Scripture Study

Fruitful Women: Hannah's Longsuffering

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 06 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 1389

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 758

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 828

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 955

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 823

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 891

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 924

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 828

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 813

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 869

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).

The Power of the Resurrection (2 Nephi 9)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 03 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 748

The Power of the Resurrection (2 Nephi 9)

Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes! (from chorus of “Christ Arose”)

If you’ve watched any movies that depict the life of Christ, they almost all end with Jesus returning from the dead. It makes for a nice ending — the hero is alive, the good guys (the disciples) were sad but end up happy, and the bad guys who had appeared to have won didn’t win after all. Of course, the same description can be applied to the ending of many other movies that have nothing to do with Jesus.

It’s important to understand that the resurrection is not just a happy ending to the story.

Redeemed of the Lord (2 Nephi 8)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 July 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 857

Redeemed of the Lord (2 Nephi 8)

REDEEM

  • To save (a person or soul) from a state of sinfulness and its consequences
  • To set free, as from slavery or kidnapping, by providing money or other compensation
  • To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum
  • To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of

In the passage from Isaiah that Jacob shares in 2 Nephi 8, he refers to the redeemed of the Lord: \\\"Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away\\\" (2 Nephi 8:11). This particular verse refers to those of the House of Israel who will one day accept Christ and be gathered into Zion.

Who Moved? (2 Nephi 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 20 July 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 858

Who Moved? (2 Nephi 7)

You’ve probably gone through something like this at some point. You have a close friend who lives near you (or works with you, attends the same church, goes to school with you, etc.). The day arrives when your friend moves away (leaves the company, church, school, etc.).

Promises are made that you’ll still be close friends. Perhaps that lasts for a while, but as time passes, contact is less frequent. The closeness is no longer there. The day may come when your friend calls and says, “What happened? We used to be so close but now we hardly even speak anymore.” Rather than hurt your friend’s feelings, you may choose the typical meaningless reply (“Things have been so busy … you know how it is.”) but what you really want to say is, “Hey, who moved? I’m still in the same place I was before — you’re the one who moved away. Why would you expect our relationship to be unchanged?”

Ordained of God (2 Nephi 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 22 June 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 946

Ordained of God (2 Nephi 6)

In 2 Nephi 6, Nephi’s brother, Jacob, shares some prophecy regarding the role of the Gentiles in restoring the House of Israel. In order to provide some credibility for his words, Jacob begins with this introduction: “I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi…” (2 Nephi 6:2).

Even as Jacob was ordained into the priesthood at that time, we have people today who occupy ordained offices in The Church of Jesus Christ. These ordained offices are Apostle, Evangelist, Elder, Teacher, Deacon and Deaconess. How is a member of The Church placed in one of these offices? The steps are outlined in Jacob’s statement above.

Follow a Good Example (2 Nephi 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 15 June 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 918

Follow a Good Example (2 Nephi 5)

After the death of his father, Lehi, Nephi finds his life threatened by his brothers, Laman and Lemuel. Heeding the warning of the Lord, Nephi takes the members of his family who are supportive of him (hereafter known as Nephites) and separates from Laman and Lemuel and their followers (hereafter known as Lamanites).

After establishing their new home in a different part of the land, the Nephites set to work on a couple of projects:

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