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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Book of Mormon ~ Helaman chapter 8

Taught by Sue G.

*Keep in mind that which Mormon selected to include in the plates, from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, was to help us with specific issues we would face in our day.  In these chapters especially, we are being given an inspired course in political science, Mormon is showing us what works to preserve freedom, agency and what types of things work to destroy them.

Nephi continues preaching repentance to the people of Zarahelma, the corrupt judges try to incite the people against Nephi.  He reminds the people that every holy prophet from the beginning testified of the Savior. 

Centuries earlier, Nephi had referred to the brazen serpent raised by Moses as an emblem of the Messiah to come (2 Nephi 25:20)  Alma also taught that this symbol pointed to Christ (Alma 33:14-22)  Through the brass plates of Laban, all the Nephite prophets had access to the account of Moses lifting the brazen serpent.  Nephi commands the people of his day to open their eyes and look upon the Savior as the Israelites look upon the serpent for healing.

As we begin chapter 8, we hear the angry cries of the corrupt judges who claim that Nephi has violated their government by the statements he made.  This can easily remind us of similar cries among those today who claim that any mention of God, religion prophecy, scripture, or use of the terms "good and evil", "right and wrong" etc., is offensive to the laws and freedoms of the land.

Helaman 8-4
As with the leaders of the Jews who stirred up the people against Jesus, so it is also with these leaders of the Nephites.  They wanted to be rid of Nephi, but they wanted to make it look legal or at least make it look like the will of the people.

Helaman 8:6
While some express anger against Nephi, others are beginning to believe him.

Helaman 8:7-9
Those who wanted to see Nephi destroyed so that he could no longer expose their wicked deeds are forced to back off.

Helaman 8:11-12
Many throughout the ages have claimed to believe past prophets of God, but have refused to believe the current prophets.  It is a much used pattern of deception used successfully by the devil.  These Nephites have fallen into the same trap. Nephi will point out that those who reject current prophets are actually rejecting past prophets.  

Helaman 8:14:15
Nephi will now point out that Moses was not the only prophet who testified of Christ, whom many of these Nephites and Gadianton robbers are rejecting.

Helaman 8:16-18
Nephi will mention three prophets not mentioned in the Bible, Zenos, Zenock and Elias who lived after Abraham and who also testified of the coming of Christ.  These Prophets were obviously mentioned in the Brass plates of Laban which basically contained the old Testament up to about 600 B.C.

Zenos is mentioned 12 times in the Book of Mormon.
Zenos doctinal messages included the following:
1- redemption in Christ (Alma 34:7
2- Destruction at the time of Christs death (Helaman      14:20-28
3- Prayer & worship (Alma 33:2-11
4- The destiny of Israel
5- The destruction at the time of the Saviors second advent (2 Nephi 25:13

Elder Bruce R. McConkie has suggested that these later prophets found common source in a more ancient prophet namely Zenos.  Once the Lord has revealed his doctrine in precise language to a chosen prophet, he observed there is no reason why he should not inspire another prophet to choose the same words in presenting the same doctrine on a subsequent occasion.  It is much easier and simpler to quote that which has already been given in perfection.

Elder McConkie has declared "I do not think I overstate the matter when I say that next to Isaiah himself - who is the prototype, pattern, and model for all the prophets - there was not a greater prophet in all Israel than Zenos.  And our knowledge of his inspired writings is limited to the quotations and para phrasing summaries found in the Book of Mormon.  In a future day the faithful will like Lehi and Alma be able to search the brass plates and study many remarkable miracles of the prophet Zenos.

Zenock is referred to five times.  In each case his message centers on the Messiah.
1- He taught that the Son of God would come to redeem his people. (Alma 34:7 & Helaman 8:18-20)
2- He spoke of the Lords anger with the people for their refusal to understand the mercies which has been bestowed upon them.  (Alma 33:14-17)
3- He prophesied that the Savior would be crucified (1 Nephi 19:10) and that great destruction would accompany his death (3 Nephi 10:14-16)

Nephi is "surrounding himself" with others who have testified of Christ as he tries to help these Nephites realize that the Savior will come .  In fact, Jesus will be born to Mary in Bethlehem in a little over 20 years from this time.

Helaman 8:19-20
Since Jeremiah was right about the destruction of Jerusalem why wouldn't he be right about the coming of Christ?

Nephi adds his powerful testimony to that of past prophets.  He is continuing to bear testimony of the much available evidence that prophecy is indeed fulfilled.

He recalls the destruction of Jerusalem which was prophesied by Jeremiah and others, at which time wicked King Zedekiah was captured, forced to watch as the conquerors killed his sons before his eyes, then put out his eyes and took him as a trophy of war. (Jeremiah 39:6-7)  He calls on the fact that descendants of King Zedekiah, the Mulekites, live among them even now are solid evidence that Jerusalem was destroyed as prophesied.

Helaman 8:22-24
The last lines in verse 24 go along with Moses 6:63.  A major message here is that there is an abundance of evidence all around us all the time that God exists.  Nephi is basically pointing out that only the Spiritually blind and the intentionally rebellious could possibly miss or ignore this fact.

One of Nephi's major objectives in this chapter has been to show that the Lord does inspire his prophets such that they can know of things which others do not know .  They can thus inform others of their safety and protection or can warn them of dangers and coming destruction.  Nephi is blessed with this power as he tells these people that their chief judge has just been murdered buy his own brother.

We should all remember to be so grateful for a living Prophet today to guide and direct us by the Lord. Let us never take that for granted!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Book of Mormon Class ~ Helaman Chapter 13

Taught by Sue G.

Who was Samuel the Lamanite and why was he sent?

Samuel was one of the Lamanites who did observe strictly to keep the commandments of God.  He may have come from among the Ammononites (Anti-Nephi_Lehies) a righteous people who never did in their entire history turn away from the Lord or his gospel. He may have come from among the righteous Lamanities converted by the preaching of Nephi and Lehi when the Lamanites became more righteous than the Nephites and sent missionaries among them to call them to repentance. Where ever he came from we know he came to Zarahemla commissioned by an angel to proclaim God's word to the wicked Nephites there.

We might wonder why was a Laminte sent to teach repentance to the Nephites  The Nephites already had prophets among them - Nephi and Lehi in particular. There is great irony in this -- that a Lamanite would be sent to call Nephites to repentance.  It demonstrates a the righteousness reversal that these two people had experienced.

Samuel did not take it upon himself to decide what to preach to the Nephites.  He taught "what-so-ever things so should come into his heart". Concerning this revelatory process, President Boyd K. Packer described how the voice of the Lord often comes. "Revelation" comes as words we FEEL more than HEAR. Nephi told his wayward brothers who were visited by an angel, "Ye were past feeling that ye could not feel his words". (1 Nephi 17:45)

The scriptures are full of such expressions as "the veil was taken from our minds and the eyes of our understanding were opened" (D&C 110:11)  or "I will tell you in your mind and in your heart" (D&C 8:2) or "I did enlighten the mind" (D&C 6:5) or "speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts" (D&C 100:5) There are hundreds of verses which teach of revelation (Helaman 13:11-16). There have been times when the wicked were spared from terrible destruction because there were righteous people living among them.

The wicked people of Zarahemla had the righteous people to thank for their preservation from destruction though, of coarse, they did not know it.  In a few years Zarahemla lost the silent and unappreciated protection. Samuel's words were fulfilled (3 Nephi 9:3).  Even Sodom and Gomorrah would have been spared if only 10 righteous people had lived there.

How we live really does make a difference.  The personal righteousness of a few can become a great blessing to others especially to those in our own family and local community.

Helaman 13:17-21

The Nephites had a practice of burying their wealth and most treasured possessions in the earth to hide them from others and protect them from the elements.  The Lord here pronounces through Samuel the Lamanite a "curse upon the Land" with the result that whoso shall hide up treasures in the earth shall find them again no more unless he were a righteous man who sought to "hide it up unto the Lord. (as Mormon and Moroni did with the plates)"  In addition when they sought to flee from their enemies "in that day they be smitten, saith the Lord."

Elder Dallin H Oaks of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles described the relationship between materialism and spirituality, "Materialism, which gives PRIORITY to material needs and objects is obviously the opposite of spirituality." The Savior taught that we should not lay up treasures upon the earth (Matt 6:19) where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. We should lay up treasures in heaven (Matt 6:21)

There is nothing inherently evil about money.  The good Samaritan used the same coinage to serve his fellow man that Judas used to betray the Master.  It is the LOVE of money which is the root of all evil.  (1 Tim 6:10)  The critical difference is the degree of spirituality we exercise in viewing evaluating and managing the things of the world and our experiences in it.  If allowed to become an object of worship or priority, money can make us selfish and prideful (Alma 5:37).  In contrast, if used for fulfilling our legal obligations and for paying our tithes and offerings, money can demonstrate integrity and develop unselfishness.  The spiritually enlightened use of property can help us for the higher law of a celestial glory.

To what did Samuel attribute the Nephites' curse?  What did they remember and what did they forget?  Why is this important in your life?

Elder M Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles taught the importance of following living prophets and apostles. " Now my dear brothers and sisters, please pay attention to those things that the leaders of the Church have taught. Apply the teaching. That will help you and your family. Let all of us regardless of our family circumstances bring into our homes the teachings of the prophets and the apostles to strengths our relationships with each other, with our Father in Heaven and with the Lord Jesus. I promise you in the name of the Lord that if you will listen not just with your ears but also with your heart, the Holy ghost will Manifest the truth unto you of the messages delivered by the President of the Church his counselors, the Apostles, and other leaders of the Church..The Spirit will prompt you to know what you should do as individuals and as families to follow our counsel, that your missionaries might have peace and joy."

Samuel warned the Nephites that they had been seeking happiness in doing iniquity which is contrary to the nature of happiness. Speaking of this problem and how true happiness comes Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles pointed out that happiness only comes with righteousness. "Have you noticed how Satan works to capture the mind and emotions...with flashing images blaring music and the stimulation of every physical senses to excess?  He diligently strives to fill life with action, entertainment and stimulation so that one cannot ponder the consequences of his tempting invitation. Think of it; some are tempted to violate the most basic commandments of God because of seductive actions portrayed as acceptable. They are made to seem attractive even desirable. There seems to be no serious consequences but rather apparent lasting joy and happiness but recognize that those performances are controlled by scripts and actors.  The outcome of decisions made is like wise manipulated to be whatever the producer wants. Life is not that way. Yes, moral agency allows you to choose what you will, but you cannot control the outcome of those choices. Unlike the false creations of many, our Father in Heaven determines the consequences of your choices. Obedience will yield happiness, while violation of his commandments will not.

In what ways does Alma 41:10-11 relate to Helaman 13:28? Why is it impossible to find happiness in sin?

Elder Marion G. Romney said, "Satan is evil ... totally and always.  He seeks to defeat the gospel plan and destroy the souls of men Satan is irrevocably committed to cornering and overcoming the influence of the Spirit of Christ upon men.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, "Happiness is the object and design of our existence and will be the end thereof, if we purse the path that leads to it, and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of god."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Updates to the August Calendar

Can you even believe.....
It's time again for the annual


Monday, August 26th

Drop your kids off at School and come to Breakfast 
at Terry Salmon's house.

No School kids....NO PROBLEM!
Everyone is welcome!

We have really enjoyed this relaxing morning 
of visiting every year!


 .... is back in action
Every Tuesday
@ Sharon Gehring's house

Come and share in one another's bounty!

You can drop off your extra and pick up some you need.

You do not have to contribute to partake!!!

All extras will be donated to the local food bank.
They don't get fresh produce very often and they LOVE IT!!!


Mark your calendars for the upcoming

Spicy Sister Salsa Social
Relief Society Social

Tuesday, September 24th
6:30pm @ Terry Salmon's house

You won't want to miss this one!!!


*Pinterest Group will start up
September 12th, 9am-11am
at Sydney Garner's

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Know Your Neighbor ~ The Becker's

Let's all join in welcoming the Becker family, who recently moved into our ward!  They moved from Bountiful and bought the Seely’s house on Willow Valley Drive.   They lived in Bountiful for five years and lived in Salt Lake before that.

Angie and Ryan met through mutual friends.  They have been married eight years, and have three adorable children--Jaxon who is five, Mya who is three, and new addition, Clara, who was born on July 4th.

Both Angie and Ryan were born in Logan.  Angie's family lived in several different cities throughout Utah when she was growing up.  Both Angie and Ryan's families moved to Highland when they were teenagers, so they both graduated from Lone Peak High School.

Ryan grew up as the fourth of five children.  After high school he joined the army.  Then he served a mission in Mexico.  Ryan attended the University of Utah.  He is now a member of the National Guard and works for them at Camp Williams where he teaches firearm safety.  He enjoys all types of sports.
Angie grew up as the middle of three children.  She attended the University of Utah and graduated with a degree in exercise physiology.  Later she went back to school at the University of Utah and got a Registered Nursing degree.  She now works part time as a nurse.  Angie enjoys swimming when she can find the time.

The first time Ryan asked Angie out on a date, she accepted and then later cancelled because a friend offered her a free ski pass for the same day.  Ryan now teases and says that's  when he knew she was the one he would marry.

Together the Beckers enjoy biking and skiing .  They have also done some triathlons together.  Most of all they enjoy spending time together as a family.
We are happy to have the Becker family in our ward and look forward to getting to know them better!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book of Mormon Class ~ Helaman 7

Taught by Sue G.

Nephi the son of Helaman responds to God's warning that he will destroy the people unless they repent.
Helaman 6:6

Having had so much success on previous missions, he must have looked forward with great anticipation to the sweet privilege of bringing many more souls unto Christ.  Such was not to be the case.
He preaches in the North where his message is rejected, then returns to Zarahemla.  He prays a top a garden tower attracting a crowd and calling on them to repent or perish.

In the 69th year of the reign of the judges, Nephi came back home to the Land of Zarahemla throughly rejected and discouraged.  Not only had he been rejected in the North, but while he was gone the Gadianton Robers had taken over the government of his land.  No wonder he was discouraged.  Perhaps there is an important message for us in this, namely that righteous people can become discouraged too.
Helaman 7:1-3

There are many parallels between what happened to the Nephite government and what is happening to many governments around the world today.  The warning for us in the next few verses, are clear.  They open the door for us to have wisdom on political matters to do whatever we can to remedy situations within our sphere of influence as instructed in the Lord.
Helaman 7:4-6

Next, we get a very personal glimpse into the soul of a truly great man as he yearns for "the good old days" of the past.  It is a tender insight. (Helaman 7:7-9)
Helaman 10:1-2

Nephi resorted to a tower that was in his garden which was by the highway to the chief marker of Zarahemla, and bowed himself upon the tower.  One might wonder why he would pray from the top of a tower since we do no such thing in our own day.  To appreciate the importance of this procedure, we have to understand why Nephite towers were built and what they looked like.  They were small personal worship towers that graced the property of some Meso-American peoples.  Like the larger pyramids that can be found all over North and South America, these mini towers were sacred places of resort to people wishing to "stand on holy ground" as they worshiped.

Jerry L Ainsworth wrote:  The book of Moses speaks of the Lords coming to dwell with his people, who were called Zion in the days of Enoch.  The "glory of the Lord" came upon his people and they were blessed upon the mountains and upon high places.  (Moses 7:10-17)

The high places may be a reference to pyramid places of worship...
In Central America today the ruins of pyramids are generally crowned with temples or sacred sanctuaries for worship, evidence of sacrifices made at such sites abounds.  A similar trend appears in the old Testament.  At first Israels high places were used for offering acceptable sacrifices to God.  Later, at the corruption of the peoples religion, the high places become sites for idolatrous practices.

Maya Scholars, Linda Schele and David Freded consider the pyramid Temples found in the low lands of Central America to be symbolic sacred mountains that were used for worship.
Helaman 7:13-16


As Nephi continues, he intersperses merciful reminders that the people can still repent.  He strongly counsels them to do so.
Helaman 7:17-18

Sometimes when people are very far gone, spiritually, it requires rather blunt warnings in order to have any chance of getting them back.  We see such a warning in verse 19.  Nephi points out how people can turn from righteousness to extreme wickedness to in a short time.
Helaman 7:20-21

Pres. Ezra Taft Benson said: " The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the Prophet are; the proud who are learned, and proud who are rich.  The learned may feel the prophet is only inspired when he agrees with them, otherwise the prophet is just giving his opinion, speaking as a man.  The rich man feel they have no need to take counsel of a lowly prophet."

The words repent and turn both come from the same Hebrew word shuwb, which means to "go back home" or "turn away".

Some things to ponder from this Chapter:
  • The Lord forsakes those who harden their hearts and refuse to hear His words, they provoke His anger and he scatters them.

  • The Lord does not strengthen or protect those who have turned away from him.

  • The Lord is merciful to those who repent.

  • Prophets do not speak of themselves, their messages come from the Lord.

  • Prophets always declare repentance as opposed to the messages of priestcraft.

Thursday, August 1, 2013



It's time for

Our Relief Society Encampment

It is Friday & Saturday,
August 2nd and 3rd

It will be a wonderful break from all of 
our normal responsibilities!
There is nothing better than 
time spent with each other.

Meet at Terry Salmon's at noon Friday
We will carpool
We will be home by 3pm on Saturday

Contact Terry @ 801-682-6424
if you have any questions. 


We will be starting our once a month 
Sisters Temple Night
Thursday, August 15th

Meet in the Cafeteria at 5:30 for dinner then we will go to the 6:30 Session.

We are looking forward to spending time together, serving those who have passed on and filling our spirits together!