Book of Mormon Geography

A Branch of The House of Israel & Their Lands

The family of Lehi landed in the Northern South America / Southern Central America area. When Nephi separated from his brethren, he took his people to the North. When at the time Zeniff came among them, he took a group of Nephites Southward from Zerahemla, to live in a place once inhabited by the people of Nephi, which was then inhabited by the Lamanites. The Lamanites let them have the land, only to later subject them into bondage, for use of their agricultural increase.

At a later time, these people were under a new king Limhi, who sent out some of his people to find the land of Zarahemla, that they might receive help in becoming made free.

They went North, and passed by, missing the land of Zarahemla, instead finding many great waters, which were part of the landscape, before the face of the land was changed at the death of our Savior on the Eastern hemisphere.

They also found remains of a vast civilization. A people who were named by Moroni, the second person to abridge The Book of Mormon after his father Mormon, as the Jaredites. They had come out from Babylon, at the time the Lord had confounded the languages at the tower therein.

These people had been destroyed, and their records had been kept by their kings and prophets over the years. This group of seekers sent out by king Limhi, at not finding Zarahemla, brought back with them 24 metal plates, upon which was recorded the Jaredite history.

Moroni abridged this people’s record, now known in The Book of Mormon as the Book of Ether, who was their last prophet, who also witnessed their entire destruction.

Their records were taken by this group, brought before king Limhi, then before Ammon, who had come out of Zarahemla to find these people whom Zeniff originally brought out of the land, and then to king Mosiah of Zarahemla, who translated them through the gift and power of God as a seer.

Shane

Two Sources, Two Opposing Forces

As We Roll Upward Towards the Light

Light (white), holds all the colors in our earth’s spectrum. A lack of light, darkness, is where devils, his subjects, and God, in conquest of saving souls, has descended, and conquered all their domains. For God comprehends, has godly power and control, over all his children’s eternal welfare and eternal progression. It is ordered by Him, rather than by us in our chaos.

Our lives are tailored to us all, not just here, but also throughout all our eternal lives. There is a little bit of good in everything bad that happens, as likewise, there is a little bit of bad, in everything good that happens.

With opposition in all things, where there is good, it is also compounded with bad. We get to choose which force will have our majority, through the exercise of our agency.

We can take what little good is in a situation, and learn from the bad, then never have to walk down that path again. Likewise, we can have a beautiful and glorious experience, from the tender mercies of the Lord, through our good actions, and still have a little bit of bad, which will then serve to tutor us, as we learn from it.

Shane

Light & Knowledge – Be Prepared

Develop a Lifetime of Learning – You’ll Need It

Reading is a good way to bring in light to our minds and knowledge to our souls, as long as its source is inspired from God. The call we have as Latter-Day Saints, which we cannot neglect, as illustrated in the parable of the ten virgins, is to read our gospel cannon, and stay current with our modern living oracles. We must not deny the Christ. We must ready ourselves for Christ’s return. Follow Him, the prophet, and counsels of the general leadership of His church, as given by The Gift of the Holy Spirit.

We can start little. Read on your 10 minute breaks at work, in the morning or evening, with your family as a re-occurring scripture study. Live the gospel alive, with your family, and you will have Christ as your foundation. We must do this, raise the bar, and prepare the earth for the Lord. He will come when we have made ready.

All that we now know, all our testimony, and all our spiritual experiences, will not be enough for the days to come. We must now advance, improve and gain our footings. We must be Latter-Day Saints, not professors to be.

Shane

Faith, Repentance, Baptism and Receiving The Gift of The Holy Ghost

Prepare Yourself For The Kingdom

The first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion, for the remission of sins, by one holding the proper priesthood authority; fourth, the Laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, also accomplished through one holding the holy priesthood authority.

Faith is belief put into action. It is only belief if it is not practiced and acted upon. Faith that Jesus Christ has the power to save, forgive, and renew light and life in you, and that partaking of His gift of love and wisdom will bring you hope, happiness and eternal salvation, is acting on the doctrines and commandments He set forth in His gospel.

This creates in us a newness, and changes our bodys and spirits, through taking the next steps in the process of the gospel, namely repentance, baptism, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Upon acting on the substance of our faith, a creative process, we first bring things to pass of a new creation, first spiritually, and then manifesting physically, all made possible through the fruits of the atonement.

Faith in Christ, and all good, real things, are all fruits of Christ’s atonement, for we can do no good thing without Him. Everything else is counterfeit, and cannot bring happiness, nor can they last.

Belief that Jesus Christ will help us in all we do and face, and then relying on His promises, while acting our part of faithful obedience in Him, upon inspiration from the Holy Spirit, is faith.

Repentance, is recognizing the error of our ways and actions, and feeling the necessary and helpful godly sorrow, rather than worldly sorrow, for what we did wrong. Worldly sorrow is sorrow for being caught or exposed. Godly sorrow is sorrow for doing the wrong thing and hurting God and His son Jesus Christ.

As part of godly sorrow, we must feel pain, sorrow and remorse for what we did wrong, for this is an important and necessary part of the repentance process. Godly sorrow works in us unto repentance, through the power of the Holy Ghost and prayer.

If the sin is of a certain seriousness, it must be confessed to a bishop, who is your local priesthood leader. He will help you on your pathway and road to repentance and recovery.

To receive the miracle of forgiveness, wherein God, through His Son, applies through the Holy Ghost, through the source of the atonement, the gift of forgiveness, is a process in which we are restored and made clean. We are also healed of any emotional and spiritual deficit incurred as well. We are purified through the cleansing fire of the Holy Ghost, both spiritually and physically, and made new and whole, being fully restored from the damage we suffered, from the sin we abused ourselves and others in. This is why we are also commanded to forgive all people, so we too can be forgiven. In this there comes a change of mind and heart, which change will also give us a fresh view about God, ourselves, and the world around us. It includes constantly turning away from sin, and turning to God for everyday forgiveness.

Repentance is motivated by a love for God, a deep desire to be clean, and a sincere desire to obey all His commandments.

Baptism, is the first saving ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and must be preceded by faith and repentance. It is necessary to be prepared and ready for baptism, to exercise proper repentance, and understand the covenants we will make at baptism.

Baptism symbolizes the old man of sin being buried in a watery grave, and the new man in Christ coming forth, or resurrecting unto a new creature alive in Him.

Baptism is only made sanctifying and efficacious for our physical as well as spiritual body, when it is performed by the proper priesthood authority, for as we must again accept our Savior in the flesh, as we once did in the spirit before being born in the flesh, we thus have the privilege of purifying our physical bodies as well.

Baptism is our physical and spiritual manifestation, that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and follow Him. The ordinance of baptism is the first of a two part requirement to enter God’s kingdom or church on earth.

Receiving The Gift of the Holy Ghost is the second requirement, and is a reception, wherein as we receive Him (The Holy Ghost), we can then be purged and healed both physically and spiritually.

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost is a higher reception of the Holy Ghost, more so than is available to all other people, and gives the recipient entrance into the Lord’s kingdom. Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we can supplicate God for the other spiritual gifts we need, to repent, and overcome all our weaknesses. Through the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit can also be a continual companion, and give us an even stronger and growing influence of God and His Son Jesus Christ in our lives.

Through this gift, we can have full access to the atonement, along with having all the other saving ordinances of the gospel made available to us.

In short, these steps in becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are amazing, and just the beginning. We can all receive these blessings and more, which come from taking these first few steps.

Shane

Grace, Salvation & Judgement: Part One

There is Peace in Understanding

The true reality about grace and our salvation, is that we indeed need to act in righteousness, yet this is only accomplished in the first place, by the means and use of grace. We can do no good thing without Christ through His atonement, even if we don’t acknowledge Him as the source. Grace is a fruit of His atonement.

Judgement applies to all, yet with different backgrounds, there are also different parameters. Those who have the law of Christ, and know and understand the principles of life in Christ and faith, are expected to live so. Those who do not have the law or know Christ, will eventually be presented with the gospel at some point or another, either in this life or the next. They will then be judged fairly with what they did know and have, according to their time as man or woman in the flesh.

We will all have fair opportunity to act in accordance to the law, with our understanding of it. All will eventually be given the opportunity to accept the gospel and required ordinances therein, such as baptism, confirmation, and the other priesthood ordinances, including a marriage sealed for all eternity. 

These will be made available for everyone who so chooses. Those who never had the opportunity to acquire these saving ordinances for themselves in this life, will have them done by someone else through proxy, usually through a descendant of the person, who takes their genealogical information to the Houses of the Lord, known as Holy Temples, to do their work. For example, I could be baptized in the Temple for a great grandfather of mine, who was never a member of Christ’s church, but was taught the gospel in the after life, and can now accept the baptismal ordinance I performed through proxy.

This method of proxy on behalf of someone else is not new to Christianity, for even the atonement itself is an act of proxy, wherein the Lord took our sins for us, and gave us His life and salvation in return.

Shane

Melchizedek Priesthood: The Correct Pronunciation

Sounds Have Value – Even in every fallen language

There is priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is the Lord’s priesthood. The lower or lesser priesthood is called the Aaronic Priesthood, after the Livitical order. The higher priesthood is called:

The Melchizedek Priesthood

This priesthood is named after the same Melchizedek who was the king of Salem (Jerusalem), who was referred to as The King of Righteous, or Peace. This priesthood is named such, so as to avoid the too repetitious use of the name of the Son, “The Holy priesthood after the order of the Son of God.”

Most people in the church and world miss-pronounce it. It is actually pronounced:

Mel(k) – iz – eh – deck

Shane

Adam and Eve and Us: Part Two

A Look Into The Grand Plan

Note: A lesson as is geared towards younger children.

Adam & Eve are our first parents. They were created by God in a state similar to how children like you are, except that they looked like grown up adults.

They lived in a beautiful garden called after the name of our mother earth: Eden.

They were very pure and also very smart like adults can be, but they didn’t understand that there was such a thing as bad. They were innocent and good.

God told them about a tree called The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and said that they shall not eat of it, and that in the day they do, they shall surely die.

God wanted to introduce them to a way in which they could learn and become like Him. This could only happen if they were to know what bad was, and experience it as an opposite to their good.

Eve thought and thought, and was even tempted by an unwise evil spirit, who had fallen out of the presence of Heavenly Father for rebelling against Him. He was sent to earth to tempt us here to do wrong, but Adam and Eve could do no wrong, until it was introduced to them, and they were to disobey their Father.

Adam never would have eaten the fruit, which fruit was a called a fig, except that God had commanded Adam and Eve to stay together, and God had told them that they would be cast out, if they had eaten of the fruit. Eve was very thoughtful, and realized that they would need something to change for them, if they were to become like their Heavenly Father. She partook of the fruit, and Adam then partook, so that he could stay with His wife Eve, as Heavenly Father had commanded him to.

Their bodies soon changed after they partook of the fruit, which was not good for them, and they began to die. This was also disobeying their Heavenly Father, and was wrong. Because they didn’t fully understand their actions, it was called a transgression, rather than a sin.

Once Adam and Eve were knowingly introduced to this plan of Happiness, in which they would understand from their experiences the difference between good and bad, they had to work their best to always do what is good, for this is what will help us all to be happy. In this way, they could appreciate good, and understand it better.

Let’s consider a song that will help us understand that we are here from God, to also learn from our experiences, as Adam and Eve did. I Am a Child of God (Page 301, LDS Hymnal)

Adam and Eve were introduced to this fruit by a bad spirit whose name is Lucifer.

Soon after Eve and Adam partook of the fruit, their bodies started to fall unto death through this unhealthy fruit, and their spirits also for disobeying their Heavenly Father, who they knew and loved. The atonement literally is what keeps us, and did them alive, both spiritually and physically.

With this change, their spirits now had to fight to do good things, for their bodies now wanted and craved things that were not right or healthy.

This dying of their bodies, and disobeying of our Father is what is called The Fall, which happened during the earth’s Fall season of existence, and caused them to no longer have their spirits and bodies in unison, meaning that before the fall, what their spirits perceived and thought, is what their bodies experienced also.

From that time forth, their bodies would want to do bad. Adam and Eve would see and comprehend things with their body’s natural senses, thoughts and feelings, and would now have to fight for their spirits to be the ones in control.

This condition is what is known as having a veil placed over our spirits, so that we don’t remember our pre-earth life with God, His presence, or what His love feels like. Our bodies are our veil.

As children, we can have a better understanding and love for God, but as we grow older, we need to rekindle that love and affection for God, by learning of His great love, merciful plan to live with Him again, and return to having our spiritual hearts and minds as our understandings in life, similar to as Adam and Eve did before their bodies fell, except that we now have the opportunity to understand opposition, just as Adam and Eve, once they had partaken of the fruit.

We can choose to become better and better like God every day, and understand that good is different than bad, and we can choose the good because we love God and happiness.

It is because of the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ, that we can do this good. This is what is called agency, or, the ability to do good, even when we are fallen.

The light of Christ, which is a fruit of the atonement, is in all of us, and is what keeps us all alive, so that we can learn to repent and do good.

We are out of the presence of God, and will all physically die, as was said by Heavenly Father, but Jesus Christ will make us all live again, through His own resurrection. 

Because of the atonement and resurrection, we can all be made whole spiritually and physically, this time having the ability to progress like unto our Father in Heaven, because of our earthly experiences.

As we always repent and follow our Savior Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, we can be happy and have joy, and ultimately become like our Savior and Father in Heaven, who is our true Father. This will happen long after we have been resurrected and live with Them, for they will personally teach us to know and be like Them.

Jesus is the Christ. He is the Great Mediator and Head of The Plan of Salvation for the children of our beloved Father in Heaven who cherishes us. We are here because of Him. We will return because of Him. We will one day be like Him because of Him. What blessing our redeemer is to all. May we honor Him and love Him by keeping His commandments. I know we can all do this, and I bare my testimony that we will all do this, and return in glory to be an eternal family with our Father in Heaven.

Truly Jesus Christ is not some back up plan, He is the plan. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Shane

Freedom For Religion

Our Country Shall Not Fail

As in the days of our founding forefathers, we must take steps to provide and create an existence and safeguard for religious freedom. “We do ordain and establish… a more perfect union… ‘[for the establishment and safeguard of our society’s leaven and wellbeing, or in other words, religious freedom.]’ Shane R. Brown

Families are strengthened by the principles taught in these institutions, and individuals are taught skills and practices needed, to be successful and profitable in their contributions for the good of society.

Whereas we have from our forefathers the protection of religious freedom, where such blessings and morals are taught and strengthen the families and homes in society, were this right to be taken from our nation, or any, other things very devastating would soon take its place. For where there is need, it can either be filled with something righteous, healthy and good, or eaten away, by means of lust, hatred, or intolerance, etc.

When we fight the war for religious freedom, as religion promotes freedom, we also fight for freedom. History would illustrate this in it’s chronicles, and a clear, sober mind would also ascertain this wisdom.

May we be educated in our pursuit of excellence, and honor our God, who grants us laws and protections, which safeguard us from our very own upheaval, as a people and a nation.

Shane

Calming the Storm: Part One

There Is But One God

The Lord boarded the ship with the Twelve apostles on their way to minister and preach. The apostles were new to their call, learning much from the Lord about who He was, and what His church should be made of.

It was easy for them to have disputes common among them, about the words Jesus taught to them in private, intimate gatherings with Him. Often, the Father would use object lessons to help them with their learning, as Jesus did His part to minister and teach them.

On this occasion, as they sailed to the shore of their destination, Jesus, weary from His constant travels and travails over His learning disciples, lay down for a brief respite. It wasn’t long however, before His disciples disputed among themselves, concerning the many teachings they were receiving, most of which we do not have in the sacred Bible text. Teachings difficult to understand, without the proper worthy aid of the Holy Spirit.

As the disputes turned to anger and contention one with another, the Father used a lesson of urgency, to enlighten the duly called twelve apostles, who were to be charged to take the gospel to all the world.

Their actions and tempers were not appropriate, and were then reflected in the actions and tempest of the climate around them. As apostles they were not to behave this way. When they finally gathered their wits about them, by way of need, and feeling guilty about their unruly quarreling, they awoke the Lord, whom they knew was their only source of help for anything.

It was at this time, that the Lord, following through with the Father’s lesson, told them, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

These words reflect the message they were to learn. “Ye can only understand His words by obedient faith.” Shane R. Brown

The words spoken by our Lord in love and chastisement, were meant to encourage and refine His disciples, with His perfect love and understanding.

Shane

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