Posts Tagged 'Purification'

Numbers Chapter 31

The children of Israel were encamped near the Jordan River, in the midst of other nations living in the land of Moab. This is the area, where the leader Balak had tried to convince Balaam to curse the Israelites. He would not curse them, because an angel had visited him and told him only to say those things that were put into his mouth. Instead he blessed Israel, and promised destruction to those nations around them. I believe, that he also told Balak what the weaknesses of the Israelites may have been, in order to gain some prestige with the leader. Balak in turn, led some of the Midianites to tempt the Israelites, in an attempt to weaken this great people. This had led to the falling away and destruction of a portion of the children of Israel, who fell into temptation and committed sins of idolatry and immorality. It had also brought a plague to the Israelites, which took the lives of many. Some point after that, the content of this chapter occurred. It begins:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian.
4 Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.
5 So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.
6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
10 And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.
11 And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.

The Lord commanded Moses to lead the people against the Midianites, before he was to leave them. Moses commanded the people to gather their arms for battle against the Midianites. One thousand men from each tribe were to fight. Phinehas, a levite, was called to go with them to blow a trumpet. The Israelites followed the commands of the Lord, and killed all the males, the five kings of Midian, and Balaam. The women and children were taken captive, and the Israelites took the spoil of their herds, flocks, and other goods. The cities and camps were burned, and they brought all that they had gained back towards their encampment.

13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
19 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify both yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day.
20 And purify all your raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats’ hair, and all things made of wood.

The army was met by the leaders of the Israelites, just outside the camp. Moses was angry with the army officers and captains for bringing the women back who had tempted the Israelites to sin, and brought so much death among them. The army had brought temptation right to their door. Moses commanded them to kill all the boys and girls or women who had ever been with a man. The rest were allowed to live. All those who had had to kill anyone in the battle or touched any of the dead, was to stay outside of the camp for seven days, and purify themselves on the third and seventh day. They were also to purify their clothing and other belongings.

21 And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord commanded Moses;
22 Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead,
23 Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.
24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp.

All of the spoil that could handle fire, was to be cleaned with fire and then purified with water of separation. Anything that could not able to be burnt by fire, was to be cleaned with the water of separation. When they had washed their clothing on the seventh day, they would be clean and allowed to enter the camp.

25 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
26 Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation:
27 And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation:
28 And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:
29 Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the Lord.
30 And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord.
31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.
32 And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep,
33 And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,
34 And threescore and one thousand asses,
35 And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.
36 And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep:
37 And the Lord’s tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen.
38 And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which the Lord’s tribute was threescore and twelve.
39 And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred; of which the Lord’s tribute was threescore and one.
40 And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which the Lord’s tribute was thirty and two persons.
41 And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord’s heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses.
42 And of the children of Israel’s half, which Moses divided from the men that warred,
43 (Now the half that pertained unto the congregation was three hundred thousand and thirty thousand and seven thousand and five hundred sheep,
44 And thirty and six thousand beeves,
45 And thirty thousand asses and five hundred,
46 And sixteen thousand persons;)
47 Even of the children of Israel’s half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses.

The spoil was to be divided among the people. Half was to go to those who had fought in the battle, and the other half was to go to the remainder of the Israelites. One of every five hundred items or people taken from the Midianites, which had been given to those who had fought, was to be given as a tribute heave offering. One of every fifty items or people taken from the Midianties, given to the rest of the camp of Israel, was to be given to the Levites for their service in the tabernacle. This division was made among the Israelites, just as the Lord commanded.

48 And the officers which were over thousands of the host, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, came near unto Moses:
49 And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us.
50 We have therefore brought an oblation for the Lord, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the Lord.
51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of them, even all wrought jewels.
52 And all the gold of the offering that they offered up to the Lord, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels.
53 (For the men of war had taken spoil, every man for himself.)
54 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation, for a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.

Not one of the Israelite men who had gone to war, had been lost in the fight. In gratitude, they brought an offering for atonement of their souls, much like a tithing of what they had earned from the fight. The treasure was taken by the priest, Eleazar, and was used as a memorial for the Lord keeping them safe in battle against their enemies. This reminds me of the army of Helaman, who fought with no experience in battle, but with great faith in the Lord. They came out of battle victorious and having not lost one soul on their side. This is such an amazing blessing of protection from the Lord.

This step in ridding the land of those who had brought evil to the people of the Lord, was necessary to prevent a great falling away in the future. They were going to live among these pagan nations for many years to come. Others needed to know that these were a people protected by the Lord. The Israelites needed to know that destruction would come to the wicked, so they would be less tempted to commit those horrible sins. I’m not one for appreciating war or fighting much, if at all. But I recognize that every person who chooses to stand with the Lord, is fighting in a great war every single day. There will come a day when the destruction will be great and the wicked will not prevail. It will effect the whole earth. I have hope for the outcome which is promised in the scriptures, that the earth will be prepared or purified through this destruction and the Lord will then be able to rule and reign here.

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Numbers Chapter 19

The Israelites were wandering in the wilderness at this point in the bible. They had been given the law of Moses with many laws and ordinances. Part of the law, was the law of sacrifice. Each sacrifice had a specific purpose in the purification and sanctification of the children of Israel. The Lord had further instruction in this chapter, which begins:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:
3 And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face:
4 And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times:
5 And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:
6 And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer.
7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even.
8 And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even.
9 And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin.
10 And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever.

The Israelites were commanded to sacrifice a young red calf, without blemish, which had never borne a yoke. Eleazar, the son of Aaron and priest, was to be given the cow. He was to take her out of the camp, where someone would kill her in front of him. Then Eleazar was to take her blood and sprinkle it seven times, in front of the tabernacle of congregation. The cow was to be burned with cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet. Eleazar, the priest, and anyone who helped to burn the cow, was to wash and return to the camp unclean for the rest of the day. One who was considered clean or worthy, was to gather the ashes and put them in a clean place outside of camp for the water of separation, which was used for purification from sin. The one who gathered the ashes, was then to wash his clothes and be considered unclean for the rest of the day.

11 He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days.
12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean.
13 Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.
14 This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days.
15 And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean.
16 And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.
17 And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel:
18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:
19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.
20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the Lord: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.
21 And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even.
22 And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even.

Those who touched the dead, or entered into the tent when someone had died there, were considered unclean for seven days. If they went through purification on the third day, they would be considered clean on the seventh day. If purification was not done, then the person was unclean, and defiled the tabernacle. As a result, they were to be cut off from the people or excommunicated from the church. Part of the purification process, was a sprinkling of the water of separation. The uncovered vessels within a tent where one had died, were also unclean. Those who touched someone who died by sword in battle, any dead body, any bones of a person, or any grave for the dead, were also considered unclean for the seven days. The purification process for these unclean people, was that they were to take the cow ashes and add them to running water in a vessel. Then one who was clean, would then take hyssop, dip it into the water and sprinkle it upon the tent, vessels and any person who had become unclean by the dead. The unclean person was to be sprinkled on the third day. On the seventh day, they were to purify themselves, wash and remain unclean for that day. The person who sprinkled the water of separation was to wash his clothes and be unclean for the remainder of the day. Any individual who touched the water was unclean for the rest of the day as well. Anything that was touched by the unclean, was also considered unclean. Anyone who touched anything considered unclean, was also unclean for the rest of the day.

The Israelites were taught to be clean, and went through a very physical process to be purified. They did this so that they would be considered worthy to the Lord. Today, we should also strive to be found clean and worthy. For us, the process is much more spiritual. It involves sincere repentance and returning to the Lord every step of the way. In Doctrine and Covenants 76:114 and 116, we read, “But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom . . . Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him” We must be purified, in order to be worthy of the companionship of the Spirit. Since true conversion, learning, and growth can only happen when the Spirit can be there with us, we should strive to be pure and clean all the time. I am grateful for atonement and that it covers all things that may cause me to be unworthy. The challenge in life, is to remember to use the atonement everyday through repentance, and then to live according to the will of the Lord. I know that the result of worthiness to the Lord is of great importance and will lead to receiving countless blessings from the Lord.

Numbers Chapter 8

When the tribes of Israel were organized as the camps of Israel, the Levites were set apart to serve with the tabernacle. They were to be given to Aaron and his sons, to assist them in their priesthood duties, attend to the physical needs of the tabernacle, and to carry the burden of the tabernacle through the wilderness. This chapter gets into further details regarding the duties in the tabernacle and the Levites, beginning with the following:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.
3 And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the Lord commanded Moses.
4 And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the Lord had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.

The lamps of the tabernacle were lit according to the direction of the Lord. And the candlestick itself, had been created and designed according to the instruction given by the Lord.

5 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
6 Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.
7 And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.
8 Then let them take a young bullock with his meat offering, even fine flour mingled with oil, and another young bullock shalt thou take for a sin offering.
9 And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together:
10 And thou shalt bring the Levites before the Lord: and the children of Israel shall put their hands upon the Levites:
11 And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the Lord for an offering of the children of Israel, that they may execute the service of the Lord.
12 And the Levites shall lay their hands upon the heads of the bullocks: and thou shalt offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, unto the Lord, to make an atonement for the Levites.
13 And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord.
14 Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine.
15 And after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt cleanse them, and offer them for an offering.
16 For they are wholly given unto me from among the children of Israel; instead of such as open every womb, even instead of the firstborn of all the children of Israel, have I taken them unto me.
17 For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself.
18 And I have taken the Levites for all the firstborn of the children of Israel.
19 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary.
20 And Moses, and Aaron, and all the congregation of the children of Israel, did to the Levites according unto all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did the children of Israel unto them.
21 And the Levites were purified, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them as an offering before the Lord; and Aaron made an atonement for them to cleanse them.
22 And after that went the Levites in to do their service in the tabernacle of the congregation before Aaron, and before his sons: as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so did they unto them.

The Levites were separated from the tribes of Israel, and Moses was instructed to have them washed or purified. They were first sprinkled and dedicated for cleansing, then they were to shave, and wash all their clothing. Then the Levites were to prepare an offering for the Lord, and to be set apart by the laying on of hands, while in front of the host of Israel. Through the laying on of hands, they were ordained to their priesthood office, by the proper authority of God. After they were set apart, they were to give an atonement sacrifice for the Levites. With this, they would be dedicated to the work of the Lord. They were to be serving in the tabernacle in place of all the firstborn of the families of Israel. They were belonging to the Lord, and He gave them to Aaron and his sons, or to the Aaronic priesthood, in order to fulfill the commandments of service in the tabernacle.

23 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
24 This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation:
25 And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more:
26 But shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charge.

The Levites were to be in the service of the Lord in the tabernacle of the congregation, from the age of 25 to 50. After that, they were to continue to minister in the tabernacle of the congregation, without the same service duties of the priesthood.

The service in the tabernacle was necessary for the work of the Lord to be whole. There needed to be a way, for the people of God, to make covenants and perform necessary rituals to make themselves clean and righteous. It is a blessing for individuals to be able to serve, so that others may be saved by God. The Levites were called to help the work of God continue on this earth. We have the same blessings on earth today. The work of God goes forward, through the sacred ordinances and covenants of the priesthood. Through this work, individuals may receive salvation and families can be made eternal. Most of that work is performed in the temples of the Lord. There is a need for able and willing individuals to answer the call to serve in the temples, as temple workers, so that others can make these covenants and be sanctified through their own personal service. I have been blessed by my own family members, who have been able to fulfill callings in the temple. I am sure that the Levites who served, and their families, were greatly blessed for answering the call of the Lord and performing their priesthood duties.

Leviticus Chapter 14

The Lord revealed his law to the children of Israel. We know this as the law of Moses, because it was revealed to the prophet Moses. The previous chapter of Leviticus, covered some of Gods law regarding leprosy. The Bible Dictionary defines leprosy as, “A terrible form of skin disease spoken of in the Bible.” Under leper we can read, “The disease was regarded as a living death.” In chapter 13, it discussed the law of Moses with regard to the leper and his garments. The law of leprosy continues as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:
3 And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;
4 Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:
5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:
6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:
7 And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.
8 And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days.
9 But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean.

When a leper was cleansed, he went before the priest out of the camp and the priest would look to determine if the leprosy was healed. Then, two living birds, along with cedar wood, a scarlet cloth (according to the footnotes) and hysop, were taken and one was killed in an earthen vessel over running water. Then the remaining bird, the wood, scarlet and hysop, were dipped in the blood of the first bird. Then the leper was to be sprinkled seven times, pronounced clean and the bird let loose. Then, the cleansed leper was to wash his clothes, shave his hair, and wash in the water. At that point, he was to return to the camp and remain out of his own tent for seven days. On the seventh day, he was to shave all his hair again and wash his clothes and his body in water to be clean. I think at this point, the person was prepared to return to the tabernacle because he was clean.

10 And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil.
11 And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
12 And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the Lord:
13 And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy:
14 And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:
15 And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand:
16 And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the Lord:
17 And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering:
18 And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord.

On the eighth day, the cleansed man, was to take two lambs without blemish, a year old ewe without blemish, flour mixed with oil for the meat offering, and a log of oil, and return to the door of the tabernacle. Then the priest who cleansed him, was to present the man before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle. The priest was to take one lamb for a trespass offering, and then make a wave offering with the lamb and log of oil. Blood of the offering was placed on the right ear, right thumb and right big toe, of the cleansed man. The priest was to place oil is his left palm, and then with his right hand, he was to use his right finger and sprinkle the oil seven times before the Lord. With the remaining oil in his hand, he was to touch the cleansed man’s right ear, right thumb and his right big toe where the blood had been placed, and then it was to be poured on his head.

19 And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering:
20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

The priest was to offer an atonement offering, after the sin offering, and then he would sacrifice the burnt offering. The meat offering would be made as well. Then after the offerings were made and the atonement made for this man, he would be considered clean.

21 And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil;
22 And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering.
23 And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the Lord.
24 And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord:
25 And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:
26 And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand:
27 And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord:
28 And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering:
29 And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the Lord.
30 And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get;
31 Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the Lord.
32 This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.

If the man was poor, he could use a lamb and oil for the trespass and meat offerings, and two turtledoves or young pigeons for the sin and burnt offerings. Likewise, he was to bring them on the eighth day to the tabernacle door. The priest would still make the trespass offering of the lamb and oil as before and use the blood and oil on the cleansed man as mentioned before. Then, the priest would offer one of the birds for the sin offering and the other for the burnt offering, and make an atonement for the man.

33 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
34 When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession;
35 And he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house:
36 Then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house:
37 And he shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the plague be in the walls of the house with hollow strakes, greenish or reddish, which in sight are lower than the wall;
38 Then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house, and shut up the house seven days:
39 And the priest shall come again the seventh day, and shall look: and, behold, if the plague be spread in the walls of the house;
40 Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city:
41 And he shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place:
42 And they shall take other stones, and put them in the place of those stones; and he shall take other mortar, and shall plaster the house.
43 And if the plague come again, and break out in the house, after that he hath taken away the stones, and after he hath scraped the house, and after it is plastered;
44 Then the priest shall come and look, and, behold, if the plague be spread in the house, it is a fretting leprosy in the house: it is unclean.
45 And he shall break down the house, the stones of it, and the timber thereof, and all the mortar of the house; and he shall carry them forth out of the city into an unclean place.

The Lord went further to tell Moses and Aaron how to deal with leprosy when they finally arrived in the land of Canaan. At that time, if there was leprosy in a house, the owner was to tell the priest. I find it interesting that it would say in verse 34, “and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land”. It sounds like this was the case when a person was cursed of the Lord, and I wonder if that will come up again later in the Bible. In any case, the priest was to see that the house was made empty before he would look to determine if the plaque was there, so that the people of the house would not be made unclean. The priest would look to see the house, and if it appeared to have leprosy, it was to be shut for seven days. The priest was to look again, and if it had spread, the stones were to be removed and cast out of the city, the remaining house was scraped and the dust that was scraped off, was to be removed from the city. Then new stones, mortar and plaster, was to be placed on the house. If the plaque came again, the priest was to look again and pronounce it unclean. Then the house was to be destroyed completely and all the parts taken out of the city.

46 Moreover he that goeth into the house all the while that it is shut up shall be unclean until the even.
47 And he that lieth in the house shall wash his clothes; and he that eateth in the house shall wash his clothes.

Anyone who was in the house with leprosy, was considered unclean until the evening. Those who slept or ate there, were to wash their clothes.

48 And if the priest shall come in, and look upon it, and, behold, the plague hath not spread in the house, after the house was plastered: then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed.
49 And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:
50 And he shall kill the one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water:
51 And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:
52 And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:
53 But he shall let go the living bird out of the city into the open fields, and make an atonement for the house: and it shall be clean.
54 This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall,
55 And for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house,
56 And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot:
57 To teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.

If the house looked the same or better when the priest came to see it the after the new plaster had been put on the walls, then it was pronounced clean. The priest would take two birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop to cleanse the house. One bird was killed in an earthen vessel over running water. Then the living bird, wood, scarlet and hyssop were dipped in the blood and running water. The the house was sprinkled seven times. The blood of the bird and the water was used in the house, along with the wood, hyssop and scarlet, in order to cleanse it. The living bird was then let go out of the city and an atonement will have been made for the house. It would then be clean.

The notes here, are my own interpretation of what I have read. It is interesting to me, to read how leprosy would affect people, their clothing and their homes like this. I have heard of experiences where death has left decay and rot in a home, so that is the closest I can come to understanding. It sounds like leprosy was a type of decay of the body, so maybe the idea is pretty close. The Bible Dictionary says the following with regards to leprosy:

There were apparently several types of leprosy, and the word is used in the Bible to designate other sicknesses or diseases. For example, clothing and walls were said to be leprous when they had patches of mildew or some fungous growth, as in Lev. 13:47–59; 14:33–37.

I don’t think I can adequately imagine what it was like, without witnessing the effects of leprosy for myself, and I am glad that I don’t have to at this point.

I think that while this was a very physical law for the people of Israel, which as I mentioned in my previous post, would have been a way to protect the people from destruction within, it is also in the scriptures to remind us of the way sin effects us and should be treated. Sin, like leprosy, is an infectious and cancerous condition of the spirit. It causes spiritual decay when left to spread. If a sin is great enough, it must be taken to the priest, meaning we must confess to our priesthood leadership, like a bishop. The bishop has the authority from God, to determine if the sin has reached the point of making us an unworthy individual to participate in the ordinances of the gospel. If we need to make a change, he will let us know. If we talk with him again, he will determine then if it causes us to be unworthy, or if we can again return to our normal standing within the gospel. We are not made to declare to the world that we are unclean, but the feeling of not being allowed to participate in sacred ordinances, or not being allowed to say prayers or participate during classes in church, is just as lonely a feeling as the lepers had, which were sent out of the city. It can feel like everyone knows and often times like many judge. Worst of all, you can feel the separation from the spirit that one has when they are worthy of it. When the efforts of repentance have been made, and the sin no longer thrives within us, we are asked to come to the Lord and partake of the holy ordinance of the sacrament. This is the ordinance of sacrifice that we participate in today. When we can worthily partake of the sacrament, we can be considered clean from that sin.

(NOTE: The manual I am reading along with this says that the birds represented first, the leper or natural man and the second, the man freed from bondage of sin.)

Jesus-Portrait

I may not be perfect in my interpretation, but when I think of the sacrifice ritual performed for cleansing, it makes me think of the Savior. If the stories of Christ healing the lepers in his minstry, is not enough to cause us to think of Him, there is more here. Two birds are like two individuals brought before the judge or priest, much like we will be brought before God, who is the final judge of us all. One, in an earthen vessel, or in his earthly body, is sacrificed along with wood, a scarlet cloth, and hysop. I’m not sure how the cedar wood was used then, but it reminds me of the wood of the cross, which the Savior was raised upon. A scarlet cloth is a clear reminder to me of the Savior; the symbol of being our king (used even by the soldiers who beat him), the imagery of removing our sins, and a reminder of the clothing he will wear when he returns again. Matthew 27:28 says, “And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.” Then Isaiah 1:18 quotes the Lord as saying, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…”. Finally, In Doctrine and Covenants, the words of Isaiah are repeated in section 133 as follows:

46 And it shall be said: Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?
47 And he shall say: I am he who spake in righteousness, mighty to save.
48 And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.

Then, the hyssop is a plant which was used during the Savior’s crucifixion. In John 19:29 we read, “Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.” The blood, like His blood, is used with the water to cleanse the remaining individual. We are anointed by his blood and may be pronounced clean, or purified, through the blood of Christ, just as the bird was cleansed by the blood in the ritual. When we are made clean through Christ, we can be worthy to participate in all the ordinances of the priesthood. Therefore, we can be made worthy to receive all the blessings of the priesthood, promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Notes on Patience – Father in Heaven Knows Best

Patience is something that is tested in my life every day, as I am sure it is for most of us. I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea for me to begin a study that was a bit more in depth so that I could know how to gain a self-mastery that I do not have right now. I hope that my readers will enjoy following this series of posts on patience and that it may help someone else out there, as much as it has helped me. To see more posts, check out Notes on Patience

21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people. (Mosiah 23:21-22)

And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him. (Helaman 12:3)

And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. (D&C 122:7)

  • I desire to be a good daughter of God. I strive to live to make Him proud of me. Just as I want my own children to be good, God desires for me to be a good daughter. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency said the following:

    Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.

    Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace. (Continue in Patience)

    To fulfill my purpose of pleasing God, He will try my patience and faith. That is the way that I will learn to remember him, turn to him, and trust in him. He knows what rewards await me, and what I need to be able to do in order to have them. He knows the best for me. He can see every flaw and mistake in my life. Learning to trust God, is a matter of having greater faith in him and having the patience to do what he says, because as my father, he knows best. All these things will be for my eternal good.

  • The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

    The lessons from the Gospel Principles manual finished in my ward, but sadly we did not go through the entire book. I’m not one for letting it go without completing the book, so I’m going to continue posting my thoughts on the rest of the book. To view the entire lesson go here: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Note: I do not include the entire lesson, just my take on the questions it poses and thoughts on the general topics.

    There are several verses in the scriptures, which teach us of the coming of Christ in the latter-days. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), I am a firm believer in this principle of the gospel. The Savior came to the earth over 2000 years ago, and he lived and died for all mankind. But that was not the end of his works on the earth. The Savior will return again, to rule and reign on this earth. It is that time, that I look forward to with hope and purpose.

    What Will Jesus Do When He Comes Again?

    At his coming, all the wicked will be destroyed. In 2 Thessalonians 2 we read the following:

    8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    No one who desires to do wickedness will be able to withstand the brightness and power of the Lord’s glory and will therefore be destroyed at his coming. His glory will separate the righteous from the wicked and will judge all people. That same glory will be used to refine those who remain. In Malachi 3 we read the following:

    1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
    2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
    3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

    Those who hold the priesthood, will be purified in order to make a righteous offering in the temple, which is where the Lord will be. In addition, Jesus will make himself known to all people when he comes again. In Isaiah 40:5 we read, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Everyone will witness the glory of Christ because He will reveal himself to all people. He will reign over the earth as well. In Doctrine and Covenants 76:63 we read, “These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.”

    Jesus Christ will be the spiritual and political leader of the world, with all governments beneath him. This will mark the beginning of His Millennial reign on the earth. At this time, he will continue dwell on earth with his people. In Doctrine and Covenants 104:59 we read, “For the purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth, and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand.” The Savior will remain on the earth and work along side those who choose to follow Him.

    Also, Jesus Christ will reveal all the hidden truths to those who are willing. In Doctrine and Covenants 101 we read the following:

    32 Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things—
    33 Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof—
    34 Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven.

    This will be an amazing time of knowledge and understanding, which has never been before. This is something that I really am anxious for. I have a thirst for gospel knowledge. To believe that there will be a time on this earth, when all the revelations of the ancient and modern prophets, will be known by those on the earth, is amazing.

    When the Savior comes again, he will bring the work of the first resurrection with him. All those who died willing to serve Him, will rise again and work alongside the living and Christ, during the time of the Millennium. In Doctrine and Covenants 133:56 we read, “And the graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever.” There will be so much work to accomplish and it will be able to be done with the help of those who have faithfully gone before.

    What are your thoughts and feelings as you contemplate the events of the Second Coming?

    I am overwhelmed by the amount of excitement I feel inside when I reflect on the future coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I want to be with the saints at that day, so that I can rejoice in the blessings of His coming. I strive each day to live a good life, so that I can be numbered with His followers. His coming will bring blessings beyond my wildest imaginations and I know in my heart that this is true. I want to have no doubt in my soul, and peace at the time of His coming. I hope to say, as the prophet Joseph said near his own death, “I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men.”

    How Will We Know When the Savior’s Coming Is Near?

    In His great mercy and wisdom, God has given us many signs to know when the Savior’s coming is getting near. Many of these signs have already come to pass. We are living in the last days and His coming is not far away. (To read more about these signs, see Signs of the Second Coming from the last Gospel Principles lesson.

    How Can We Be Ready When the Savior Comes?

    Mostly, I think that living today as if He were here right now, is the best way to be ready. We cannot procrastinate our preparation. We have been promised that he will come as a thief in the night. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2 we read, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” No one will know and it will most likely be at a time when most people least expect it. We show that we are people who live by faith, when we live each day in preparation for Him. How do we do this? We prepare when we read the scriptures and follow the commandments that are found in them. We should be striving to strengthen our personal testimonies and also helping our family to be stronger in their faith. We prepare by listening to the words of the Prophet, who is His holy mouthpiece today. We prepare by removing the things from our lives that would prevent us from being worthy to stand in His presence. We prepare by being watchful of the harmful things to our spirits, bodies and minds. We prepare by becoming accustomed to doing the work of the Lord now, because when He is here, that is exactly what we will be doing. Instead of fearing the gloom and doom of His coming, we should be changing our lives to find the happiness that He will bring. If we can find the joy He offers now, we will not fear the destruction that will come.

    Why should we be concerned about our preparedness rather than the exact timing of the Second Coming?

    Matthew 24:42 reads, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” If we focus on being prepared, it doesn’t matter when He comes. If he comes today, we are saved. If he comes many years from now, we are saved. Preparation will bring us the most joy. If the Savior never comes in your lifetime, living a life in preparation of His coming, means a life worthy of the promised blessings of joy in eternity. I think the question should instead be, why not? What is lost in this life by living it righteously? Nothing of any lasting value would be lost. Everything of value is to be gained when we choose to live righteously now. I am so excited for the coming of the Savior. I hope that my testimony of this will grow even stronger and more firm, so that as the trials I face in life (which we all have to face), I will not falter. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I look forward to the day when I will be counted worthy to stand with His people and do His work at His side.

    3 Nephi, Chapter 19

    Who would you invite to meet the Savior?

    If I knew that Jesus was coming tomorrow, what would I do today?  This chapter is about the second day of the Savior’s visit.  The Nephites who had been there during the first day, knew he was coming on the second day.  “And now it came to pass that when Jesus had ascended into heaven, the multitude did disperse, and every man did take his wife and his children and did return to his own home (v. 1).  And it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that he had ministered unto them, and that he would also show himself on the morrow unto the multitude (v. 2).  Yea, and even all the night it was noised abroad concerning Jesus; and insomuch did they send forth unto the people that there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude (v. 3).”  The Nephites went home telling all that they could that they had seen the Savior and that he would return the next day.  Many worked hard to prepare themselves to be there the next day.  I am sure that if I had been there, I would have done my best to let others know what I had seen and that they could see the Savior also.  There are many things that I do daily, that I would not bother to do.  I think most of all, I would want to prepare my family for His visit, so that we could experience it together.

    Who were the Nephite apostles?

    The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles lead the church today.  They share their amazing testimonies, teach gospel principles, and give us the word of God as it pertains to us today.  They are awesome men with strong and firm testimonies in the Gospel, who love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, as well as all of the members of the church.  They have stewardship over all of us and truly act as the mouth-piece for God on the earth today.

    “And it came to pass that on the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, behold, Nephi and his brother whom he had raised from the dead, whose name was Timothy, and also his son, whose name was Jonas, and also Mathoni, and Mathonihah, his brother, and Kumen, and Kumenonhi, and Jeremiah, and Shemnon, and Jonas, and Zedekiah, and Isaiah—now these were the names of the disciples whom Jesus had chosen—and it came to pass that they went forth and stood in the midst of the multitude (v. 4).”  These were the apostles for the Nephites.  They were called directly by the Savior, and they did many things to bless the Nephite people.  They separated the people into twelve groups that they would teach (v. 5). They taught the people how they should pray and ministered to the people (v. 6-7). They taught the people exactly what the Savior had taught them and prayed again, this time praying for the Holy Ghost to be given to them (v. 8-9).   They led the people to the water’s edge (v. 10).  Nephi was baptized, followed by the rest of the twelve apostles and they each received the gift of the Holy Ghost (v. 11-13).  Then the Nephites witnessed angels come and ministered to the apostles (v. 14).

    What did Jesus teach the Nephites about prayer?

    When the Savior appeared to the Nephites on the second day, the first thing he did was command them that they should pray (v. 15-16).  “And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, he commanded his disciples that they should pray (v. 17).”  The Savior taught the Nephites how to have more effective prayers.

    “And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God (v. 18 ).  And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth, and he said (v. 19):  Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world (v. 20).  Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words (v. 21).  Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them (v. 22).”  Jesus went away from the multitude to pray to Heavenly Father.  When appropriate to pray in a group, we should pray in a group.  However, the Savior teaches us by His example, the importance of praying in secret.  Jesus asked Heavenly Father to give the gift of the Holy Ghost to all those who believed the words of the Apostles and believed in Him.  Without a belief in the Savior and faith in the spirit, we cannot truly receive the Holy Ghost.  If we want to feel the love and support of God and Jesus Christ, then we need to be constantly asking for the spirit to be with us.

    “And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one (v. 23).  And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire (v. 24).  And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof (v. 25).  And Jesus said unto them: Pray on; nevertheless they did not cease to pray (v. 26).”  Jesus prayed that in addition to having the Holy Ghost, that He, Christ, would be in them and be one with them.  As the multitude were praying, Jesus smiled at them and the light of his countenance shone upon them.  I can imagine Heavenly Father smiling as I pray to Him.  I often picture Him smiling when my daughter says prayers to Him, because of the words she chooses and the things that a child is grateful for and asks for.  I know that He is happy when we do what He has asked, because I can feel it as I pray.

    “And he turned from them again, and went a little way off and bowed himself to the earth; and he prayed again unto the Father, saying (v. 27):  Father, I thank thee that thou hast purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me (v. 28 ).  Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them (v. 29).  And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus (v. 30).”  The Savior asked for those who believe on the words of the apostles, that they would be purified through there faith.  Then when He returned to the disciples and saw that they were still praying just as He had told them to do, He smiled again.

    “And it came to pass that he went again a little way off and prayed unto the Father (v. 31); And tongue cannot speak the words which he prayed, neither can be written by man the words which he prayed (v. 32).  And the multitude did hear and do bear record; and their hearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which he prayed (v. 33).  Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which he prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man (v. 34).”  The spirit opened the hearts of the multitude so that they would be able to understand the words of the Savior’s prayer.  This prayer was so sacred, that no one would be able to record what was said.

    What blessings can come to us as a result of sincere, faithful prayer?

    Faith is a Sunrise

    “And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying he came again to the disciples, and said unto them: So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews; wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief (v. 35).  Verily I say unto you, there are none of them that have seen so great things as ye have seen; neither have they heard so great things as ye have heard (v. 36).”

    Because these Nephites prayed with such sincerity and faith, they were able to witness miracles even greater than those that the Jews could witness.  We can experience miracles in our lives as well, if we will be truly sincere in our own prayers.  We need to reflect on our communications with our Father in Heaven and if they are not prayers of faith and sincerity, then we need to see what we should change.  I hope to witness miracles in my own life because of the amount of faith that I can have and show towards my Father in Heaven.


    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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