In the fall of 1857, the now nineteen year-old young man was headed home to Salt Lake City, Utah, returning with honor. He wrote, “In southern California, just after the little train of wagons had traveled only a short distance and made their camp, several anti-‘Mormon’ toughs rode into the camp on horseback, cursing and swearing and threatening what they would do to the ‘Mormons.’
The Savior in his great intercessory prayer at Gethsemane, said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). In order to “work out our own salvation,” we must first come to know our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ who He sent to save us all. Knowledge of divine and spiritual things is absolutely essential for our salvation.
I anxiously watched for an opportunity to somehow warn Catherine. At times, after school was dismissed, I was assigned to stand in the hall to help insure the departure of the students was a little more orderly and safe. On one such occasion, Catherine and a group of friends came down the hall and stopped to talk to me. I was worried about her friends saying something, but my concern for her overcame my fear.
By entering into a covenant with the Lord, we become separated from the world. The righteous have always been called upon to leave the world and be a separate righteous people. Moses and the exodus from Egypt is an example and a type of the separation/exodus pattern. As we begin the Book of Mormon, we see again an exodus of a righteous family from a wicked environment. Through faithfulness, Lehi and Nephi were led to a "promised land."
While the four sons of Mosiah went to teach the Lamanites, Alma the younger became the Chief Judge in the land of Zarahemla, keeper of the records, and prophet of the Church. By forgiving Alma of his past and trusting in the new man he had become, the people of Nephi showed their faith in Jesus Christ’s power to change mankind. Faith expels fear and infuses hope and charity.
May we obtain the "peace and the love of God" that comes with faith as we search the scriptures, pray, and listen to the words of our living prophets. "O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. O be wise; what can I say more?" (Jacob 6:11-12).
Martin Van Ginkel and Carl Brouwer were both sixteen years old. With a lot of apprehension, they arrived at our flat at 9:30 am. Both were in white shirts and ties, and other than their hair being a tad long, looked every bit a missionary. Both were fine young men with budding testimonies of the gospel.
Today we have many opportunities to welcome Zorams into our lives. There is the new convert joining the Church, the new family moving into the ward, the new spouse to a sibling. There are always new hurts to heal and actions to be overlooked. We are both Nephi and Zoram in our day-to-day relationships—willing to include others and also being willing to be included—both to love and to be loved, to be loyal and trustworthy.
Mandy’s eighteenth birthday started with quite the excitement-–an earth quake at about 3:00 am. It ended up raining all day, and with Elder Packer ill, I got a lot of reading and writing done. Mandy, and her good friend Tui Hutley, arrived in the evening with some fish and chips for our dinner. Mandy was excited as the zone leaders would arrive the next day to interview her for her baptism. She would be baptized in Nelson a few days later, as there was not a chapel in Westport.
The simple lesson taught to a young missionary in the MTC was a stepping-stone along the journey of understanding and testimony that continues today. My desire is to continue to do as Nephi directs, to strengthen my faith and trust in Jesus, and worship Him with all my might, mind, and strength–with my whole soul. Then with love, try to follow His teachings, for I know it is through Him that we are saved, "after all we can do."
Rarely was contention found in my home. My parents taught that contention and anger were wrong, that it showed a lack of respect, civility, and love for Heavenly Father's children. I was raised with the understanding that it was better to turn the other cheek, better to show kindness and love, than to take part in an angry exchange of words and actions. (Mosiah 4:14-15)
At the beginning of the conflict, the American Revolutionary Army stood with 20,000 men. However, by December 1776 the revolution was in trouble. Without a victory against the better trained and larger British army, the American army was being chased from town to town and morale was dropping. By the middle of December the numbers of men had dropped to about 2000, most of whom were in their teens.
She stated, “I was troubled a great deal after my marriage about religion. We belonged to the Methodist Church and had been married by a Methodist minister, but I didn’t feel satisfied with what that church taught. . . After our first baby came, I fretted more than ever. I was desirous that my baby should be brought up in the right church. . . . But I was not satisfied, so one night in my prayers, I asked the Lord to show me in some way if I belonged to the right church. That night I dreamed of seeing a lot of people being baptized in a way I had never seen before. . . . I was anxious the next day to learn which church baptized in that way. . . . I was very disappointed to learn that none of the churches baptized in that way, because I was sure that my dream was an answer to my prayer.”