Scripture Study

Fruitful Women: Gentleness in the Story of Moses

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 03 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 651

Fruitful Women: Gentleness in the Story of Moses

What do the following have in common?

  • Gentleness
  • Pharoah’s daughter
  • Jochebed
  • Miriam
  • Adoption

Read on to learn how today’s fruit of the spirit, gentleness, relates to the topics outlined above.

According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, gentleness is defined as “sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior founded on strength and prompted by love.”

The Lamb & the Lion (2 Nephi 21)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 02 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 543

The Lamb & the Lion (2 Nephi 21)

The image of the lamb and the lion lying down together is a familiar one, typically representing “peace on earth.” Many Christian groups use this image, and many organizations have “Lamb & Lion” as part of their name. This phrase is based on the prophecy in Isaiah 11, which is reproduced in 2 Nephi 21:

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young one shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." (2 Nephi 21:6-7)

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (2 Nephi 20)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 26 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 534

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (2 Nephi 20)

Here are a few hypothetical scenarios:

  • Suppose I am a church officer, perhaps a representative of the finance committee, and I come to your branch and present an impassioned plea for all of you to donate as much as you can to the church. During questions and answers, it somehow comes out that I myself don’t donate at all. You ask me, “Why should we donate to the church if you don’t?” How shall I respond – “Do as I say, not as I do”?
  • Now suppose I’m a member of the ministry and I preach on the sinfulness of adultery, and then it comes out that I in fact indulge in sexual indiscretions. Do as I say, not as I do?
  • I’m a Sunday school teacher, teaching about the 10 Commandments, when I regularly cheat on my taxes and am often dishonest in my dealings with other people. Do as I say, not as I do?
  • Or, I’m a new member of the church (or any member of the church) and I tell my friends about how much the church has changed my life and how thankful I am that I no longer live the type of life I used to. Perhaps my friends still live this type of life, and I’m letting them know they would do well to check out the church. Yet, I still frequent the bars; my language is still filthy; and I don’t even make it to church very often. In short, my life hasn’t really changed that much after all. Do as I say, not as I do?

His Name is Wonderful (2 Nephi 19)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 19 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 634

His Name is Wonderful (2 Nephi 19)

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:9-11)

There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ…And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ. (Mosiah 5:8-9)

Based on the verses above, is it any wonder that we say (and even sing) His name is wonderful? It’s a powerful name that brings salvation and casts out the enemy.

Is Christ Offensive? (2 Nephi 18)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 12 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 623

Is Christ Offensive? (2 Nephi 18)

The prophecy recounted in 2 Nephi 18 indicates that Jesus Christ would be “a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel…many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken” (2 Nephi 18:14-15). The prophecy seems to be saying that Christ would be offensive. Was this accurate? See for yourself:

  • Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said…Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:12-14)
  • After stating that His followers should eat His flesh and drink His blood, “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66).
  • The Jewish leaders were so offended with His claim to be the Son of God that they caused Him to be crucified.

Fruitful Women: Hannah's Longsuffering

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 06 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 1070

Fruitful Women: Hannah's Longsuffering

This is the first article of a series by Sister Linda Scolaro in which she relates the fruits of the spirit to women in scripture who possess them. Enjoy!

What do you think of when you read the following?

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering
  • Gentleness
  • Goodness
  • Faith
  • Meekness
  • Temperance

Galatians 5 refers to these qualities as the fruits of the spirit. In examining them closely, I realize how many of these characteristics I lack in my own character. One fruit or attribute that I can personally relate to is longsuffering. At the very least, I can relate to the patience aspect of longsuffering. There have been times when patience was essential because God didn’t answer my prayers quickly. Waiting on the Lord is always best, but it is not always easy.

God With Us (2 Nephi 17)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 05 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 530

God With Us (2 Nephi 17)

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:22-23)

This passage is often read as part of a Christmas sermon celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The prophet referred to in the passage is Isaiah, and the quote comes from Isaiah 7:14, which is reproduced in 2 Nephi 17:14.

The recognition that the birth of Christ created a condition of “God with us” is an important concept in understanding why Jesus took on flesh and lived as a man among us.

Send Me (2 Nephi 16)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 28 September 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 609

Send Me (2 Nephi 16)

2 Nephi 16 includes the account of Isaiah’s calling as a prophet. In a famous scene, a heavenly being takes a hot coal and touches Isaiah’s tongue with it, purging him of his sins and preparing him to do the Lord’s work. Then the Lord speaks to him: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me” (2 Nephi 16:8).

In the work of the Lord today, we often hear the equivalent of the question, “Who will go for us?” The actual question could be any of the following:

En La Viña Del Señor (2 Nephi 15)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 21 September 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 669

En La Viña Del Señor (2 Nephi 15)

The prophecy in 2 Nephi 15 relies heavily on the metaphor of the vineyard. It mentions planting in the vineyard, fencing it, pruning it, digging in it, putting in a wine-press for the grapes that would grow, etc. An actual vineyard is typically a collection of grape vines used to grow grapes to make wine with, but when the term is used in prophecy, it of course means something else.

In this particular prophecy, the vineyard is used to represent the House of Israel (2 Nephi 15:7) so everything that is done to the vineyard in this chapter is something that was being prophesied would be done to the House of Israel.

Holy, Holy, Holy (2 Nephi 14)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 07 September 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 601

Holy, Holy, Holy (2 Nephi 14)

The prophecy in 2 Nephi 14 indicates that the people who will be in Zion “shall be called holy” (v. 3). What does it mean to be holy? Can we be holy today?

Definitions of the word “holy” include sacred, sanctified, set apart, dedicated to God, etc. These are all good things to be; however, they make it sound like we should be shutting ourselves off from the world. Describing ourselves as holy can cause some challenges — people may think we consider ourselves perfect or, at the least, better than other people. Thus the term “holier than thou.”

You Reap What You Sow (2 Nephi 13)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 31 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 650

You Reap What You Sow (2 Nephi 13)

I once preached a sermon in which I said that I went to a seed store and bought seeds to plant orange trees. The package said the seeds were for orange trees, and the salesperson confirmed that these seeds would grow nice orange trees. I told the congregation that I was so proud of the oranges that I grew that I brought one to show them. I then reached into my briefcase and held up a banana! As everyone looked at me shaking their heads (or SMH as they say on social media today) I went on to explain that if you plant seeds for a banana tree, that’s what you will get regardless of what anyone else says and how convincing they may sound.

In other words – You Reap What You Sow.

The Peaceful Reign (2 Nephi 12)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 24 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 648

The Peaceful Reign (2 Nephi 12)

"We believe in the fulfillment and ultimate establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth while men are still in the flesh. We refer to this period as the “Peaceful Reign.”
– From Article 23 of the Faith & Doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ

Chapters 12 through 24 of 2 Nephi consist of the prophecies contained in Isaiah 2-14. Nephi included these prophecies in his record because he felt they were important for his people to know.

2 Nephi 12 (from Isaiah 2) includes a vivid description of a period of time (still in the future) that we refer to as the Peaceful Reign or Zion. The prophecy states that people “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks – nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (2 Nephi 12:4).

Called as a Witness (2 Nephi 11)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 17 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 582

Called as a Witness (2 Nephi 11)

In 2 Nephi 11, Nephi briefly comments on the preceding chapters in which he included the words of his brother Jacob. He points out that since Jacob has also been a witness to the coming Christ, his words are valuable alongside the words of Nephi since the combination of their words is more effective in proving the case of Christ to others. Nephi states, “God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words” (2 Nephi 11:3).

There are several places in scripture where it states that the testimony of multiple witnesses is more valuable — or even required — as compared to the testimony of a single witness. Along these lines, note the following:

Don't Be Deceived

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Thursday, 11 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 590

Don't Be Deceived

Throughout the Book of Mormon there are several instances where men with evil intentions deceived many people. All of them were out for power and spoke flattering words to get people to follow them. One such person was Amalickiah. Alma 46 and 47 describe him and what lengths he went to in order to become a king.

First, he started out as the leader of the opposition against the church and standing government of the Nephites. Moroni, the young commander of the Nephite army, saw this and would not stand for it. He created the Title of Liberty and gathered as many as would fight with him to protect the church and the liberty they enjoyed. Amalickiah, seeing that his forces were outnumbered, took whoever would go with him into the wilderness to the land of Nephi. It is here that we see how determined he was to become king.

Land of Our Inheritance (2 Nephi 10)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 10 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 581

Land of Our Inheritance (2 Nephi 10)

Today, many of us routinely buy and sell homes and move around frequently. For Israelite families during the time period covered by the Book of Mormon, this was not the case.

Such families were typically allotted a parcel of land that would remain in the family for generations, being passed from father to son and perhaps divided up as necessary. This land was referred to as the “land of their inheritance” and was clearly very valuable.

As a clear indicator that Lehi was “all in” for God when he left Jerusalem in 1 Nephi 2, the record notes that “he left his house, and the land of his inheritance” (1 Nephi 2:4).

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