Study Journal: Week 7

23 FEB 15

In 3 Nephi 13:3-4 we are told to give our alms in secret. Tithing and other offerings should of course be given without fanfare but I think we can also expand this principle to acts of service. While sometimes it can be good to broadcast doing service activities to get others to join in, I find that there is a certain joy in helping others without much fan fare. During a conversation at a pathway gathering we discussed some of the ways we can secretly serve others. One of the ways I like is doing small acts of service for neighbors without them knowing. Another of the students in my group told of how she has paid ahead for groceries of a family she was prompted was in need and left before they could see she did it. There are many ways we can serve God and others in secret. Have you been the recipient of some secret act of service like I have mentioned? If anyone is actually reading my blog please comment below.

In 3 Nephi 13-14 it talks about forgiving “men their trespasses”. This is one I actually struggle and think about often as a principle in my life. I was abused by my parents and later placed in foster care. Have I forgiven them of their trespass or am I too emotionally indifferent to them after all these years to really feel a trespass from them? It’s a difficult area for me to be introspective of myself on. I often look at my pass divorced of emotion in a third person observer view. I hope I have done well enough in this area to acknowledge the need to forgive them.

24 FEB 15

Mote or beam in eye. (3 Nephi 14:3-6)

This scripture is a nice reminder to not be too judgemental of others. We all have things we can do better in our lives. When we become judgmental of others, we also display a level of pride that can blind us to the pride and other things we need to fix in our own lives. In many ways the pride itself that we display when we are unrighteously  judgmental of others can be the whole beam in our eyes itself.

By their fruits ye shall know them. (3 Nephi 14:15-20)

This scripture tells us how we can identify a true prophet by the fruits that they bring forth. I think we can apply this same principle to other things in our lives. One example would be relationships. There are positive relationships and some can be negative. We can tell them apart by the fruits of the feelings they create. When a person is in a relationship that causes mistrust or fear, it is most likely a negative relationship and that should be evaluated. If the relationship breeds love, comfort, trust and other positive feelings, then that is a relationship to cherish and nurture.

25 FEB 15

In 3 Nephi 15:18 we learn about the direct connection between belief and understanding or as the verse puts it unbelief and not understanding. I think part of this can be due to the teaching nature of the Holy Ghost when we are humble and prepared to listen. I think the other part of what causes this connection is the closed mindedness that comes with self assurance and not being open to learning. When a person thinks they already know something they will often discredit evidence to the contrary, even when it’s not logical. This creates a large difference when comparing the learning potential of those who are open to believing and those who are closed to it.

Here is a good quote another student shared with me this week on this subject.

Joseph Smith said, “As far as we degenerate from God we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved.” Shared by Toni Maxwell.

27 FEB 15

In 3 Nephi 16:7 it talks about the fulness of the truth coming out to the Gentiles. It’s interesting to catch these prophetic words of our day. The gospel has been restored and is spreading across the earth. I had the chance to serve a mission. After my mission I have even been blessed with an opportunity to bless and baptise a person while I was deployed in Iraq. We currently have 84,000 missionaries serving across the world. To put that in perspective that’s more people than the total number that serve in Australia’s military and numerous smaller countries. There is a spiritual army of God spreading the gospel across the earth.

28 FEB 15

In 3 Nephi 17:4 Christ tells us he is going to speak to the lost tribes of Israel. I wonder if this was literal or if he meant less literally in that the people didn’t know they were of the lost tribes. I suppose when he spoke to the Nephites and Lamanites he was speaking to one branch that new their lineage. When he spoke to others, did they know their lineage was of the lost tribes. We we have a chance to read more about this one day? Those are some questions I have about it.

What were the great words spoken of in 3 Nephi 17:16-17? It makes me wonder if it was something like some of what is taught in the temple and they considered the exact words too sacred to share in a direct written record. Hopefully we will find out in our own way one day.

2,500 souls (3 Nephi 17:25)

I wonder how much time did it take for Christ to minister individually to all the children in that group? That is a lot of time when you think of it. What a sweet blessing it must have been to those children and their descendants.


Who is Paul Darr?

Paul Darr has lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as an IT Manager and is a father of a handsome boy and beautiful daughter. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming, and several other geeky pursuits.

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