I think I've discovered a new favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. I was reading last night and thinking more about some conversations I have had recently with friends and with myself (yes, I have conversations with myself).
Many false churches shall be built up in the last days—They shall teach false and vain and foolish doctrines—Apostasy shall abound because of false teachers—The devil shall rage in the hearts of men—He shall teach all manner of false doctrines. Between 559 and 545 B.C.
1 And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass.
6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of amiracles; he hath done his work.
7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be bmerry; nevertheless, fear God—he will cjustify in committing a little dsin; yea, elie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a fpit for thy neighbor; there is gno harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
10 And the ablood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.
14 They wear astiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and bwhoredoms, they have all cgone astray save it be a dfew, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are eled, that in many instances they do ferr because they are taught by the precepts of men.
15 O the awise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the bpride of their chearts, and all those who preach dfalse doctrines, and all those who commit ewhoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, fwo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.
23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be ajudged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a blake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at aease in Zion!
26 Yea, wo be unto him that ahearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we aneed no more!
30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon aprecept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn bwisdom; for unto him that creceiveth I will give dmore; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
32 aWo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and bcome unto me; for mine carm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.
I didn't want to post the whole chapter, but I didn't know which parts to pick and choose from because I really think that this chapter proves that the Book of Mormon was meant for our days. I read through it and see the influences Satan is having on the world - not using just one tactic, but many in order to get us to fall into his snares. We had a high priest or someone come and speak in Sacrament meeting a few weeks ago and he mentioned how Satan will try and pacify us into doing things that aren't good. And he likened that to the pacifier we give infants, it is meant as a tool to soothe and comfort, a replica of the same thing that provides nourishment, but that will never yield no matter how hard the baby tries. That's why it is called a pacifier (I swear, I never thought of it in those terms before). Just like the baby, we will never receive the spiritual comfort or nourishment when we are seeking among the things meant to pacify us, instead of the righteous places where we should be searching. Go back and read the verses I've marked in red. The words that are used are no accident: The devil stirs up, lulls, pacifies, flatters, cheats, whispers in our ears, and leads us away from where we want to be until we our bound in the chains of hell. He is subtle and he is tricky. And it is no wonder that the things that the world tells us is OK sounds OK to us. Of course it does, because that is how it works.
The other verses I've marked are ones that I encounter all the time. Those that have taken the education they've received and turned and twisted until the gospel no longer makes sense. They seek logic where faith is necessary and they allow pride to take over completely to where they no longer understand the gospel and the way the Lord works in our lives.
And finally, the verses that talk about how "God has given us all we need." That we don't need more. I think that these verses are talking mostly about the Book of Mormon as a companion to the Bible, but I also think that it can mean the Prophet and other modern day scripture. I've had this conversation with non-member friends who say that the Bible is enough. But the Bible is 2000 years old. Yes, it has very key concepts. It allows us to see the type of man Jesus Christ was as He walked this earth and taught his disciples. It teaches us the Mosaic law. But the Mosaic law is now fulfilled, and still the New Testament was deemed necessary.
After reading last night, I wrote in my journal something along the effects that: I'm grateful that I've grown up with the truth and with the whole and complete gospel. I have access to anything and everything that God wants me to know on how to live my life and what goals I should be seeking and most importantly, what to do when I fall off that path. Which is often.