2020 Study Summary 34: Remember the Lord
“Remember the Lord”
Nephi is rejected in the north and returns to Zarahemla—He prays upon his garden tower and then calls upon the people to repent or perish.
Corrupt judges seek to incite the people against Nephi—Abraham, Moses, Zenos, Zenock, Ezias, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lehi, and Nephi all testified of Christ—By inspiration Nephi announces the murder of the chief judge.
Messengers find the chief judge dead at the judgment seat—They are imprisoned and later released—By inspiration Nephi identifies Seantum as the murderer—Nephi is accepted by some as a prophet.
The Lord gives Nephi the sealing power—He is empowered to bind and loose on earth and in heaven—He commands the people to repent or perish—The Spirit carries him from congregation to congregation. [Between 23 and 20 B.C.]
Nephi persuades the Lord to replace their war with a famine—Many people perish—They repent, and Nephi importunes the Lord for rain—Nephi and Lehi receive many revelations—The Gadianton robbers entrench themselves in the land. [Between 20 and 7 B.C.]
Men are unstable and foolish and quick to do evil—The Lord chastens his people—The nothingness of men compared with the power of God—In the day of judgment men shall gain everlasting life or everlasting damnation. [About 7 B.C.]
How can I avoid being “hard-hearted?”
The Children of Israel had a habit of being blessed and then forgetting God. The term “hardened” appears several times in the Stick of Judah (Bible) and the Stick of Joseph (The Book of Mormon). Spiritual hardening is a result of pride or of being proud. “Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.” (2 Kings 17:13-14) “And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,” (Nehemiah 9:15-16) “Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?” (1 Samuel 6:6) “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did speak much unto my brethren, because they had hardened their hearts again, even unto complaining against the Lord their God.” (1 Nephi 16:22) “And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living God.” (1 Nephi 17:30)
How do I replace the word, Proud?
We are reminded in our own times of the debilitating use of the word “proud” or “pride.” In 1989, President and Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, clearly instructed the saints to discontinue the use of the word pride or proud. He said “Pride is ugly.” (Conference Report, April 1989) A better way of expressing ourselves would be to follow Heavenly Father’s example. “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) It appears that people get lifted up in their pride. Some even want to be or claim to be “above” others. That prompted the Zoramites to build a tower, called a “Rameumptom” in the Book of Mormon. “For they had a place built up in the center of their synagogue, a place for standing, which was high above the head; and the top thereof would only admit one person.” (Alma 31:13) “Now the place was called by them Rameumptom, which, being interpreted, is the holy stand.” (Alma 31:21) The word Rama in Hebrew refers to a high place. The Lord did instruct Temples to be built in high places. The synagogue has three meeting areas. The congregants sit in an outer area, then there is a raised or elevated area called the bimah in the center of the synagogue. That is where the Torah is read. The Ark, where the Torah scrolls are kept, is higher than the Bimah and always in the part of the hall closest to Jerusalem. That is a reminder to the congregants that the “word” comes from Zion. The three meeting areas are in a temple style. The ancient Jerusalem Temple had an outer courtyard, inner courtyard and a Holy of Holies or as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call it, Telestial, Terrestrial and Celestial. The styling of the synagogue probably represents the Temple where authority came from.
How do “Sealing powers” teach me more about eternity?
Another significance is how this prophet Nephi, testified of his calling and authority. All true prophets did and still do testify of their authority. Additionally, a repeated manner of identifying a true prophet is by recognizing how God has named and authorized him. “Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.” (Helaman 10:6-7) “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19) God gives keys, signs, symbols and ritual procedures so that we may have physical as well as spiritual reminders of Him and His teachings.
How can I attain “Atonement?”
In 2020, Rosh Hashanah (beginning of the Biblical year) begins at sundown on Friday, September 18 and ends at sundown on Sunday, September 20. Every month there is a Rosh Chodesh (beginning of the Biblical month). These are days that include fasting and repentance. Selichot, prayers for forgiveness are spoken. “How will they attain atonement? (David) asked the Lord and was told that the people would recite the order of Selichot and would then be forgiven. God even showed David that this act of contrition would include a recitation of the 13 Attributes of Mercy, a descriptive passage from Exodus that expresses God’s merciful nature: “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7) “The name “Lord” [the Hebrew letters YHWH which constitute God’s name] (Jehovah) was consistently understood by the rabbis as referring to the appearance of God in His attribute of mercy. Therefore, its repetition in this passage indicated that God was merciful at all times.” (https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/selichot-prayers-of-repentance/)