I, Like Moroni

“And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God.” (Moroni 10:34)

“And I say good-bye to all, as we soon embark upon our summer break.”         (Bob 7:11)

With but a week and a half left of Seminary, I have thought back, and am very thankful for the greater understanding of the Book of Mormon which I have gained over these past nine months. The most important lesson upon which I have thrived, is one that I hope came across for others as well in this forum…A 100th Part. It all started out as a way to reach out to one of our students who was unable to attend class with us; a way to keep her involved in our program of study of the Book of Mormon. Silently, more readers joined in, and we averaged 50-70 weekly readers throughout the course of study. I have certainly discovered for myself that this specific teaching of the prophet Nephi works – “For I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.” (1 Nephi 19:23) These thirty-five posts have been illustrations from my heart and mind to help us all see how we certainly can “liken all scriptures unto us.” I hope that you have found some practicality in what I have written and shared with you week after week. I feel guilty, because the writing was very self-therapeutic for me, and I think that I was often writing for myself more than for others.

Some of you have asked me what I’m going to do for next year’s course of study (Church History and the Doctrine & Covenants), but I don’t know yet what the answer is. I will think about it over the summer, and see if anything seems like it could be valuable to our students and their families. This “blog” wasn’t as successful as I would have liked it to be in getting the attention of the students. Maybe I’ll have to venture into FaceBook or Twitter to get more of their audience? I’m sure that there’s some avenue that I can find and reach more of them…more often.

In closing this final chapter, I would like to reflect upon some of Moroni’s last words to us, “And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ.” (Moroni 1:3) Studying the Book of Mormon has certainly brought me closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I, like Moroni, cannot deny the Christ; nor the power of His atonement in my life; nor His eternal love for me; nor His patience and understanding with me. If there actually is someone out there that truly doesn’t believe that the LDS Church or the Book of Mormon is not Christian, I would challenge him or her to simply pick up a copy of the book, and open its pages…to any page…and just read for fifteen minutes, and see for yourself. Again, citing the words of Nephi, “And now, my beloved brethren…hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ.” (2 Nephi 33:10) The Spirit of Christ illuminates each and every page of this wonderful book, and we can all draw from this important Light simply by reading and pondering upon its pages.

My final thought also comes from Moroni, something for us all to do when we read these pages:

“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with  a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Moroni 10:4-5)

Your parents can’t convince you that this book is true; nor can your friends or teachers; nor can your church leaders – no matter what faith. But the beauty of it all is that you can draw upon the power of the Holy Ghost to know for yourself that it is indeed true. Your testimony depends solely upon you! Read…ponder…pray. That’s all you have to do! Oh yeah, don’t forget the part about doing so with a sincere heart and real intent. May you find solace in the words of Moroni, and the other prophets that have written for us in the Book of Mormon. Readers, adieu!


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Jaredites: Distraction unto Destruction

At the end of Ether’s record in the Book of Mormon, Moroni shares with us the utter destruction of the Jaredite nation – except for one man. This nation of millions of people lost its focus upon the good, and suffered the distractions of the wicked. Family values deteriorated into dysfunction; greed, pride and power were the values of the time. For the Jaredites, such distraction led to their destruction.

Dr. David Strayer, Professor of Psychology at the University of Utah said, “Drivers who are text messaging, or even talking on their cell phone suffer from something called ‘inattention blindness’; where something as obvious as a gorilla walking across the street, you’re blind to it. You don’t see it because your mind is so preoccupied or absorbed with the phone conversation or the text message, that you just don’t see the obvious thing that everybody else would see.”

The Jaredites’ distraction from following the Lord was just like that gorilla walking across the street – they couldn’t see from within what we all can see from without. They were so distracted by this inattention blindness that they were focused only upon their greed, pride and power; and they fought each other so that they didn’t have to share it with others. We can see it, but why couldn’t they?

Last Sunday, we had a great Stake Conference in Santa Rosa. The visiting General Authority, Elder David S. Baxter of the First Quorum of the Seventy, shared great spiritual insights and anecdotes with us. Into the evening at home, my heart and mind were still spiritually “full”, or  spiritually “well-fed”. But then, Monday rolled around and such great inspirations and feelings succumbed to the distractions of everyday life. I had to fill up the car with gasoline; navigate the southbound traffic on 101 from Santa Rosa to San Rafael; try to prioritize my tasks to be done between two offices; close out the days and generate reports to my bosses; even my workday is interrupted with distractions – things that had to be done, although they weren’t on my priority list formulated on my way into work. I sure wish that we could have a week full of Sundays, and one day off for work!?!? It would certainly be a lot easier not to be distracted from staying close to Jesus Christ.

So, how can we avoid our own personal distraction unto destruction? How can we steer clear from inattention blindness in our daily lives? Just as Ether, or Moroni, or Mormon, or Alma, or any of the prophets from the Book of Mormon are constantly reminding and warning us – we need to come unto Christ and truly believe in His teachings and redeeming powers. If the Jaredites could have remembered the purpose and the value of the future event of Christ’s mortal life and death, they could have avoided the distractions that led to their destruction. And, in our lives, we can do the same thing.

This Sunday, after feeling the spiritual influence of the Holy Ghost, and feeling the light and strength from the messages of Christ’s gospel, make it a point to hold onto something learned or felt, and carry that with you throughout the week. When distractions do come up, simply remind yourself about Sunday’s feelings, step back and refocus. Pay attention to what is going on around you, but keep your focus upon the Savior, Jesus Christ. Don’t let that gorilla cross the street without you seeing it!

For a great, totally unrelated video about the danger of cell phone use while driving, please go to this link: http://ut.zerofatalities.com/texting.php. (In fact, Dr. Strayer’s quote above is from this report.) Anybody that lives with or loves someone who uses their phone unsafely while driving should encourage them to take the 15 minutes to watch this insightful news report. It’s well worth it!

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Your GPS

As a teenage driver, I remember unfolding those Rand McNally maps and spreading them out on the hood of my car, anchored down by rocks from the roadside. With a dull pencil from the glovebox, we would have to trace out the best route to follow from Point A to Point B. If you travelled much at all, you probably carried the easier-to-handle spiral books of the Thomas Guide maps. Then just in the past few years, we have been blessed with MapQuest and Google Maps – driving directions are now available right off the inkjet printer in our home. The simplicity of travel took yet another leap into the technological realm – portable GPS is now available in your cars…in your hand! GPS, or Global Positioning System, utilizes satellite uplinks and downloads to identify coordinates of your location and your desired destination. A couple of years ago, we got our own Tom-Tom to keep in the car, and to use when we need to get somewhere new. Thirty-five years ago, when I started driving (ouch…am I really that old!?!?) I would never have dreamed about this little GPS device that would tell me how to get to where I wanted to go.

This week in the Book of Mormon, we have studied about Jared and his brother, and their families and friends, leaving the region around the Tower of Babel and being led to the promised land. They came down to the seashore and contemplated about how they were going to cross the great ocean that lay in front of them. Under the directions from the Lord, they built eight barges to carry them all from Point A to Point B. Upon completion of the construction, the Brother of Jared went to the Lord with three questions:  1) How will we breathe? 2) How will we see? 3) How will we steer? The Lord gave them three totally different answers. (See Ether 2-3,6.)

To the first question of “How will we breathe?”, the Lord told him what they needed to do. To the second question of “How will we see?”, the Lord told the Brother of Jared to figure it out and to come back to Him with an answer. To the third question of “How will we steer?”, the Lord told him not to worry about that – He, the Lord, would take care of that one. By the winds and tempests that came forth out of His mouth, the Lord became the GPS for Jared, his brother, and all of the others in those eight barges. With the greatest GPS available, the survival and arrival of this group in the promised land was all but assured.

What GPS do we have for survival in our day? When I first thought upon this topic for our Seminary students, I thought of God-Parents-Seminary. However, in expanding it beyond our Seminary class, there is a more refined GPS for us all – God-Prophets-Scriptures. Along our journey through life, is there any necessary or worthy place for us to go that we couldn’t find with help from God, the prophets or the scriptures? I think not!!

When you feel overwhelmed with the spiritual oceans in front of you, or while you are being tossed about to and fro on life’s journey, turn to your GPS for guidance and survival. God is there…all you have to do is to approach Him in your prayers, thoughts and meditations. But, remember to wait and listen after you ask for directions! Don’t be too quick to get back behind the wheel and just start driving before you truly understand the directions.

We also have prophets and apostles living in our day, and they speak to us every six months – besides their monthly messages in the church publications. Again, it takes initiative from us to seek out their guidance and advice, but boy is there a lot available at our fingertips – just like on my Tom-Tom device!!

In this glorious day of the printed word, we have access to the scriptural writings of prophets and teachers from days gone by. Just like the mapmakers of our days, the stories from the scriptures lead us along the safe roads to take, and help us identify the roads not to take. Although we will be tempted to take many shortcuts during our journey, we can learn from our predecessors and stay on the right paths and avoid the pitfalls or the roads under repair.

You trust the satellites to get you from Point A to Point B. You also trust Mr. Quest and Mr. Google. What about trusting the greatest GPS ever – God-Prophets-Scriptures? You will not be misled; but it will most certainly require effort on your part. The Lord is whispering in our ears exactly what He told the Brother of Jared – “Don’t worry about it…I will steer you to the promised land. Trust me!”

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Why Didn’t You Just Listen?

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ lamented over His chosen people and their lack of understanding and comprehension of the glorious gospel that He had just preached in their land.

“O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones…how is it that ye could have fallen!” Four hundred years after Christ’s sorrowful words were recorded, Mormon uttered a similar, sad monologue looking out over the fallen Nephite nation on the American continent.

Two great teachers…two promised lands…two chosen peoples…two rejections…two special opportunities missed!

In our lives, we have many Christs and Mormons out there trying to help us, who often end up hanging their heads down low when we don’t listen to them. “O Johnny, Johnny…how many times did I tell you to stay away from drugs?” “O Susie, Susie…why did you always have to be drinking?” Our guardian angels are out there watching over us, and yet we often feel that we know better than they do. And besides, “I’ll be right back…after I do this just for a little while.”

That “little while” didn’t come until a quarter of a million Nephites fell at the hands of the bloodthirsty Lamanites at the end of Mormon’s life, wiping out a once righteous and prosperous civilization. During his entire life, his people were at battle with their enemy. Worse still, the people were quick to look away from Christ and to do things their own way. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…” “O ye fair ones…” The wise ones had shown the way, yet the weak ones would not follow or heed their words!

This is quite the same thing that we see in the world today – even in our community. Too often, the lessons learned in the past are ignored while we deal with similar situations in the present. In the future, we should look back on the present and the past, and learn from these experiences, too. In doing so, many times the student becomes the teacher…the prodigy becomes the mentor. Life’s lessons sure could be easier to learn if we would just step back and listen to what has already been said, and observe what has already been done. There have been many bruises taken during my life, and I wish that I could have just learned from the person before me, and suffice his bruises to have been enough for me.

The voices are all around us…“O ye fair ones…” Are we listening?

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Christ Teaches Prayer

In Third Nephi, we just studied from three or four chapters which beautifully illustrated Christ teaching the Nephites and Lamanites about prayer. He began with reciting what is now endearingly referred to as The Lord’s Prayer in chapter 13. Then in chapter 17, the words that flowed from His mouth in prayer could only be described like this:  “The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father; And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.” (3 Nephi 17:16-17.) Can we really “conceive of the joy” that they would have felt listening to their Savior, Jesus Christ, pray to His Father? I can only imagine that there was not a dry eye around, and that everyone’s heart was full of sublime joy – ready to almost burst from the special spirit of the moment!

Earlier in the chapter, Christ gave the people at the temple in Bountiful – as well as to us! – some simple guidelines to help us in prayer. We read, “…go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds…”            (3 Nephi 17:3) When we pray, do we remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle of the day (going unto our home), do we ponder upon Christ’s words, do we ask the Father, do we prepare our minds for an answer? Or do we quickly hop into bed right after saying, “Amen?” With the numerous times that Christ taught that if we ask we shall receive; or for whatsoever we ask in faith we shall receive; or ask the Father in my name; why don’t we have the faith and hope in Christ to truly believe His words?  The adversary really knows how to mess with our heads by trying to make us feel inadequate to pray…unworthy…dirty…even undeserving. Christ encourages us to pray; the adversary discourages us.

I don’t know if Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam was writing about prayer when he penned his recent hit, Just Breathe, but the words certainly fit:

“Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see…
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.”

Every day of our life is a chance for us to come clean from past mistakes or bad habits. As we do so, and as we go to our Heavenly Father in sincere, heartfelt prayer, we can certainly make weak things become strong unto us, and we can become more receptive to the Lord’s Spirit in response to our prayers. Maybe…just maybe…we could get a small taste of that joy felt by those present, listening to Christ praying, and truly feel that communication with heaven. When life gets difficult, go to a quiet place, ponder, ask and prepare…and Just Breathe!

(Please enjoy this link and the lyrics of Just Breathe by Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam.)


Yes, I understand that every life must end,
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go,
Yeah I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
The ones I love.

Some folks just have one,
Yeah, others, they’ve got none.

Stay with me,
Let’s just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win,
Under everything, just another human being,
Yeah, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.

Stay with me,
You’re all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see.
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
As I look upon your face.
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take.
Nothing you would take
Everything you gave.

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see,
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

Nothing you would take,
Everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,
Meet you on the other side.

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The Beatitudes

After His crucifixion and death in Jerusalem, the resurrected Christ appeared to the Nephites and Lamanites who had survived the destructions on the American continent. He invited all to come forward and feel the wounds in His hands, feet and side; and to be healed by His miracle-working hands. He also blessed these people by teaching them similarly to His teachings to His apostles and disciples around Jerusalem. These teachings included His Sermon on the Mount. Well, in His “sermon at the temple” in Bountiful, His teachings were pretty much the same – just to a different audience.

The sermon at the temple, just like the Sermon on the Mount, began with the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the.., blessed are the…” We’ve heard these phrases often, but in studying them this time, we got something new from them. We looked at the Beatitudes through a talk by Scott L. Anderson at the 2000 Education Week at BYU, entitled This Life is the Time. As defined in the Bible Dictionary, “Rather than being isolated statements, the Beatitudes are interrelated and progressive in their arrangement” Following this “progressive arrangement”, let’s see how the Beatitudes can indeed apply to our lives and our progression through life. (See 3 Nephi 12:3-12 for the text of the Beatitudes.)

Blessed are the poor in spirit…Does your faith lack a strong spirit of conviction? Is there some aspect of your faith upon which you would like to improve? Identify what it is that you would like to improve, and take it through this process.

Blessed are they that mourn…Do you sincerely feel sorry for this lacking aspect of your faith – in other words, do you really want to improve your faith in this area? If so, you are simply mourning your lack of faith and endeavoring to improve upon it.

Blessed are the meek…Christ has taught that we need to possess more of that child-like innocence and become humble and teachable. We are the meek when we are so humbled and more susceptible to His spirit.

Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst…Have you ever been hungry or thirsty? Not just for the moment or the day; but stomach-rumbling, light-headed weakness from the lack of food for longer than a day? Or when your mouth is ever so parched and seriously dry because you have not had anything to drink for quite some time? When trying to improve your faith, you should  REALLY hunger and thirst after the spirit of Christ and His teachings.

Blessed are the merciful…During your process – or your journey – of strengthening your faith, look around for others who might be struggling similarly to you. Reach out and help them, showing Christ-like mercy towards them.

Blessed are all the pure in heart…During this process, especially when you reach out to others, your heart will change. Your faith will be growing, just like Alma taught the Zoramites in trying an experiment of faith. As your heart swells with the success and purity of the experiment; as you reach out to help others; Christ’s spirit reaches out to you and softens your heart to become more impressionable and teachable.

Blessed are all the peacemakers…When your heart swells with this increased faith and peace, why hide it? Share this wonderful experience with others! I believe that it was President Spencer W. Kimball that said that the only emotion that the adversary cannot counterfeit is peace. When your heart is filled with this peace from Christ, open your mouth and share it with others around you. Help them prosper through this process, too.

Blessed are they who are persecuted…As you overcome bad habits; or as you improve upon your faith, the adversary will certainly do his part to discourage you and make you doubt in yourself. Instead, take courage in Christ, and work through your trials, temptations and tragedies. The persecutions will come, but with an increased faith, you can endure them and overcome them. The spirit and influence of Christ is much greater than that of the adversary.

After we have gone through this “progressive arrangement” to improve a specific aspect of our faith, guess what? Our faith will not yet be perfect. Rats!! Instead, it will be time to go through this process again…and again…and again…throughout the remainder of our lives on earth. This life is indeed the time for us to prepare to meet God. This process takes every day of our life, and we only try to be better today than we were yesterday, and maybe we can even be a little better tomorrow. By understanding the interrelation of these mini-statements in the Beatitudes, we have a map of the route to perfection at our disposal. It’s up to us to unfold that map, identify our destination, study the alternate routes to get there, and then choose the right one. Sorry, my Italian friends…but with an eternal perspective, “all roads do not lead to Rome!”

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Mother Hen and her Chicks

In 3 Nephi this past week, we had the opportunity to study the destructions upon the American continent that accompanied the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Just as was prophesied by Samuel the Lamanite upon the wall of Zarahemla, there were such terribly catastrophic events that took place, that it was written that “the whole face of the land was changed.” As the surviving Nephites and Lamanites were lamenting and howling because of these disasters, they heard the Lord’s voice declare unto them, “O ye people of the house of Israel…how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.” (3 Nephi 10:5) I would like to refer to a 2001 talk by Janet S. Scharmann entitled Chosen to Witness for His Name, to get a better visual description of what this great scripture entails:

“Not being a farm girl, I could only imagine the scene of a hen gathering her chickens under her wings. I wondered what circumstances would cause a mother hen to gather her chicks and what would encourage lively chicks to be gathered. I wondered why the Lord would think it important enough to repeat this image four times in three verses.

“Then a friend shared with me this story told by Phillip Allred in Meridian Magazine. A group of young college students were helping measure range damage after a wildfire raged across the prairie outside their university town. As they walked over the expanse of blackened earth, they noticed a cluster of small smoldering mounds. One of the volunteers was particularly interested in the unidentifiable heaps and asked one of the more experienced range managers what they were.

“This veteran of many range fires replied that he had seen this phenomenon on a few occasions and suggested that the young man turn over one of the piles. He did. To his great surprise several sage grouse chicks ran out from under the upturned mound. He was fascinated. How incredible, he thought, that these little chicks had known to find and run underneath this mysterious shelter.

“The young man asked what the mound was and how the chicks knew to take refuge there. To his amazement, he was told that the smoldering heap was the remains of their mother. When there is danger the mother hen instinctively calls out to her young ones and stretches out her wings for them to run under and find protection in her embrace. The young man was profoundly moved by this symbol of a mother’s innate love and protection.”

The visual imagery of these mother hens protecting their young chicks under their wings, even to their own deaths, is so symbolic of the way that Christ gave His life to save each one of us from death – both physical death and spiritual death. As we continue studying about Christ’s appearance and teachings to the ancient inhabitants of the American continent, we can gain an appreciation for His love and concern for each one of us. Just as one of those mother hens, Christ knows each one of us by name – we are that dear and precious to Him. So precious, He willingly gave His life so that we may have ours!

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The Pride Cycle

This past week, many of us watched a certain athlete apologize for some recent mishaps in his life. None of us are in a position to judge him on his sincerity, his motivation or his wrongdoings. It should be left between him, his family and his sponsors…and God. However, his public life is a perfect example in our days of the pride cycle that we have been reading about in the book of Helaman. The Nephites went through this cycle over and over throughout the Book of Mormon, but it is so well described and accentuated in these chapters.

The athlete in question was certainly at the top of his game…he was indeed the best in the world. His level of prosperity is beyond comprehension of 95% of the world, and he was admired by many. Unbeknownst to the world, he had developed a false sense of entitlement because of his prosperity and achievements. He turned to secret works, hidden from others’ view, and followed the wicked ways of the great enemy of  God – the adversary himself. After being caught in his transgressions, he has been forced to be humble, much like the Zoramites who were cast out of their synagogues when Alma and Amulek visited them. From this humility, he must now seek forgiveness from God and his family. Eventually, if he continues on the cycle, he will once again be able to return to his sport and begin to prosper in success and wealth – if he is sufficiently humbled and changed.

After defeating the Lamanites in war, the Nephites began to prosper exceedingly in the land. In the times of prosperity, they tended to forget their God, and His strength in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies, and they began to fall. At the bottom of this fall, they again found themselves thriving in their works of darkness and in committing many, many sins.  When the Lord’s influence was so ignored and refused, the Nephites fell into destruction – almost overnight. With the threat of extinction hanging over their heads, they once again found hope in the teachings of their prophets, and once again humbled themselves, repented of their wickedness, changed their ways, and recognized the Lord in their lives. Almost magically, they began to prosper in the land, one more time.

Whether we suffer through the pride cycle on our own, in the tabloids, or as a people, it is critical that we correct our ways before it’s too late. Rather than being compelled to be humble, it would be better for us to reach down deep inside and humble ourselves because of our love for the Lord. Instead of living in evil and wickedness –  as a nation or as an individual – we can indeed live in times of peace and prosperity, and have the Lord on our side.

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Know the Enemy

We just finished two weeks of studying the war chapters in the Book of Mormon; Captain Moroni and Helaman strategizing against Zarahemnah, Amalickiah and Ammoron; the Nephites defending their liberty against the determined Lamanites; internal strife compounding external aggression. So many lessons that we can apply to our day and lives. The best aide for these lessons was indeed the CD by John Bytheway entitled Righteous Warriors. What once only seemed like stories of war and bloodshed to me, are now stories of awareness of the adversary in my life – in your life!

This time through the stories, I was quite intrigued by an underlying premise that I have missed in the past. Time and again, I paid attention to the way that the Nephite captains always had their eye on the enemy. Early on (see Alma 43), Captain Moroni set the stage when he sent spies out to track the movements of the Lamanites, while he sent other messengers to the prophet, to ask Alma what inspired guidance he could give them against the enemy. Other Nephite leaders similarly utilized spies to keep the Lamanites in their sights, and to remain a step or two ahead of them.

Moroni’s enemy was the charging, aggressive Lamanites led by Zarahemnah and Amalickiah. Helaman’s enemy was  the Ammoron-led, marauding Lamanites. Pahoran’s enemy was the internally mis-directed kingmen. Who is our enemy? How can we keep an eye on him?

The adversary would like us all to think that he isn’t real. He wants you to feel safe from the enemy, by trying to convince you that he isn’t there. However, we know that he is there! We’ve been told many times by the prophets of old – Old Testament and Book of Mormon; as well as by our modern-day prophets and apostles that he is real, and that he is out there…somewhere in the wilderness around you…quite near to you…and certainly not that far off!

Part of the defense of the Nephite cities was heaps of earth, with pickets on top of a fence of timbers; on top of the pickets, they built towers in which they could put watchmen. And for what were these watchmen watching out? They were keeping their eyes on the enemy, so that they could warn the people when the Lamanites were advancing, and from which direction they were coming.

We have many watchmen and spies to help us keep our eye on the enemy. The watchmen on the tower described by the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel are the prophets and apostles in our day. Some of the spies helping us identify the enemy and his location are our parents, our teachers, our leaders, our bosses, our families and our friends. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see over the timbers and heaps of earth, but these others can. If we are able to discern the warnings and prepare ourselves against the enemy, we can overcome him. Are you hearing the watchmen and the spies? Listening to them? Heeding them? Captain Moroni certainly did!

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Title of Liberty

Coming soon…(Alma 44)

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