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Friday, November 1, 2013

Book of Mormon Class ~ Helaman chapter 11

Taught by:
Sue Green

Prophets pray for the people.
Helaman 11:1-16
Nephi's prayer on behalf of his people illustrates the concern of a prophet for the people.  As well as representing God to the people, at times prophets also seek to intervene on behalf of their people. 

When plagued by poisonous serpents, the children of Israel went to Moses and pled, "pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us, and Moses prayed for the people" (Numbers 21:7)

In the Americas, Nephi, the son of Lehi, wrote: "I pray continually for (my people) by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them, and I cry unto my God in faith" 2 Nephi 33:3

Our current prophets continues to pray for us.  

In the general conference following the tragic terrorist events n September 11, 2001,  
President Gordon B. Hinkley prayed:

"O God, our Eternal Father, ... whose children we are, we look to Thee in faith in this dark and solemn time.  Please, dear Father, bless us with faith  Bless us with love.  Bless us with charity in our hearts.  Bless u with a spirit of perseverance to root out the terrible evils that are in this world.  give protection and guidance to those who are engaged actively in carrying forth the things of battle.  Bless them, preserve their lives, save them from harm and evil.  Hear the prayers of their loved ones for their safety...  "O Father, look with mercy upon this, our own nation, and its friends in this time of need.  Spare us and help us to walk with faith ever in Thee and ever in they Beloved Son, on whose mercy we count and to whom we look as our Savior and our Lord.  Bless the cause of peace and bring it quickly to us again, we humbly plead with Thee, asking that Thou wilt forgive our arrogance, pass by our sins, be kind and gracious to us, and course our heats to turn with love toward Thee.  We humbly pray in the name of Him who loves us all, even the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and our Savior, amen" (Conference Cot 2001)

Cycles of Righteousness and wickedness.

Several times in the Book of Mormon history the people passed through a cycle of righteousness, prosperity riches pride wickedness destruction humility and righteousness again.

We see it cycle up and down again and again in this chapter. 

Elder Tom L. Perry talks about mankind failure to break out of negative cycles.  "I guess one of the greatest mysteries of mortality is why mankind fails to learn from history.  Surely the Lord has placed these obvious patterns of behavior in scripture for our own lives to help us avoid the same problems in our own lives (D&C 14-19)

Helaman 11:22-23
Elder Bruce R. McConkie indicated what comprised the true doctrine of Christ.  The true doctrine of Christ is that all men must come unto him, showing faith, repent, be baptized receive the Holy ghost and endure in faith to the end in order to gain salvation. (2 Nephi 31:17-21, 3 Nephi 11:29-41, D & C 10:67-68)

President Boyd K Packer "True doctrine, understood, changes attitude and behavior.  The study of the doctrines of the Gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior...that is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the Gospel.

Helaman 11:24-38
The prophet Joseph Smith taught that the devil always sets up his Kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God.  Whenever the Saviors Church is established or strengthened the adversary seeks to create resistance in one form or another to battle the progress made by the Saints of God.  We see an example of Satan's opposition emerge in Helaman II

The Gadianton robbers had been swept off the land. The righteous Nephite and Lamanite members of the Church had great peace.
Helaman 11:21
Only a few years passed however before Satan's influence on the people led them to return to iniquity and allowed the Gadianton robbers to regain their power and influence.

Comparison to our own day can be found throughout this period of Nephite history.  While our earth becomes infested with dangerous and violent terrorists, the proud and increasingly secular government of the World continue to uphold evil and forget God.  Our societies are badly divided between those who would do nothing the evils of these terrorists and those who feel compelled to challenge them.

The prophet Moroni spoke plainly of the seriousness of our situation Ether 8:23-26

We may also see in our own society, how quickly a people can turn from humility and trust in God to a divided and prideful state of complacency.  In Sept 2001 the United Sates was attacked by terrorists in what turned out to be the worst attack on American soil in history - eclipsing Pearl Harbor in the number of deaths that resulted.  It took only 3 years for the world to forget the way they felt on that terrible day and to begin to argue with each other as to whether we are even at war with terrorists. Members of all political parties engage in political games while the threat grows around us.  It will likely not cease until we are again humbled by a violent attack from modern-day Gadiantons.

Can there be any doubt that the Book of Mormon was written for our day?

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