I have been so involved in studying and learning great things in the Book of Mormon that I have neglected to write down what I have learned. I need to repent, so today I, once again, will proceed to share some of the cool things I have learned.
Just to get you up to speed… in first Nephi we can learn all kinds of deep doctrinal things that perhaps are not seen unless a serious study of the book, with the help of the spirit, takes place. In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord pronounced a condemnation upon the Church for taking The Book of Mormon too lightly.
Doctrine and Covenants 84: 54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
In 1986, President Ezra Taft Benson gave a landmark talk titled, The Book of Mormon-Keystone of Our Religion. In that talk he stated:
Brethren and sisters, I implore you with all my heart that you consider with great solemnity the importance of the Book of Mormon to you personally and to the Church collectively.
Over ten years ago I made the following statement regarding the Book of Mormon:
“Do eternal consequences rest upon our response to this book? Yes, either to our blessing or our condemnation.
“Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life. There is a difference between a convert who is built on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and stays hold of that iron rod, and one who is not” (Ensign, May 1975, p. 65).
I reaffirm those words to you this day. Let us not remain under condemnation, with its scourge and judgment, by treating lightly this great and marvelous gift the Lord has given to us. Rather, let us win the promises associated with treasuring it up in our hearts.
I confess, I have been guilty of “taking the Book of Mormon too lightly” and have been under the same condemnation as the rest of the Church for that. As of late, I have come to realize a different aspect, or additional meaning, that can be applied to the warning given of “taking The Book of Mormon too lightly” other than not studying from it each day. I believe that part of taking The Book of Mormon too lightly rests in the way we perceive the doctrine that is being taught in the book itself. I believe that we are not looking for the deeper doctrinal concepts that both Nephi and Mormon tried to convey to us. These concepts, if seen and followed, will lead us back to the presence of the Father, both symbolically and literally. As far as I know, the condemnation has still not been lifted from the Church as a whole. I believe that the condemnation will be lifted as individuals come to understand the heavy, which is the opposite of light, doctrines that are contained within the pages of that great book. That condemnation will be taken away individually.
The first way to see deeper meaning within the pages of the Book of Mormon is to understand the priesthood perspective from which it was written. Lehi, who was the patriarch of his family, operates under the Patriarchal Priesthood. As a Church today we function under a lesser priesthood, one that might be termed “Apostolic Priesthood”, therefore we tend to perceive the Book of Mormon as written from that level. I believe it is written from an even greater perspective than we are used to seeing. We simply view it too lightly.
President Boyd K. Packer alluded to this very thing when he addressed us in Conference with a talk called, The Power of the Priesthood. He stated that, “The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families.” Lehi had that power in the priesthood that we are lacking today. Lehi held the Patriarchal Priesthood. If we were more seriously engaged in seeking the face of the Savior, we too would operate under the same authority as Lehi and Nephi. In the Book of Mormon both of these great men show us the way to make this happen.
We simply cannot afford to take this council lightly any more.
Have you started a serious study of The Book of Mormon?