Scripture Study

Sometimes It Is All About You (3 Nephi 15)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 16 October 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 152

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 211

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 191

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 I used to keep printed maps in the glove compartment of my car, but those weren't very detailed, and they became outdated as roads changed over time.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 201

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 208

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 275

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 214

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).

Elizabeth: More Than Just a Positive Attitude

Written by Sister Alena X. Ricci on Thursday, 19 September 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 272

Elizabeth: More Than Just a Positive Attitude

Today's article is another installment in Sister Alena X. Ricci's series on the women of the Bible.

Elizabeth is a familiar figure in scripture. I think that, as women, we are told to look to her as an example. Here was a woman who was faithful, never-changing, and consistent in her service to God. She was walking in all the commandments before God. She did everything she could to be a righteous, faithful example.

But she was barren. (As I went through this story, I was reminded of how familiar this is both in Scripture and in our own lives today.)

She was well respected, and when her husband went to the temple and came back mute, sharing the news that she was to have a child, I like to imagine that she laughed.

But unlike Sarah, she didn’t laugh at the power of God, but instead at her husband for having an angel actually tell him what was going to happen and still voice disbelief. (How many times does God show us something directly and we still doubt?)

How to Perform a Baptism (3 Nephi 11)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 18 September 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 267

How to Perform a Baptism (3 Nephi 11)

In 3 Nephi 11, the resurrected Jesus Christ appears to the Nephite people in spectacular fashion, descending out of heaven before their eyes. After the people have time to react to the appearance of their Savior, including touching His nail prints and the place where the sword pierced His side, Jesus begins to teach them things that are important for them to know.

Jesus begins with teaching them how to baptize. For those of us who are called to perform baptisms, this knowledge is invaluable. For any member of The Church — and anybody considering becoming a member of The Church — it's great to know that the instructions of the Lord are followed exactly when a baptism is performed.

OK, someone has expressed a desire to repent of their sins and be baptized. We're gathered at the water's edge. What happens next?

Compared to Who? (3 Nephi 10)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 11 September 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 453

Compared to Who? (3 Nephi 10)

Perhaps you're familiar with the book, "Gulliver’s Travels." If I asked you whether Gulliver was a tall man or a short man, a reasonable response would be, "Compared to who?" In Part 1 of the story, Gulliver travels to a land called Lilliput where all of the people are 6 inches tall. In that land, Gulliver is a giant. However, in the second part of the story, he travels to a land called Brobdingnag where all of the people are over 70 feet tall. In that land, he is tiny.

There are many ways we can describe ourselves that take on different meanings depending on who we compare ourselves to. For example, if I (as a 60-year-old) compare my athletic abilities to a group of 90-year-olds, I can make myself sound like I'm ready for the Olympics. I'd be the fastest, strongest, and able to jump the highest of everyone in the group. On the other hand, if I make the same comparisons to a group of 21-year-olds, I'll feel like I'm ready for an old age home.

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit (3 Nephi 9)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 04 September 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 321

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit (3 Nephi 9)

In 3 Nephi 9, the Nephites deal with the aftermath of the great destruction that occurred at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. As they sit in total darkness, the voice of Christ is heard across the land by all of the people. Jesus points out that all of the destruction is the result of the sins of the people — He then tells them how they need to proceed at this point in order to be forgiven of their sins. Now that Jesus has served as the final sacrifice, the Law of Moses has been fulfilled and sacrifices will no longer be necessary. Instead, the people are now instructed to make a different type of sacrifice:

"And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost" (3 Nephi 9:20)

What are a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and what do they have to do with serving God?

When the Lights Go Out (3 Nephi 8)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 28 August 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 255

When the Lights Go Out (3 Nephi 8)

Today, we're going to go over some steps you need to take in the event of a power failure in your home. What do you do when the lights go out?

Step 1: Determine whether there has been a power failure.

Look around you. What do you see? If nothing, then you can be reasonably certain there has been a power failure.

Step 2: Seek an alternative source of light.

If you have candles or flashlights in your home, now is the time to use them. If you don't have any of these — well, think about the parable of the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins (Matthew 25) and decide which of those you're identifying with right now.

Raising the Dead (3 Nephi 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 21 August 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 238

Raising the Dead (3 Nephi 7)

In 3 Nephi 7, the government that has been in effect since the time of Mosiah shuts down, as the chief judge is murdered once again and the Nephite people split up into various separate communities (or tribes), each with its own laws. Each tribe considers itself an entity unto itself — all other tribes are enemies — and nobody is willing to take direction from anyone else.

Nephi, perhaps assisted by his brother Timothy, goes among the people to preach repentance and faith in Christ to them. Miracles are performed so the people can witness the power of Christ. Yet, they are unmoved and, in fact, become very angry. They even take Timothy and stone him to death! Nephi responds by raising his brother from the dead!!

Now, it would be a nice ending to say that the people were converted after witnessing such an obvious display of the power of God — someone being raised from the dead. However, that's not what happens. Other than a few who are converted, the people continue down the evil path that leads to their eventual destruction in the next chapter. Sad to see people so enslaved by the enemy that even witnessing the raising of the dead can't free them.

Getting Away With Murder (3 Nephi 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 14 August 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 676

Getting Away With Murder (3 Nephi 6)

In 3 Nephi 6, with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ drawing nearer, efforts intensify to reach out to the sinful people of the Nephite community:

"There began to be men inspired from heaven and sent forth … preaching and testifying boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people, and testifying unto them concerning the redemption which the Lord would make for his people." (3 Nephi 6:20)

Not surprisingly, the sinful people do not receive this message well, becoming "exceeding angry because of those who testified of these things" (verse 21). It turns out that some number of these people are associated with the legal profession — lawyers and judges — and they actually use their positions to arrest many of those who are preaching God's message and then arrange for them to illegally be put to death.

A Disciple of Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 07 August 2019. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 286

A Disciple of Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 5)

In 3 Nephi 5, the narrative continues with the imprisonment of the defeated Gadianton robbers. In a merciful move, the Nephites preach the word of God to the prisoners — all who repent of their crimes and enter into a covenant to serve God are freed and become part of the society; those who refuse to repent are punished for their crimes.

After sharing the above story with us, the editor of the narrative notes that so many things happened during the first 25 years after the birth of Jesus Christ that not even one percent of them can be recorded in this book. He then introduces himself to us:

"Behold, I am called Mormon…I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life" (3 Nephi 5:12-13)

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