Mosiah 16)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 16 August 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 526

The Carnal Mind (Mosiah 16)

What does it mean to be “carnal”? No, it doesn’t refer to someone who eats meat — that would be a carnivore. It does relate to flesh — not the eating of it but rather the pleasing of it.

There are many things we can do that please our human forms. Many of these are not sinful. In general, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life and doing things that make you happy. However, when the things of the flesh become foremost in our mind, we then have what is referred to as a “carnal mind,” one that seeks out things that please the flesh, whether they are sinful or not, typically overriding the prompting of the Spirit of God.

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