February 6th – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 37 – 2 Nephi 2:15-3:2

15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.

18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.

19 And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.

20 And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.

21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;

29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

30 I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.

Chapter 3

1 And now I speak unto you, Joseph, my last-born. Thou wast born in the wilderness of mine afflictions; yea, in the days of my greatest sorrow did thy mother bear thee.

2 And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this land, which is a most precious land, for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forever, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel.

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February 5th – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 36 – 2 Nephi 1:29-2:14

29 But if ye will not hearken unto him I take away my first blessing, yea, even my blessing, and it shall rest upon him.

30 And now, Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold, thou art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou hast been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever.

31 Wherefore, because thou hast been faithful thy seed shall be blessed with his seed, that they dwell in prosperity long upon the face of this land; and nothing, save it shall be iniquity among them, shall harm or disturb their prosperity upon the face of this land forever.

32 Wherefore, if ye shall keep the commandments of the Lord, the Lord hath consecrated this land for the security of thy seed with the seed of my son.

Chapter 2

1 And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.

2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.

4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.

5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.

6 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.

7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

9 Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.

10 And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

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February 4th – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 35 – 2 Nephi 1:11-28

11 Yea, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten.

12 Yea, as one generation passeth to another there shall be bloodsheds, and great visitations among them; wherefore, my sons, I would that ye would remember; yea, I would that ye would hearken unto my words.

13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.

14 Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return; a few more days and I go the way of all the earth.

15 But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.

16 And I desire that ye should remember to observe the statutes and the judgments of the Lord; behold, this hath been the anxiety of my soul from the beginning.

17 My heart hath been weighed down with sorrow from time to time, for I have feared, lest for the hardness of your hearts the Lord your God should come out in the fulness of his wrath upon you, that ye be cut off and destroyed forever;

18 Or, that a cursing should come upon you for the space of many generations; and ye are visited by sword, and by famine, and are hated, and are led according to the will and captivity of the devil.

19 O my sons, that these things might not come upon you, but that ye might be a choice and a favored people of the Lord. But behold, his will be done; for his ways are righteousness forever.

20 And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.

21 And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;

22 That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body.

23 Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust.

24 Rebel no more against your brother, whose views have been glorious, and who hath kept the commandments from the time that we left Jerusalem; and who hath been an instrument in the hands of God, in bringing us forth into the land of promise; for were it not for him, we must have perished with hunger in the wilderness; nevertheless, ye sought to take away his life; yea, and he hath suffered much sorrow because of you.

25 And I exceedingly fear and tremble because of you, lest he shall suffer again; for behold, ye have accused him that he sought power and authority over you; but I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare.

26 And ye have murmured because he hath been plain unto you. Ye say that he hath used sharpness; ye say that he hath been angry with you; but behold, his sharpness was the sharpness of the power of the word of God, which was in him; and that which ye call anger was the truth, according to that which is in God, which he could not restrain, manifesting boldly concerning your iniquities.

27 And it must needs be that the power of God must be with him, even unto his commanding you that ye must obey. But behold, it was not he, but it was the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, which opened his mouth to utterance that he could not shut it.

28 And now my son, Laman, and also Lemuel and Sam, and also my sons who are the sons of Ishmael, behold, if ye will hearken unto the voice of Nephi ye shall not perish. And if ye will hearken unto him I leave unto you a blessing, yea, even my first blessing.

View all 366 day challenge posts here: 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

1 Samuel Chapter 26

David had been merciful to King Saul and had spared his life while in the area of En-gedi. After confronting Saul, David had convinced him to go his way in peace. Saul had returned to his home, abandoning his plans to kill David for that time. However, in the process of hunting for David, Saul had stirred up many of the people against David. This support could have been out of fear for their lives if they went against the king, which he had shown brought death, or out of loyalty to Saul as their king. Either way, Israelites were still looking for David. The story of Saul and David continues with the following:

1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?
2 Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

Ziphite men got word to Saul, that David was hiding in the hill of Hachilah, which was in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul took an army with him, to find David, and camped in the hill. David, who was in the wilderness, saw Saul coming and sent out spies to be sure it was Saul.

5 And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.
6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.
8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.
9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?
10 David said furthermore, As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
11 The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.
12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.

David went to Saul’s camp, and saw where Saul was. Saul was in a trench or behind a barricade, surrounded by his men, along with Abner his captain. David asked a few of his men, who would go down into the camp with him. Abishai volunteered himself, so they snuck into the camp at night. Saul was sleeping, with his weapon propped up near his head, I think in preparation for battle. Abishai told David that Saul had been delivered into his hands again and he offered to kill Saul, which he could have done with one blow from the spear. David refused his offer, saying for a second time, that Saul had been anointed by the Lord. David knew that the Lord would smite Saul, or He would allow Saul to die in his own time or in battle. He was not meant to kill Saul, and it would have brought unwanted guilt upon him. Instead, David told Abishai to take the spear and water from Saul. They took it and snuck away without being seen, because the Lord had caused a deep sleep to be upon on the men.

13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:
14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king?
15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
16 This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the Lord liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the Lord’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.
17 And Saul knew David’s voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
18 And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?
19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the Lord have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the Lord; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve other gods.
20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.

David stood on top of a hill on the other side of the place where Saul was camped, leaving a large space between himself and the camp of Saul. David yelled out to them, and Abner asked who called out to king Saul. David told Abner that he knew he was a valiant man in Israel, but that he had not protected his king. He told Abner that someone had snuck in to kill the king, and that he was not worthy to live, because he could not protect his king. David asked him to look for the spear and container of water. Saul recognized David’s voice and asked him if it was David. David told him it was, and asked why Saul continued to pursue him and what he had done to deserve it. David said if the Lord had inspired Saul to do this, David would give an offering to the Lord, but if the reason was of men, they were cursed for what they tried to do. He told him not to try to kill him, because David was nothing to hunt after.

21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
22 And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
23 The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the Lord delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed.
24 And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the Lord, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.
25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

Again, Saul realized he had done wrong. He told David that he would not harm him, because he had spared his life. Saul knew that David valued life, his life, and was a good man. David told Saul to have one of his men retrieve the spear, and let the Lord give everyone their reward for their righteousness and faithfulness. David knew Saul had been delivered into his hands again, but he showed him kindness and spared him. He would be blessed by the Lord for what he had done. David and Saul went their separate ways in peace.

I think that this situation was a lesson in humility for Saul. I don’t know that he learned the lesson, but it was there. This was the second time that he could have easily been killed by David, but David refused to kill him because he loved the Lord more than man. I don’t know that there would be many men, who would have the courage to do the things David did. David had a great trust in the Lord, that he would be blessed for his choice to spare a man who time and time again had sought to take his life. David was not a man of fear, but was a man of faith, who was living loyal to his principles. Those who follow after this example, will be blessed for their faith in the Lord. Those who choose to trust in men and their judgement, will not receive the blessings of the Lord.

February 3rd – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 34 – 1 Nephi 22:24-2 Nephi 1:10

24 And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory.

25 And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.

26 And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.

27 And now behold, I, Nephi, say unto you that all these things must come according to the flesh.

28 But, behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.

29 And now I, Nephi, make an end; for I durst not speak further as yet concerning these things.

30 Wherefore, my brethren, I would that ye should consider that the things which have been written upon the plates of brass are true; and they testify that a man must be obedient to the commandments of God.

31 Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen.

2 Nephi
Chapter 1

1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of teaching my brethren, our father, Lehi, also spake many things unto them, and rehearsed unto them, how great things the Lord had done for them in bringing them out of the land of Jerusalem.

2 And he spake unto them concerning their rebellions upon the waters, and the mercies of God in sparing their lives, that they were not swallowed up in the sea.

3 And he also spake unto them concerning the land of promise, which they had obtained—how merciful the Lord had been in warning us that we should flee out of the land of Jerusalem.

4 For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.

5 But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.

6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.

7 Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.

8 And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.

9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.

10 But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.

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February 2nd – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 33 – 1 Nephi 22:6-23

6 Nevertheless, after they shall be nursed by the Gentiles, and the Lord has lifted up his hand upon the Gentiles and set them up for a standard, and their children have been carried in their arms, and their daughters have been carried upon their shoulders, behold these things of which are spoken are temporal; for thus are the covenants of the Lord with our fathers; and it meaneth us in the days to come, and also all our brethren who are of the house of Israel.

7 And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.

8 And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the Gentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders.

9 And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the house of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

10 And I would, my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations.

11 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.

12 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.

13 And the blood of that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood.

14 And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it.

15 For behold, saith the prophet, the time cometh speedily that Satan shall have no more power over the hearts of the children of men; for the day soon cometh that all the proud and they who do wickedly shall be as stubble; and the day cometh that they must be burned.

16 For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.

17 Wherefore, he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.

18 Behold, my brethren, I say unto you, that these things must shortly come; yea, even blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke must come; and it must needs be upon the face of this earth; and it cometh unto men according to the flesh if it so be that they will harden their hearts against the Holy One of Israel.

19 For behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off.

20 And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.

21 And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this prophet of whom Moses spake was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore, he shall execute judgment in righteousness.

22 And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil, which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh—

23 For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.

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February 1st – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 32 – 1 Nephi 21:14-22:5

14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.

15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

17 Thy children shall make haste against thy destroyers; and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about and behold; all these gather themselves together, and they shall come to thee. And as I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on even as a bride.

19 For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants; and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.

20 The children whom thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the first, shall again in thine ears say: The place is too strait for me; give place to me that I may dwell.

21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart: Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? And who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where have they been?

22 Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

24 For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives delivered?

25 But thus saith the Lord, even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine; and all flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Chapter 22

1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had read these things which were engraven upon the plates of brass, my brethren came unto me and said unto me: What meaneth these things which ye have read? Behold, are they to be understood according to things which are spiritual, which shall come to pass according to the spirit and not the flesh?

2 And I, Nephi, said unto them: Behold they were manifest unto the prophet by the voice of the Spirit; for by the Spirit are all things made known unto the prophets, which shall come upon the children of men according to the flesh.

3 Wherefore, the things of which I have read are things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual; for it appears that the house of Israel, sooner or later, will be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations.

4 And behold, there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have been led away; and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the sea; and whither they are none of us knoweth, save that we know that they have been led away.

5 And since they have been led away, these things have been prophesied concerning them, and also concerning all those who shall hereafter be scattered and be confounded, because of the Holy One of Israel; for against him will they harden their hearts; wherefore, they shall be scattered among all nations and shall be hated of all men.

View all 366 day challenge posts here: 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

The Role of the Holy Ghost as a Teacher

I was born into a musically talented family. When I was four, I performed for the first time with them. I believe it was for our ward talent show. We wore white ruffled shirts, with red bow ties, red pants, and red sequin suspenders. We sang “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” from Annie. It was the first of many performances. I absolutely loved singing with my family. When I was in sixth grade, I auditioned to perform my first solo at school. Even though I had performed many times before, I was a nervous wreck. The reason for that was because, I was born hard of hearing and singing on my own was frightening. My nerves got the better of me and the solo was a wreck. Those watching me laughed and I cried. As a result of that experience I developed a bit of stage fright and really struggled to sing. A few years later, I was coaxed into taking a theatre class in high school. My teacher, was named Mr. Best. He showed a confidence in me that most others had not shown. I felt inspired to audition for a musical and he cast me as the lead. I was not the best in that first show. In fact, my parents were in the front of the audience and they could hardly hear me. But, my teacher continued to teach me and encourage me to get better. By the end of high school, I was comfortable singing on my own and was often performing solos around our area. Mr. Best taught me to develop a talent in spite of the challenges I had, and I am forever grateful to him for having faith in me.

A teacher is generally someone who informs us in a subject or skill. They might show us how something is done. They encourage us to accept something as fact or truth. Sometimes they instruct us by their example. And at other times, they help us to learn something by giving us experiences, just as my teacher did for me.

We all have had and will have many teachers in our lives. For many of us, there are teachers who leave a lasting impression on us. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS)*, we have access to the greatest teacher, who can have an eternally lasting impression on us. In Doctrine and Covenants 121:26 we read, “God shall give unto you knowledge … by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost”. Likewise, David A. Bednar said, the Holy Ghost is, “the ultimate teacher from whom we should learn.” (David A. Bednar, “Receive the Holy Ghost”, October 2010) Through the power of the Holy Ghost, God teaches us. Isn’t that amazing? In his role of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost is able to teach us anywhere, anytime, anything. In fact, in Moroni 10:5 we learn that, “by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things.” Because the Holy Ghost, is a member of the Godhead and is one with God the Father and the Son, learning from Him, is as if we were sitting at the feet of our Savior, or our Father in Heaven right now, or at any moment in time.

(*NOTE: “All honest seekers of the truth can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost, leading them to Jesus Christ and His gospel. However, the fulness of the blessings given through the Holy Ghost are available only to those who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and remain worthy.” –lds.org Gospel Topics)

The Holy Ghost is like no other teacher, because He has the power to do things we cannot even begin to understand, but I’m going to share briefly about a few of the more general ways that the Holy Ghost teaches us. First, the Holy Ghost is able to give us information about any subject or skill we could possibly be interested in. A perfect example of this is given to us in the book of 1 Nephi. Nephi’s father Lehi, had told his family of a vision he had, and Nephi desired to know more. Nephi was blessed to have a vision as well. In 1 Nephi 11:1-3 we read:

1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
2 And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?
3 And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw.

The spirit went on to have a conversation with Nephi, where He asked Nephi questions and then showed Nephi the things He desired to know. Continuing in verses 9 to 11, it says:

9 And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all.
10 And he said unto me: What desirest thou?
11 And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof—for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.

Nephi was taught by the Spirit, many things about life, the plan of salvation, the life and mission of the Savior, the future of his own people, and much more. This is a profound example of the teaching of the Spirit, and we are not always going to have grand visions of our own to learn from, but we all can be learning from the spirit in small and simple ways.

Second, the Holy Ghost can show us how something is done. I have a friend who quilts. She shared an experience with me several years ago, where she had been asked to make a quilt, but she ran into a problem in the middle of the project. She had researched a lot and was feeling stumped as to how to make it work. Her time was running out, and she could not figure it out on her own. Then she decided to go serve in the temple with a prayer in her heart for a help. After she returned home, the spirit revealed to her exactly how to finish the quilt. In faith, she followed the directions of the spirit and it worked perfectly. I love this example, because it teaches me that while the Holy Ghost teaches us spiritual things, He can also teach us things that are more of this world.

Third, the Holy Ghost encourages us to accept things as truth. David A. Bednar once said, “Testimony is personal knowledge, based upon the witness of the Holy Ghost, that certain facts of eternal significance are true. The Holy Ghost is the messenger for the Father and the Son and the teacher of and guide to all truth (see John 14:26, 16:13) Thus, “by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5).” (“Watching with All Perserverance”, April 2010)

In the world, there are many claiming to have truth to share with us. We have so much information, so readily available at every turn, and it can be really hard to know what is true. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The Holy Ghost is the Testifier of Truth, who can teach men things they cannot teach one another.” (“The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”, October 1986) The source which we all can and should trust, is the Holy Ghost. If ever there is a question of truth, we can turn to the teachings of the spirit. I know that personally, I have depended on this greatly, especially as I was attending college. Some professors wanted to teach their personal beliefs as fact, but with the spirit as my guide, I was able to recognize those things that were false, and have truth revealed to me on several occasions.

The Holy Ghost has the power to show us all truth, but most importantly, He will teach us truth of the gospel. In 2010, Jay E. Jensen, of the Presidency of the Seventy said of the Holy Ghost, “He knows all things. He has several important roles; foremost among them is to teach and testify of the Father and the Son” (“The Holy Ghost and Revelation“, October 2010) When you read about the Holy Ghost in the gospel topics of the LDS church website, it says, “[the Holy Ghost] “witnesses of the Father and the Son” (2 Nephi 31:18) … We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses.”

For me, one of the most personal ways, that the Holy Ghost teaches me true principles, is through music. When I am willing to really think about the words of a song I am singing, or listening to, I am often touched by the spirit and the message seems to make sense, as if I have known it all along. Elder Glenn L. Pace, of the Seventy, spoke on the spirit bringing things to our remembrance when he said, “Sometimes the feeling is like a memory. We first learned the gospel in our heavenly home. We have come to this earth with a veil of forgetfulness. And yet lingering in each of our spirits are those dormant memories. The Holy Ghost can part the veil and bring those things out of their dormancy. Often my reaction to a supposedly newfound truth is, “Oh, I remember that!” (“Do You Know?”, April 2007)” We sing the words, “I know my Father lives and loves me too. The Spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true, And tells me it is true. He sent me here to earth, by faith to live his plan. The Spirit whispers this to me and tells me that I can, And tells me that I can.” (“I Know My Father Lives”, Text and music: Reid N. Nibley, 1923-2008. (c) 1969 IRI) Our hymns are a great tool for the spirit to teach us many wonderful truths.

I have been blessed with the gift of the spirit, to believe upon the words of others. I don’t tend to question the things that the scriptures or our church leaders say. But in all these things, I have to rely on the spirit’s teachings in order to gain my testimony of them. I have been given a powerful assurance, by the spirit, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real. I know this is true. They are there for us. They love us.

Forth, the Holy Ghost teaches us through His example. Among many other things he shows us, we can learn how to teach, and then learn from teaching, by following His example. The Holy Ghost teaches us individually in ways that are personal. We can follow this example in how we teach others, and the more personal we make a lesson, the more opportunities we will have to learn from the spirit ourselves. He teaches us “line upon line”, as it says in 2 Nephi 28:30. When we teach basic principles and allow others to learn according to their understanding, rather then jumping into deep doctrine right away, all can edified and uplifted from one another. He teaches us with love and gentle persuasion, allowing us to choose for ourselves how we will act. When we teach others this way, we can witness true and lasting conversion, and perhaps learn for ourselves how important it is to listen to the gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost in our lives. Teaching others, as the spirit teaches us, is effective, and I when I choose to follow His example, I am amazed at how much I learn from teaching.

Finally, the Holy Ghost teaches us by giving us experiences to learn from. In 2011, Matthew O. Richardson, the Second Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency taught, “the Holy Ghost teaches by inviting, prompting, encouraging, and inspiring us to act. Christ assured us that we come to the truth when we live doctrine and act accordingly. [See John 7:17] The Spirit leads, guides, and shows us what to do. [See 2 Nephi 32:1–5] He will not, however, do for us what only we can do for ourselves. You see, the Holy Ghost cannot learn for us, feel for us, or act for us because this would be contrary to the doctrine of agency. He can facilitate opportunities and invite us to learn, feel, and act.” (“Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit”, October 2011) Several years ago, the spirit prompted me to use my skills on the computer and my desire to study the scriptures more, to create this study blog. Since then, the spirit has continued to inspire me and encourage me in this endeavor. I cannot begin to count the number of times, that following this prompting has helped me to learn, gain deeper understanding, and strengthen my testimony of the gospel. It has been a huge blessing in my life.

Of course these are only a few of the ways the Holy Ghost teaches us. Knowing the ways he teaches us is great, but more importantly, we have the responsibility to be open to his teachings. Our family reads conferences talks every Sunday and we choose a challenge to help us practice the principles taught. A few weeks ago, the talk we read was directed mainly at the role of parents to lead, guide and walk beside. As we talked about our challenge, we discussed the important role of children to allow parents to do their part, so our challenge became to “lead, guide, walk beside, and to be led, guided, and walked bedsided.” This applies so well to our relationship with the Holy Ghost as our teacher. He can only teach us, if we allow Him to do so.

I was reflecting last week on some of the things that being hard of hearing requires of me. In particular, I have to try harder in order to hear or understand. If possible, I will sit in the front of any class or meeting. I rely heavily on reading lips, so I am often seen turning in Sunday School, to look at someone who is speaking. Often times during prayers, I will turn my head, so that my better ear is towards the person praying. It can take a great deal of effort for me, but I do it, because I want to hear. Thinking about this effort, I realized that I need to make sure I am making greater effort to allow the spirit to teach me. We all need to be making this effort, or we are not accepting the spirit as a teacher in our lives. We need to seek for his guidance. Turning ourselves towards his voice. We need to be giving greater opportunities for His teaching, by doing our daily prayers and scripture study. We need to be listening to the kind of music that would invite the spirit to inspire, uplift and teach us. We need to go to Sacrament each week and renew our covenants, so that we can maintain the promise of having the spirit with us at all times. We need to listen to talks and attend our lessons with the intent to learn from them. This is why we go to church. We go to partake of the Sacrament, so that we can have the blessing of the spirit with us, and to seek instruction by the Holy Ghost through the talks and lessons we give and hear.

When we are able, we need to attend the temple and try harder to listen there. We need to be pondering more. We should be seeking for gifts and practicing those we have, and accepting opportunities to teach others more. When we recognize a prompting, we need to follow it, even if it may not be what we think we want or need in our lives. John Taylor told of an experience he had. He said, “I remember Joseph Smith speaking to me… Says he: “Brother Taylor, you have received the Holy Ghost. Now follow its teachings and instructions. Sometimes it may lead you in a manner that may be contrary almost to your judgment; never mind, follow its teachings, and if you do so, by and by it will become in you a principle of revelation, so that you will know all things as they transpire.” (Journal of Discourses 14:356. “Continued Revelation”. John Taylor, March 17, 1872.)” This is the opportunity we all have.

I am amazed that God loves us so much, that He would give us constant access to a being that can teach us all things. I know that without the Holy Ghost, we cannot develop a true and lasting testimony of anything. I am so grateful to Him for all that I know now and for the countless things He will continue to teach me, if I will have a willing heart and mind. I hope that each of us can seek for the teachings of the spirit to be in greater abundance in our lives. In the words of another sweet hymn, “Children, God delights to teach you By his Holy Spirit’s voice. Quickly heed its holy promptings. Day by day you’ll then rejoice.” (“Dearest Children, God is Near You”, Text: Charles L. Walker, 1832-1904.)

January 31st – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 31 – 1 Nephi 20:18-21:13

18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments—then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.

19 Thy seed also had been as the sand; the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.

20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter to the end of the earth; say ye: The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.

21 And they thirsted not; he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; he clave the rock also and the waters gushed out.

22 And notwithstanding he hath done all this, and greater also, there is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked.

Chapter 21

1 And again: Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel. Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken ye people from far; the Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;

3 And said unto me: Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

4 Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and in vain; surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

5 And now, saith the Lord—that formed me from the womb that I should be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him—though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.

6 And he said: It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.

7 Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nations abhorreth, to servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful.

8 Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time have I heard thee, O isles of the sea, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee my servant for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that sit in darkness: Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

12 And then, O house of Israel, behold, these shall come from far; and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; for the feet of those who are in the east shall be established; and break forth into singing, O mountains; for they shall be smitten no more; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

View all 366 day challenge posts here: 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

January 30th – 366 Days of the Book of Mormon

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Day 30 – 1 Nephi 19:24-20:17

24 Wherefore I spake unto them, saying: Hear ye the words of the prophet, ye who are a remnant of the house of Israel, a branch who have been broken off; hear ye the words of the prophet, which were written unto all the house of Israel, and liken them unto yourselves, that ye may have hope as well as your brethren from whom ye have been broken off; for after this manner has the prophet written.

Chapter 20

1 Hearken and hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, or out of the waters of baptism, who swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness.

2 Nevertheless, they call themselves of the holy city, but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel, who is the Lord of Hosts; yea, the Lord of Hosts is his name.

3 Behold, I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them. I did show them suddenly.

4 And I did it because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

5 And I have even from the beginning declared to thee; before it came to pass I showed them thee; and I showed them for fear lest thou shouldst say—Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image hath commanded them.

6 Thou hast seen and heard all this; and will ye not declare them? And that I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

7 They are created now, and not from the beginning, even before the day when thou heardest them not they were declared unto thee, lest thou shouldst say—Behold I knew them.

8 Yea, and thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time thine ear was not opened; for I knew that thou wouldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.

9 Nevertheless, for my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee not off.

10 For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

11 For mine own sake, yea, for mine own sake will I do this, for I will not suffer my name to be polluted, and I will not give my glory unto another.

12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob, and Israel my called, for I am he; I am the first, and I am also the last.

13 Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them and they stand up together.

14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these things unto them? The Lord hath loved him; yea, and he will fulfil his word which he hath declared by them; and he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans.

15 Also, saith the Lord; I the Lord, yea, I have spoken; yea, I have called him to declare, I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.

16 Come ye near unto me; I have not spoken in secret; from the beginning, from the time that it was declared have I spoken; and the Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

17 And thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I have sent him, the Lord thy God who teacheth thee to profit, who leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go, hath done it.

View all 366 day challenge posts here: 366 Days of the Book of Mormon


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

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