Sunday, September 09, 2007

3 Nephi 21 & 22

Joseph Smith

3 Nephi 21:10 references Joseph Smith. It says that he shall be marred because of wicked people. Yet, the Lord will heal him and the Lord will show the people that his wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

This last part of the verse is so true. There seems to be many of those who are against the Church who absolutely cannot fathom how an obscure 14-year old boy could see God and Jesus Christ and then go on to translate an ancient record. They seem to try just about anything to discredit Joseph Smith. But Joseph is proof that the wisdom of God is greater than the cunning of the devil. The work will continue to grow.

On a similar note, one of my MTC teachers told us more than once that the Church must be true because if it weren't the missionaries would have destroyed it a long time ago … meaning that the Church continues to prosper despite the knuckle headedness of many youthful 19-year olds.


In 3 Nephi 21:14-19, the Lord warns the Gentiles (us) that if we do not repent and forsake our idols, we and our idols will be destroyed.

One of the assignments I had in a biology class in college was to read Spencer W. Kimball's talk "The False Gods we Worship" (Spencer W. Kimball, “The False Gods We Worship,” Ensign, Jun 1976, 3). He defined idolatry as "whatever thing a man sets his heart and his trust in most is his god; and if his god doesn't also happen to be the true and living God of Israel, that man is laboring in idolatry."

If you've not read this talk before, I encourage you to read it in its entirety. Here are a few more relevant quotes.

He also says, "Few men have ever knowingly and deliberately chosen to reject God and his blessings. Rather, we learn from the scriptures that because the exercise of faith has always appeared to be more difficult than relying on things more immediately at hand, carnal man has tended to transfer his trust in God to material things. Therefore, in all ages when men have fallen under the power of Satan and lost the faith, they have put in its place a hope in the “arm of flesh” and in “gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know” (Dan. 5:23)—that is, in idols."

He continues, "The Lord has blessed us as a people with a prosperity unequaled in times past. The resources that have been placed in our power are good, and necessary to our work here on the earth. But I am afraid that many of us have been surfeited with flocks and herds and acres and barns and wealth and have begun to worship them as false gods, and they have power over us. Do we have more of these good things than our faith can stand? Many people spend most of their time working in the service of a self-image that includes sufficient money, stocks, bonds, investment portfolios, property, credit cards, furnishings, automobiles, and the like to guarantee carnal security throughout, it is hoped, a long and happy life. Forgotten is the fact that our assignment is to use these many resources in our families and quorums to build up the kingdom of God—to further the missionary effort and the genealogical and temple work; to raise our children up as fruitful servants unto the Lord; to bless others in every way, that they may also be fruitful. Instead, we expend these blessings on our own desires, and as Moroni said, “Ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not.” (Morm. 8:39.)"

He quotes D&C 1:16, "They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon."

And here is one last quote that I found particularly interesting, "We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel—ships, planes, missiles, fortifications—and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching:

"'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

"'That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44–45.)'"

No Weapon Against Thee Shall Prosper

In 3 Nephi 22:17 we learn that the kingdom of God will prevail over all and that “no weapon that is formed” against the kingdom of God and his people will prosper.

“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (Joseph Smith Jr., “The Wentworth Letter,” Ensign, Jul 2002, 27)

No comments: