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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book of Mormon class - Alma chapter 63

Taught by Sue G.

     We are now coming to the end of the Book of Alma. Basically the Book has covered about 39 years.  We will be bidding farewell to Moroni and watching as some Nephites spread out to settle other lands. Moroni dies at about age 42 or 43.  He was 25 years old when he was appointed to be commander-in-chief of all the Nephite armies. (Alma 43:17)
     In individual council to his sons, Alma commended Shiblons steadiness, faithfulness, patience, diligence and long-suffering.  Shiblon had not faltered even though he had been imprisoned and stoned by the apostate Zoramites. Alma promised his son who had been faithful since his youth, that if he would continue trusting in God, he would be delivered doubt of his trials and be lifted up at the last days.  Alma bore testimony to Shiblon that only in and through Christ can one be saved. That is, saved from Spiritual bondage.     
     After Helaman dies, Shiblon assumes responsibility for the sacred records his nephew Helaman takes the records when Shiblon dies. Both are righteous men. copies of the records other than those forbidden by Alma are made and distributed among the people of the land.  Moroni dies. approximately 5,400 Nephite men, along with their wives and children, leave the land of Zarahemla and go into the land to the north. 

     The Book of Mormon records that the Civilization expanded into the land north ward.  A man named Hagoth constructed a ship to transport men, women, children and provisions by way of the west sea to the land northward.  While this ship was gone, Hagoth built other ships.  On a subsequent trip the first ship was lost.  One other ship also sailed and was lost.
     Latter day Saints believe groups such as these, became the ancestors of the Nephites, the polynesian  peoples of the Pacific.  This belief is substantiated by statements made by several general authorities.

     Elder Mark E. Petersen said, "The Polynesian Saints are characterized by a tremendous faith.... Why do they have this great faith?  It is because these people are of the blood of Israel.  They are heirs to the promises of the Book of Mormon.  God is now awakening them to their great destiny.  As Latter-day Saint we have always believed that the Polynesians are descendants of Lehi and blood relatives of the American Indians, despite the contrary theories of other men."

     Stuart Meha a Maori sent a telegram to President Joseph F smith asking if his people perhaps were descended from Hagoths people.  Pres. Smith replied, "I would like to say to you brethren and sisters from New Zealand, you are some of Hagoth's people, and there is NO perhaps about it."

     President David O Mckay said in a prayer about the Polynesian people, "We express gratitude to these fertile Islands thou didst guide descendants of Father Lehi and hast enabled them to prosper."

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