3 Nephi, Chapter 9

How were Nephite cities destroyed?

When someone speaks over a loud speaker I tend to try to listen harder than if they had been standing in the room with me, because it seems that what they have to say will be more important.  “And it came to pass that there was a voice heard among all the inhabitants of the earth, upon all the face of this land, crying (v. 1):  Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent; for the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people; and it is because of their iniquity and abominations that they are fallen (v. 2)!”

At this time the Nephites have been sitting in utter darkness, crying and moaning about their situation; hurt, sad, and scared.  Then they hear this voice.  I imagine that some would have been more afraid, some would have been overcome by the feeling of the spirit, and so on.  I cannot imagine that anyone would have been trying to ignore the voice or pretend it wasn’t there.  He said “the devil laugheth, and his angels rejoice”, because the people had been so deep in sin that they lost their loved ones, which brings a misery and sadness that only the devil would find pleasing.

The voice continues to tell the people that He has destroyed Zarahemla and its people with fire (v. 3).   He buried the city of Moroni and its people in the sea (v. 4).  He covered the city of Moronihah and its people with earth (v. 5).  He buried the city of Gilgal and its people in the earth (v. 6).  He covered the cities of Onihah, Mocum, and Jerusalem and their people with water (v. 7).  He sunk the cities of Gadiandi, Gadiomnah, Jacob, and Gimgimno and their people into the earth (v. 8 ).  He burned the city of Jacobugath and its people with fire (v. 9).  He destroyed the cities of Laman, Josh, Gad, and Kiskumen and their people with fire (v. 10).  He did these things and more, because the people had been so wicked and had hurt, cast out, and killed the prophets and the righteous (v. 5, 7-12).  The city of Jacobugath had been the most wicked city on the whole earth because of secret combinations who murdered and destroyed the governement and the peace of the land (v. 9).  There were no more righteous people in the cities of Laman, Josh, Gad and Kiskumen (v. 11).

I can imagine the fear and sadness that the people who were saved would have been feeling then.  Hearing of all the destruction around them and the loss of so many of their brothers and sisters because of their wickedness would have been awful.  If I had been there, I think I may have been overcome with feelings of grief over the loss of so many people and the utter destruction of so much of the land.  Also, I would have been wondering what this meant for me.  I may have wondered why had the people who were left, been spared the same destruction, what was going to happen to them now, and so on.

Can a person be righteous and still need to repent?

Everyone needs to repent, because no one is perfect.  Every person on the earth suffers temptations and we all give in to some of them because we are mortal and human.  This is why we have been given the atonement by the Savior.  Even the most righteous people, striving the hardest to live good lives, still need to repent of the little things they may do wrong.

“O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you (v. 13)?  Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me (v. 14).”  Some of the Nephites were spared because they were more righteous than the others.  They needed to turn more fully to the Lord and repent of their sins.  If they “return[ed] unto [Him] they would be healed, and have mercy and eternal life from Him.  What wonderful blessings to hear straight from the voice of the Lord.  These same blessings and more apply to us as well, if we will repent, be converted, and turn to the Lord.

Sin has caused me the most heartache and pain out of everything in my life.  I have personally felt the healing power of the Lord in my life, as I have used the gift of the atonement.  It is the most wonderful feeling, when the burden and sadness of sin, is lifted off of my shoulders.  If that was all the Lord had promised to us, it would be worth it.  But He has promised us so much more, because He has promised us eternal life if we repent and return unto Him.  This gift is the greatest of all gifts and I am trying hard each day to live to have that promised fulfilled.

What are some of the roles of Jesus Christ?

The Savior, Jesus Christ, has been given many different names throughout the scriptures.  In this chapter He is given the names and titles of “the Son of God”, “the light and the life of the world”, “Alpha and Omega”, and “the beginning and the end” (v. 15, 18).  The Savior was the creator of the heavens, the earth, and all things in them.  He has been one in purpose, working with God and praising God (v. 15).  He came to the earth and fulfilled the prophecies that we read about in the scriptures (v. 16).  He has given the redemption of man to all who believe in Him and receive Him, and has fulfilled the law of Moses (v. 17).  And earlier in the chapter we read that He has also destroyed the wicked (v. 2-12).  These are only a few of the names, titles, and roles that the Savior has been for the world that we know.  Of these I think the greatest thing is that he is the redeemer, who has given us the chance to return to live with our Father in Heaven again and have eternal life, if we believe and receive Him.  I am so grateful to the Savior, for all that He has done so that I can have blessing beyond my greatest imaginations.  He has given these things to me personally, as well as to every person who has ever lived, or will ever live, on this earth.  I recognize that I am nothing without Him and I owe all that I ever will become to His example and His service to me personally.  I love the Savior and I hope and pray that I can show him that, through my thoughts and actions every day of my life.

The law of Moses is fulfilled

The difference between the law that says “Thou salt not kill.” and the law that says “Thou shalt not be angry with thy brother.” is that the latter is a higher law.  The law of Moses included the ten commandments and a law that man should not kill.  The law of Christ however, is a higher law.  In 3 Nephi 12:21-22 we read, “Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, and it is also written before you, that thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of God (v. 21); But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (v. 22).”

Things, such as laws, changed when Jesus came into the world, because he knew that he would be giving an ultimate sacrifice for everyone, he knew that a higher law was needed to keep people out of the “danger of hell fire”.

“And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings (v. 19).  And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not (v. 20).  Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin (v. 21).  Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved (v. 22).”

The Savior told the Nephites that the sacrifices of the firstling of the flock and burnt offerings was no longer required.  Instead he wanted people to give a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  In return, the Savior would give the gift of the Holy Ghost.  The Savior will save those who repent and come “unto [Him] as a little child”.

The Savior fulfilled the law of Moses as the ultimate sacrifice.  In it’s place he gave us a higher law.  We are asked to sacrifice our personal sins to the Lord, meaning to give up the things that hold us back from the possibility of returning to God.  To come unto Him as a little child, we must realize that we are dependent on the Savior.  We must have humility and meekness in our hearts.  If we are willing to give up our sins and turn to Him, we are promised the gift of the Holy Ghost, to help us avoid further sin and ultimately to be saved.

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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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