Sunday, August 05, 2007

Helaman 12

Unsteadiness and Scripture Study

How true and correct are the words of Mormon’s commentary! In my own life, I have been blessed tremendously. Yet, I become prideful and I begin to do things I shouldn’t and I forget whose hand has blessed my life.

Mankind’s heart is unsteady. It is no wonder the prophets counsel us to read and study the scriptures every day and to pray often every day. Our hearts need the anchor of prayer and scripture study in our lives to keep us on the paths of righteousness.

Recently, I came across an article in the August 2007 Ensign entitled “Savoring the Scriptures”. The article had a quote from Marion G. Romney. He said, “As I began to practice law, members of my family were a little uneasy. They were afraid I would lose my faith. I wanted to practice law, but I had an even greater desire to keep my testimony, and so I decided upon a little procedure which I recommend to you. For thirty minutes each morning before I began the day’s work I read from the Book of Mormon. … I know that it kept me in harmony … with the Spirit of the Lord. … It will hold us as close to the Spirit of the Lord as anything I know.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1949, 36, 41)

I really needed to read this chapter today. I needed to remember how important it is for me to read the Book of Mormon and to pray every day. I needed to remember what happens to those who forget the Lord and his mercy.

Trample Under Their Feet

The phrase “trample under their feet the Holy One” occurs a few times in the Book of Mormon – 1 Nephi 19:7, Alma 5:53, Helaman 12:2 and 3 Nephi 28:35.

This seems to be a figurative term symbolizing our willful disrespect for things that are holy and sacred.

To trample the Holy One means to willfully not listen to God’s counsels or the counsels of His prophets.

The Nothingness of Man

I really like Bryan Richards commentary on this subject. I will include it here.

“When it comes to the value of human existence, there is a doctrinal dichotomy which deserves some discussion. In the Mormon Church, the doctrine is commonly taught that all of God’s children are very literally sons and daughters of God with the same divine potential as their spiritual parents. Scriptures which confirm this principle teach that ‘we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together’ (Rom 8:16-17, see also Gal 4:1-7; Jn10:33-36). As his children, the Lord has asked us to remember that ‘the worth of souls is great in the sight of God’ (DC 18:10).

“On the other hand, Mormon reminds us about the great nothingness of man, that we are even ‘less than the dust of the earth.’ Well you can’t get much more worthless than that! Moses concluded that ‘man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed’ (Moses 1:10). Benjamin asked, ‘Can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth’ (Mosiah 2:25).

“Well, which is it? Are we worth less than the dust of the earth, or do we have great intrinsic worth as heirs of God? Can both of these things be true simultaneously? Mormon helps us to understand this doctrine. He explains that the dust moves according to the commands of God, but that man, by virtue of his agency, is the only being in the universe which defies the commandments of God. Therefore, as sinners, we are less than the dust of the earth.

“Our potential, however, is divine. It was this great transformation, from sinner to joint-heir, to which Paul referred, ‘the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant (or slave)…in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons…and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.’ (Gal 4:1-7) The proud need to be taught that they are less than the dust of the earth. If any boast of their divine potential, it is because they do not understand that such a glorious potential is available to them not because of their greatness but because of the condescension of Christ. As the Master in all things, Christ understands both ends of this great dichotomy, for he was God, yet he was forced to suffer all things—in effect, he was made lower than the dust of the earth that we might be glorified. ‘He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth’ (DC 88:6).

“What a piece of work is a man!…in action how like
an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of
the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what
is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no,
nor woman neither.”
(Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2)

Saved or Cast Out

“Blessed are they who will repent and hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; for these are they that shall be saved.” (Helaman 12:23)

“But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, year, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord.” (Helaman 12:25)

“Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fulness, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov 1995, 18)

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