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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book of Mormon Class ~ 3rd Nephi Chapter 2

Taught by Sue G.


In 3rd Nephi Chapter 2 we will cover
about 11 years from AD 5 to 16. 
One of the most important means of retaining a personal testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel is the remembering of past blessings from God.

On the other hand one of the ways to lose a testimony is to forget previous blessings and spiritual experiences.
In verse 1 we catch a glimpse of one way by which people bring themselves to ignore obvious testimony building experiences. Remember that among the things they are explaining away are the day, night, and day without darkness, plus the new star which appeared.  We are again reminded that personal wickedness leads away from the ability to think rationally.

In this chapter and others in the Book of Mormon we see a simple sequence employed by the devil to deceive people.
1- The people saw the actual signs from God bearing witness of the Saviors birth
2nd - While still acknowledging that they saw something they explain it in ways that put God out of the picture
3rd - they get to the point where they no longer even believe that they saw something out of the ordinary.

We are reminded that one tool Satan uses is to convince people who believe in God that miracles, signs, and wonders have ceased.  (Mormon 9:10) This has been a common teaching of many Christian churches today and was taught under Satan's direction anciently.

We are told that the Nephites began a new calendar system following the signs accompanying Christ's birth. Up to now they had been using two calendar systems.
1- Their first calendar was based upon how many years it had been since Lehi left Jerusalem in 600 BC
2- The second method of reckoning time began with the reign of judges and was based on how many years it had been since the beginning of the reign of the judges in 92 BC.

With the signs which accompanied the birth of Jesus they began a third calendar system, counting the years from the event.  Thus, at this point in the Book of Mormon, using all three calendar systems, we are 609 years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem, 100 years from the beginning of the reign of the judges and 9 years after the birth of Christ or AD in our modern terminology.
*AD stands for Anno  Domini, which means "in the year of our Lord in other words since the birth of Christ.

Mormon condenses the Nephite history at an increasing pace. Somehow we gain the impression that the valiant Mormon felt he was running out of time.  Many of the marvelous details which he took the time to share with us throughout the Book of Alma, now disappear from the pattern of his writing.  This means that the student of the Book of Mormon must concentrate on each minute aspect of what Mormon does record so as to catch the sweep of history as it rushes by.  There is also substantial evidence that Mormon was not working from a rough draft but writing directly onto the plates as fast as he completed his research.
Note how he sets down a date and then, finding that the events of that period were of no particular significance passes on to the next year without comment

3rd Nephi 2:8-11
A sign of the times for us in our day is that people will have to decide to be on the side of right or on the side of wrong.  There will not be much "grey area". (D&C 1:34-36)

Peace will be taken from the earth and "the devil shall have power over his own dominion And also the Lord shall have power over his saints. This same condition developed among the Nephites about 19 years before the Saviors coming


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