Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Book of Mormon Challenge - Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon

Here is the chart for the books of Enos, Jarom, Omni, and the Words of Mormon. Each book has one chapter.

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Here are the Excel files with all the details:

Enos Analysis
Jarom Analysis
Omni Analysis
Words of Mormon Analysis

Here are files that have the highlighted PDF chapters:

Enos Highlighted Chapter
Jarom Highlighted Chapter
Omni Highlighted Chapter
Words of Mormon Highlighted Chapter

These books cover many years of history. There are also multiple authors among them. They also feature good testimonies of Christ. They are great!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Thought from the Book of Jacob

In my analysis post, I see that Jacob chapter 4 merits further investigation. (Again, not that the others don't, but the chart peaks my curiosity.)

Upon further investigation, I notice that Jacob 4 begins with one of my favorite sets of verses in the Book of Mormon. Here they are with comments:

1 Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain;

Here we see that it is difficult for Jacob, and probably the other prophets in the Book of Mormon, to engrave their prophesies on plates. Because they knew that the engravings they made would stand for all time, they had to chose their words carefully and probably couldn't erase them if they made a mistake.

2 But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers—

Jacob and the other prophets knew that using other media at the time to record their prophesies would just disintegrate and become unreadable, so they used what they knew would last. I believe that this verse also reveals who the Book of Mormon was written to. To their children. I also believe that we are included in that category. They wanted us, the peoples of the latter-days to know about them, to have a small degree of knowledge concerning them. Think of all the peoples that have lived on the Americas that we don't know about their names, families, lives, or God's dealings with them. We are blessed to have these records in our hands. So, what was their purpose for all of the hard work, labor, and sacrifice to write down these passages? And how did they feel about it? Let's read on...

3 Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents.

So, when I read this scripture for my personal scripture study one day, it really hit me. How do we receive the product of their words and scrifice? Do we receive them with thankful hearts? Do we look to them to learn about their testimonies of Christ with joy? Do we look on them with sorrow or contempt to read and learn about them? Now this latter question may seem to be extreme, but those were the words Jacob used. He hoped, and probably prayed, that we could have his words and receive them with thankful hearts. So, this is how I feel about daily scripture study. My goal is to always have a good attitude about the commandment and think of the new things that I can learn and opening up the conduit to feel of the Spirit that day. He will come when we do this because we read of truth about Christ and the prophets' testimonies of Him. So, what was their intent?

4 For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.

They wanted us to know that they knew that Christ would come. Jacob knew that the words of all the prophets before him were about the fact that He would come. They had a hope of His glory. What does that mean? I think that, in part, it means that He would be the Savior and fulfill all the words He, as Jehovah, revealed to them--to live again after death, and to live with Heavenly Father again. That is what they felt. How much of a blessing it is for us to know it. So, have you read your scriptures yet today? : )

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Book of Mormon Challenge - Jacob

Here is the chart for the book of Jacob:

(Click on image to enlarge. Click on Back button to return to post.)

Here is the Excel file with all the details:

Jacob Analysis

Here is the .zip file with all the highlighted PDF chapters:

Jacob Highlighted Chapters

Jacob is a wonderful book. He has some good practical sermons to the people. But more on that later.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thoughts on 2nd Nephi Analysis

The first thought that comes to mind how often the Jesus Christ is mentioned in the Isaiah chapters in 2nd Nephi. There seems to be a little slump there compared to the beginning and the end of the book. However, I want to remind you of Jesus's own commandment to the Nephites (and us) about the writings of Isaiah in 3 Nephi 23:1.

"And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah."

This selection in the book of 2nd Nephi is not easy to read at times, but as I skimmed the chapter headings, I found that in 2nd Nephi, Isaiah prophesies a lot about the latter-days, which are our days, and the Millennium. They help us to be righteous and describe the fate of the wicked.

The end of the book of 2nd Nephi (i.e., chapters 25-33) is special, I believe, because of the number of times each member of the Godhead is mentioned, especially in chapters 31-33.

Chapter 31 is where Nephi testifies of the baptism of Christ and the reason He was baptized. He testifies of the need for keeping the commandments and if we do so, we'll obtain eternal life.

I believe chapter 32 is mainly about prayer. How are you doing with your prayers? With prayer we can obtain a knowledge of spiritual (and more) things. We receive our answers through scripture study and the Holy Ghost.

In chapter 33, Nephi testifies that his words are the words of Christ. It reminds me of people that say they've read the Book of Mormon and don't believe it. I'm not sure if they've truly read. I believe Nephi when he says that he (and the other prophets in the Book of Mormon) teach the words of Christ. They are His words.

I love the ending of Nephi's writings, which are also in chapter 33, "For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgement bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen." He says that his words will be brought before us at the judgment and that he must obey the commandments of God. So must we and if we do, we will rejoice when the words are brought before us.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Book of Mormon Challenge - 2nd Nephi

Here are the results for the analysis of the book of 2nd Nephi:

(Click on image to enlarge. Click on Back button to return to this post.)

Here is the Excel file with all the details:

2 Nephi Analysis

In order to save time on creating individual links to the highlighted PDF chapters for the book of 2nd Nephi, I have used the .zip format to archive each PDF into one file. In order to see the PDFs, just download the file and click on it. Whether on Mac or PC you should be able to just save the files in their own folder. Let me know if there are problems.

2 Nephi Higlighted Chapters

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thoughts on 1st Nephi Analysis

So, if you look at the chart of the number of times each member of the Godhead is mentioned (as a percentage per verse) you will notice that chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 particularly stand out. They have more times when Nephi mentions Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost along with Jesus Christ. If we recall, the events portrayed in those chapters was a special vision that Nephi had where he saw his father's vision of the Tree of Life along with details of the future with the birth of Christ, the fate of his people, the last days, and every important event leading up to the second coming. (See 1 Nephi 6 for Nephi's description of how special these chapters (and all others) are that are in his book.)

So, by noting these special chapters, do we say that the others, like 1 Nephi 1-9, and 15-22 are not as special because they don't mention the members of the Godhead as much? I submit that they are as special. They might have a different focus or purpose, but I believe that when Mormon compiled the gold plates, he selected the accounts that were special for our day. Both authors of Helaman and Ether (which I believe are Mormon and Moroni, respectively) say that they couldn't include a hundredth part of the proceedings of the people, I believe temporally or spiritually. But they include something, all of it being their most precious accounts. Nephi and Jacob also mention this. I believe it is true for the whole book.

So how do we value it? The Nephites had a 1000-year history, and the Jaredites, even longer. The Book of Mormon is most precious. So, as I post more analyses, we need to keep these things in mind. Those are my thoughts for today. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Book of Mormon Challenge - 1st Nephi

I had finished the Book of Mormon Challenge a while ago, but haven't posted any results or thoughts about it. I did the challenge using PDF versions of each chapter of the Book of Mormon. I highlighted each time the name of the Savior appeared in the text and reflected on His role in that chapter.

Then I thought that a good extension would be to see how much Heavenly Father is mentioned and the Holy Ghost, the two remaining members of the Godhead. I feel that I must be careful in doing this because of the sacred nature of Their names. I hope that through this analysis, I have still maintained that.

First of all, I want to say that I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. In this small way of seeing how He is mentioned and about whom testimonies are given, the Book of Mormon is so powerful. There are only a few chapters where He isn't mentioned, but some chapters mention Him 50-70 times. We will find out how this plays out.

The first book in the Book of Mormon is 1st Nephi. Each chapter has a percentage of verses where each member of the Godhead is mentioned. Notice that Jesus Christ is by far the center figure. This is true in all the chapters of the Book of Mormon.

(Click on image to enlarge. Click on Back button to return to this post.)

Here is the Excel file with all the details of how the above chart was created:

1 Nephi Analysis

1 Nephi highlighted PDFs:

1 Nephi 1
1 Nephi 2
1 Nephi 3
1 Nephi 4
1 Nephi 5
1 Nephi 6
1 Nephi 7
1 Nephi 8
1 Nephi 9
1 Nephi 10
1 Nephi 11
1 Nephi 12
1 Nephi 13
1 Nephi 14
1 Nephi 15
1 Nephi 16
1 Nephi 17
1 Nephi 18
1 Nephi 19
1 Nephi 20
1 Nephi 21
1 Nephi 22