Thursday, December 21, 2023

Thou Canst not Accomplish So Great a Work

1 Nephi 17:19 - 22, NC 1 Nephi 5 par. 17

And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceeding sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts. And now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful, they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did rejoice over me, saying, We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a work. And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart. Yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years. And our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things save it were death. And it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions. Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy. And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people, for they keep the statutes and the judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people. And our father hath judged them and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his word; yea, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.

The Stick of Judah in the Hand of Ephraim, 1 Nefi 5 par. 17

And now it came to pass that I, Nefi, was exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts. And now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful, they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did rejoice over me, saying, We knew that you could not construct a ship, for we knew that you were lacking in judgment; wherefore, you cannot accomplish so great a work. And you are like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart.  Yes, he has led us out of the land of Yerushalayim, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years.  And our women have labored, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things except it were death. And it would have been better that they had died before they came out of  Yerushalayim than to have suffered these afflictions. Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yes, and we might have been happy. And we know that the people who were in the land of Yerushalayim were a righteous people, for they keep the statutes and the judgments of yhwh, and all his mitzvot according to the Torah of Moshe; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people. And our father has judged them and has led us away because we would hearken unto his word; yes, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my brothers murmur and complain against us.

 I personally believe that part of the endless depths of light that are made available to me, or any other person, in the Book of Mormon is that it is possible, in my opinion, to read the record and according to the present circumstances of my life be able to, through thoughtful introspection, detect changes that need to be made inside myself to live a more godly life.

I presently believe that if I faithfully respond to such present urgings towards godliness contained in the Book of Mormon record I can revisit the record again after the experience of living a more godly life and obtain even more insight into further changes that are required inside me to move me to an even more godly life still.

Is it possible that, in part, that might allow me, through the use of the Book of Mormon, to start to walk the path Abraham walked when he declared the following?

In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my father, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence. And finding there was greater happiness, and peace, and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the Fathers and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same. Having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a Father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a high priest, holding the right belonging to the Fathers. It was conferred upon me from the Fathers: it came down from the Fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning (or before the foundations of the earth) to the present time, even the right of the firstborn (or the first man — who is Adam — or first Father) through the Fathers unto me. I sought for my appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the Fathers concerning the seed. (Abraham 1:1 - 4, T&C 145, Abraham, 1 par. 1)

By accepting insights from the Book of Mormon and changing myself internally according to those insights, would that make me a follower of righteousness by creating the experience of living a more godly life?

Would living a more godly life put me in possession of knowledge?

You pray each time you partake of the sacrament to always have my spirit to be with you. And what is my spirit? It is to love one another as I have loved you. Do my works and you will know my doctrine, for you will uncover hidden mysteries by obedience to these things that can be uncovered in no other way. This is the way I will restore knowledge to my people. If you return good for evil, you will cleanse yourself and know the joy of your Master. You call me Lord, and do well to regard me so, but to know your Lord is to love one another. Flee from the cares and longings that belong to Babylon, obtain a new heart, for you have all been wounded. In me you will find peace, and through me will come Zion, a place of peace and safety. (T&C 157 par. 51)

Could it be correctly stated that living a godly life is a "hidden mystery" to me presently (i don't presently know how to live that way) and only through the experience of trying to live a godly life may I uncover that hidden mystery?

Would such a life journey give me knowledge and put me on the path of being a follower after righteousness?

By revisiting the record after such a journey and acquiring even more insights that allow me to, by further practice, obedience, and experience, work towards an even greater change internally to live an even more godly life, would that have the effect of making me a greater follower of righteousness and put me in possession of even greater knowledge?

Does the Book of Mormon hold, on many apparent and also deeper not-apparent levels, instructions from God?

Is it possible for any individual by finding out these instructions to keep the commandments of God?

Do I or any person have to have a complete understanding of what the message of the Book of Mormon is urging them to do before they can be obedient?

Doctrine is not to be understood as an academic or scholarly undertaking. (Remember the chapter in Eighteen Verses on Moroni 10: 5.)

It is supposed to be understood in the doing. (John 7: 17.) When you have done it, as Nephi has, then you will be able to explain the doctrine. To attempt to have a command of the doctrine without having done the will of the Father is to always be left without understanding. It is also not necessary to be able to fully expound the doctrine before doing it. It is necessary to take action consistent with the invitation offered to you. ("Don't Over-think Things,", August 29, 2010)

My present understanding is that what Abraham describes involves even more than what I am currently considering about the Book of Mormon, but would thoughtful introspection of the Book of Mormon record be a perfect way for me to, at the very least, begin walking in a path similar to Abraham with the added benefit, for me personally, of having time and experience and careful and ponderous thoughts in this process allowing me to develop internally to be firm in my mind in the things of godliness before I would be required to receive things that would not be good for me to receive without a firm mind?

Is it possible that is what the Lord is declaring to us here?

I desire to heal you from an awful state of blindness so that you may see clearly my will, to do it. I promised to bring unto you much of my gospel through the Book of Mormon and to provide you with the means to obtain a fullness of my gospel, and I have done this; yet you refuse to receive the truth, even when it is given unto you in plainness. How can you who pursue the truth yet remain unable to behold your own weakness before me? (T&C 157 par. 16)

Is it possible for me the come to a more perfect view of my weakness before the Lord by using the Book of Mormon in the way I have described above?

What about the Lord's continued words?

Unto what can I liken it, that you may understand? For you are like a man who seeks for good fruit from a neglected vineyard — unwatered, undunged, unpruned, and unattended. How shall it produce good fruit if you fail to tend it? What reward does the unfaithful husbandman obtain from his neglected vineyard? How can saying you are a faithful husbandman ever produce good fruit in the vineyard without doing the work of the husbandman? For you seek my words to recover them even as you forsake to do them. You have heretofore produced wild fruit, bitter and ill-formed, because you neglect to do my words. (T&C 157 par. 17)

Is it unreasonable to consider my own soul to be a vineyard?

If I can consider that my own soul is a vineyard, can I determine, with the help of the Book of Mormon record, that my soul is presently unwatered, undunged, unpruned, and unattended to one degree or another?

How can good fruit ever come from my soul if I fail to attend to it?

Is it possible with help from the Book of Mormon record for me to begin to water, dung, and prune my own soul?

I presently feel that the above considerations are related to what is occurring here in the record between Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel.

Let me explain.

Isn't it interesting that Nephi was not allowed to build the ship alone?

Could the Lord have given Nephi both power and knowledge to accomplish the labor by himself?

Nephi declared the following to his brothers.

...And I said unto them, If God had commanded me to do all things, I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, Be thou earth — and it shall be earth. And if I should say it, it would be done. And now, if the Lord has such great power and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me that I should build a ship? ... (1 Nephi 17:48 - 52, NC 1 Nephi 5 par. 22)

Why did the Lord require the labor of Laman and Lemuel as well to build the ship?

Is this a similar principle of the Lord requiring Laman and Lemuel to be a party to the recovery of the plates; Nephi was not allowed to recover them alone?

We talked in the post "The Commandments of God Must Be Fulfilled" that it appears to me that there was no option for the migration or the events of the migration to succeed unless all of them succeeded together.

Is this the principle in action here with the construction of the ship?

If such is the case, how would the record be different at this point in the migration if internally Laman and Lemuel had progressed to be different people?

What is it that strikes me at this time at this point in the record?

I believe and profess to adhere to a restoration movement begun by God through the Prophet Joseph Smith and renewed and re-invigorated by God again beginning in 2013 when God sent a messenger to declare that sufficient time had passed from the murders of the Prophets Joseph and Hyrum for God to set Their hand again the second time to recover Israel and vindicate Their promises to the ancient Fathers.

My present understanding is that this undertaking is commanded by God to be accomplished by a community of people, not by a solitary individual.

People claim they have kept the covenant, but such claims cannot possibly be. God’s covenant is for and about “people”—His people. It is not possible for an individual to keep the covenant. Everybody rises together, or everybody falls together. The covenant can only be kept as a community. Individuals acting alone can never accomplish what is required of the group.

The October 4, 2018 revelation (T&C176) also focuses on community. It begins by addressing “people” and not the individual. The Lord’s voice to “people” begins and ends with two questions. After asking the questions a second time, He gives an answer to what ought to have been learned. Here are the Lord’s words to the people:

You ask on behalf of my people and therefore I answer my people. Hear, therefore ,my words: What have you learned? What ought you to have learned?

And then at the end: …I ask again, What have you learned? What ought you to have learned? I say to you...there is need for but one house, and I accept the statement you have adopted and approve it as your statement to be added. But I say again, there was honor in the labor of others. Whereas I look upon the heart and see faithful service, many among you do not look at, nor see, nor value what I the Lord love in the hearts of my people. As I have said before, I say again, Love one another, labor willingly alongside each other. Learn what you ought, and when I ask you to labor, do so wisely even if you know not beforehand what you will find. I do not ask what you cannot do. Trust my words and proceed always in faith, believing that with me all things are possible. All who have been faithful are mine...(T&C 176:1-2,12-13,emphasis added)

God mentions His “people” in order to get our attention. The prophecies of God’s last-days work and the fulfillment of God’s covenants with the Fathers are not merely for individual salvation. The covenants are about “people” or a divinely organized community. Righteous individuals isolated and scattered throughout the world are incapable of vindicating the promises made to the Fathers. There must be people gathered together and living the correct pattern before the Lord returns. "Civilization", General Conference Address, Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., Grand Junction, C
O, 21 April 2019, pgs. 4 - 5)

My present observations lead me to believe that everyone will succeed or fail together in this endeavor.

Could it be appropriately stated that what God requires now is "so great a work"?

What is my personal condition in relation to "so great a work"?

God, in mercy, has condescended to reveal instructions that demonstrate to me that I am in serious need of change internally.

...You have all been wounded, your hearts pierced through with sorrows because of how the world has treated you. But you have also scarred one another by your unkind treatment of each other, and you do not notice your misconduct toward others because you think yourself justified in this. You bear the scars on your countenances, from the soles of your feet to the head, and every heart is faint. Your visages have been so marred that your hardness, mistrust, suspicions, resentments, fear, jealousies, and anger toward your fellow man bear outward witness of your inner self; you cannot hide it. When I appear to you, instead of confidence, you feel shame. You fear and withdraw from me because you bear the blood and sins of your treatment of brothers and sisters. Come to me and I will make sins as scarlet become white as snow, and I will make you stand boldly before me, confident of my love. (T&C 157 par. 49)

I presently believe that if I had been part of the migration of Lehi's group I would have behaved rather more like Laman and Lemuel in my present condition.

In this restoration endeavor, how is it possible for me to cooperate with the Lord in a community effort unless I become a different person internally?

How many times have I been a hindrance to what the Lord desires to accomplish because of my hardness, mistrust, suspicions, resentments, fear, jealousy, and anger toward my fellow man that prevents community between me and my fellow man?

Envy, resentment, and misapprehending intent, anger, etc. are all things that I so easily detect in the actions of Laman and Lemuel as they relate to Nephi and Lehi and the works that needed to be accomplished during their migration.

These things exist in me.

I have misapprehended the intent of people as they have moved to accomplish what the Lord has commanded them to do. I have rejoiced over people thinking them foolish in doing what the Lord instructed them to do. I have been envious of people as they have gone about to accomplish what the Lord has instructed them to do.  I have been angry at people who have sought to do what the Lord has told them to do. I have considered that people who have been called by the Lord to do a work could not accomplish so great a work.

What am I to do?

I believe God has mercifully sent instructions in the scriptures for me to obey to obtain knowledge by living a more godly life than I live right now.

The following are excerpts from multiple blog posts expounding on the scriptures God has sent to give instructions for me to obey and therefore gain knowledge so that I may begin to walk the same path as Abraham, Lehi, Nephi, and everyone who has sought greater knowledge from God. 

Harmless: Chastity

I’ve told someone (and it has been repeated) that ‘the law of chastity is not what you think it is.’ If I were writing it for emphasis and understanding I’d write it this way: The law of chastity is NOT what YOU think it is. Meaning that the person I was talking to had a limited, misunderstood idea of the law. And, make no mistake about words, it is a law, given by God.

Chastity begins with the first commandment given to the first couple who were made in the image of God. That command is to “multiply and replenish the earth.” OC Gen. 2:9. That is part of chastity: The obligation to employ the sexual ability and power to produce offspring.

Chastity includes the command, “You shall not commit adultery.” OC Exo. 12:10. But if all you manage to do is to refrain from adultery, you are still a threat to your neighbor if you do not obey this accompanying command, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” Id. at 13. This, too, is part of chastity.

The Lord explained further that chastity requires control over inappropriate sexual thoughts and fantasies, “I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in his heart. Behold, I give unto you a commandment that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart, for it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell.” NC 3 Ne. 5:27. Therefore, chastity requires you to have a firm mind in this form of godliness if you want to obey the law.

The law goes on to describe the kind of relationship intended by the law of chastity. “You shall love your wife with all your heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else, and he that looks upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the spirit, and if he repent not he shall be cast out.” T&C 26:6. It is impossible to be harmless and live in peace through self-government if this part of the law is disobeyed.

Then we also have this commandment, “Teach your children to honor me.” T&C 158:11 (part of the covenant with God). That is elaborated upon in the Lord’s command, “And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ, the Son of the living God, and of baptism, and the gift of the holy spirit by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the head of the parents. For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, and their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands. And they also shall teach their children to pray and to walk uprightly before the Lord.” T&C 55:5.

You are not just obligated to “multiply” and bring offspring into the world, but part of the law of chastity requires those children to be instructed, warned and guided to the point they honor God. The best way to honor God is to obey His commandments.

The law of chastity is intended to inform how you live your life, how you use the power of procreation, how as a husband you love your wife and cleave only to her, and as a wife you love your husband and cleave only to him.

And, of course, chastity prohibits polygamy, “Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.” NC Jacob 2:7. That should go without saying, as should most of this. If you studied your scriptures nothing in this would be misunderstood by you.

All of the elements of chastity are designed to circumscribe conduct within the bounds set by God to allow you to live in peace with others. It protects your family and protects your neighbor’s. But it requires a firm mind in every form of godliness to become such a harmless soul.

There are many people who talk about a place of peace but who are utterly unfit to live peacefully with their fellow man. Sexual promiscuity destroys. It weakens the soul and leaves them unfit for self-government.

If you cannot obey the law of chastity you should live where your failure is accepted, perhaps even welcome. The world embraces an increasingly diverse and ungoverned sexuality and you will be welcomed there. But do not think that you can live peacefully without having the iron will to follow God’s direction voluntarily and internally. No one will be governing you in the Lord’s city of peace. You must bring that peace with you....

Harmless: Envy

Envy is a little thing. A mere emotion. But that little sentiment harbored in our heart sends seismic disruption into society. Envy provokes resentment. Even if you do not act on the desire to bring down those you envy, holding it in your heart divides you from your neighbor. “Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before envy?” OC Proverbs 4:51.

Envy destroys peace and removes all charity from the envious. “Charity envies not.” NC I Cor. 1:52. Envy cripples us. It is a disease to be overcome.

It was envy that motivated the killing of Christ. As Pilate clearly observed when Christ was brought before him to be judged, “For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.” NC Matt. 12:21, see also Mark 7:21. This defect in our heart is shared with those who wanted the Lord killed. It originates in darkness and will destroy those who harbor it.

Alma the Younger explained how unprepared we are for the kingdom of Heaven when we are envious, “Behold, ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of Heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life. Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared. And I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand; and he knoweth not when the time shall come, for such an one is not found guiltless.” NC Alma 3:5.

Harmless: Ambition

As the Lord suffered in Gethsemane, one of the terrible errors of mankind He confronted and overcame was the ambition of men, “He knew what it is like for men to satisfy their ambition by clothing their hypocrisy in religious garb.” T&C 161:23. Here ambition is linked to religious hypocrisy. Those do go together.

Consider how serious holding ambition in our heart is when it can defeat the rights of priesthood, “That they may be conferred upon us, it is true, but when we undertake to … gratify… our vain ambition, … behold, the Heavens withdraw themselves, the spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.” T&C 139:5, emphasis added.

Ambition provokes people to seek more than another. It makes us long to excel, to get control, to have authority. At its core ambition produces unease and discontent. Ambitious souls needlessly criticize and back-bite others to make themselves appear better than the object of their scorn. It prevents us from being at peace with one another.

A community plagued with any ambitious residents will never be at peace. It cannot be. The threat of harm lingers over it, and at last it will break out into the open and destroy any group where ambition is present, as surely as the failure in the 1830s.

Being ‘harmless as a dove’ is among the greatest of accomplishments. A community of such individuals can attain peace. A community of any other kind will not have peace...

Harmless: Pride

The proud will be destroyed by the Lord at His return. “For behold, the day comes that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble. And the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” OC Mal. 1:10. Those words alone should make us abandon pride. But there’s plenty of other words to make it clear: Pride is destructive to the individual, their families, and to communities.

“He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife[.]” OC Proverbs 4:94.

“The Lord will destroy the house of the proud[.]” Id. 2:176.

“Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” Id. 2:189. Think of that – Pride is an abomination to the Lord.

The Lord responded to us and provided His covenant, but He began with a warning about there being unacceptable pride among us, “You have asked of me concerning the scriptures prepared on behalf of all those who seek to become my covenant people, and therefore I answer you on behalf of all the people, and not as to any individual. For there are those who are humble, patient, and easily persuaded. Nevertheless, people who are quarrelsome and proud are also among you[.]” T&C 157:1.

Why is pride so offensive?

The Lord alone deserves our respect, attention and obedience. The rebellion that began in heaven itself was instigated by pride. It is reported that Lucifer held these proud thoughts about himself, “[Y]ou have said in your heart, I will ascend into Heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” OC Isa. 6:6. He was not willing to follow God, but wanted to pursue his own self-will. Given that God has stated it is His work and His glory to bring about the eternal life and exaltation of man (OC Gen. 1:7), Lucifer could have achieved through humility what he forfeited through pride.

There have been many people who were willing to follow the Lord for a short time. But by and by, they aspire to get attention, gratify their pride and satisfy their vain ambition. The Lord took notice of them in a parable about sowing seeds, “And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth, and immediately they sprung up. And when the sun was up, they were scorched because they had no deepness of earth; and because they had no root, they withered away.” NC Matt. 7:1. We’ve lost some of those from our ranks. They still are out there, seeking notice, asking for donations, insisting they can teach you Torah and bring you closer to salvation, or other vain undertakings.

The Lord has a great deal more in store for those who follow Him. But the proud wander away into other fields, and ultimately will be burned at His coming. When we are proud we are not harmless. We are a threat.

A city of peace cannot include the proud because they cannot abide peacefully with others. Their self-will and vaunting pride makes them discontent, and their discontent spreads outward. It cannot allow peace to settle into the community...

Harmless: Charity

In the Answer to the Prayer for Covenant the Lord counseled us: “Be of one heart, and regard one another with charity. Measure your words before giving voice to them, and consider the hearts of others. Although a man may err in understanding concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity and come unto me, and through me he can with patience overcome the world. I can bring him to understanding and knowledge. Therefore, if you regard one another with charity, then your brother’s error in understanding will not divide you.” T&C 157:53.

It is probably safe to assume we all “err in understanding concerning many things.” But that alone does not condemn us. Apparently the Lord just takes that as His responsibility to fix. He says: “I [meaning the Lord] can bring him to understanding.” That relieves us from fixing one another.

We have a difficult enough challenge to fix all our our own nonsense, errors, ambitions, envy, and pride. That is the battleground. We do not need to export that battle into “fixing” our fellow man.

A community of peace is almost certainly going to be comprised of flawed people who deal with internal struggles. But viewing our neighbor charitably, and letting the Lord help them (just as He will help each of us) to overcome our weaknesses can change the conflict away from us.

Can we discuss difficult subjects without demanding that our neighbor “fix” his opinion to align with our own? That ought to be answered with a resounding “YES”. We are going to need to have difficult discussions about challenges that we will face establishing a city of peace under the Lord’s direction. We know erring in understanding is pervasive. It is easiest to see in other people. But what we see as their obvious failure is almost without fail something we can detect because we have that very same flaw. It is invisible to us personally. But move it onto our neighbor and it becomes glaring.

“Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies.” NC 1 Cor. 1:31. “Let all your things be done with charity.” Id., 73.

“Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, hearts of mercies, kindness, humility of mind, meekness, long-suffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. If any man have a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do you; and above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” NC Colossians 1:13.

“[L]et him repent of all his folly, and clothe himself with charity, and cease to do evil, and lay aside all his hard speeches[.]” T&C 141:38.

“If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours — for charity covereth a multitude of sins.” Joseph Smith, DHC 4:445.

Charity, or love for one another, is the antidote for all the failings of the past. We needn’t fail. But we do need charity to succeed... ("Harmless" (posts 1 - 4),, December 3 - 15, 2023)

I agree with all of the above.

If I respond to the urging from this part of the Book of Mormon record to me to look inside myself and see my weakness and the peril I personally present to a community effort (so great a work), just like Laman and Lemuel, and I apply the above principles internally in an effort to correct my failings, can I have confidence that God will make my weaknesses become strengths?

And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying, Fools mock, but they shall mourn. And my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness. And if men come unto me, I will shew unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will shew unto the gentiles their weakness. And I will shew unto them that faith, hope, and charity bringeth unto me, the fountain of all righteousness. (Ether 12:26 - 28, NC Ether 5 par. 5)

Would doing these things require me to be thoughtful and ponderous and self-evaluating over time through life experiences?

Would I need to cry unto God to help me?

Is crying unto God part of humbling myself and having faith in Christ?

Do I need to have God lift this burden despite my own best efforts?

Can God lift this burden for me?  

Through such a journey, with God's help, can I become a more godly person?

Can I become a person who will not bring peril to so great a work that God is undertaking at this time in history?

I believe that if I become a more godly person by obedience to the above-expounded principles, at some future point in time I may come to this point in the Book of Mormon record and have other deeper meanings come to my attention, allowing me to continue to seek for greater knowledge and to become a greater follower after righteousness; an even more godly person.

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