The Secret to Happiness in a Hapless World

This article is a 7-10 min read.

Nearly 1700 years ago in ancient America, a young boy was called to do a very serious and sacred work for his people, and for us.

This boy was a descendant of the Jews, having grown up a believer of God and Jesus Christ his entire life. At this time, there was so much evil that he stood out from many as a “sober child and [was] quick to observe.”a His name was Mormon.

The man who entrusted Mormon his calling was one of the few good and righteous men at the time and he went by the name of Ammaron. Ammaron instructed 10-year-old Mormon to write down everything he would witness in his lifetime concerning his people, much like the prophets of old. His people were called the Nephites. Mormon may not have known it then, but his words and testimony would benefit hundreds of thousands of souls many years later.

Well, this boy grew up to be a strong young man. And when his nation needed him most, he led the army as a General through many wars. Under his command, they faced many losses and few wins. His people, who used to be a God-fearing populace, soon rejected their faith in Jesus Christ and acted in open rebellion not even 300 years after He Himself had visited them. They couldn’t win without the Lord’s strength, and yet they didn’t want it. This lack of faith and wickedness retracted God’s influence over them, making them weak when against their enemies.

You see, Mormon’s people had divided into two main groups known as the Lamanites and the Nephites long before he was born. A division so ancient, that it stretched back nearly a millennia from his time. Their enemies, the Lamanites had once been family, friends, and neighbors. But he was asked to lead an army against them because the Lamanites had one intention-and that was to destroy the Nephites off the face of the earth.

A sibling rivalry between good and bad (Nephite and Lamanite) that millennia ago, stirred sincere hatred toward God on the Lamanite’s side. This hatred fueled their thirst for Nephite blood and submission.

Mormon led the Nephite armies as best as he could. He was able to find time to raise a family and have the only child we know of, named Moroni.

As the wars increased, the bloodshed grew more fervent amongst both sides. Mormon and his army were forced to flee from city to city for decades as the Lamanites hunted them like beasts.

I imagine that Mormon must have felt like a vagabond, forced to fight for his family and nation working with men who didn’t care about anything more than their pride and satisfactions. While the Nephite army would flee from their enemiesb, they left behind the women and children whom were almost always the Lamanites prize for conquering.

This must have all been so incredibly frustrating!

The nation was full of countless accounts of carnage, stealing, hatred, witchcraft, adultery, abominable actions, and many morec.

As horrible as this all sounds, it rings a bell, doesn’t it? This sounds a lot like our time.

We live in a world where nation hates nation, where stealing is common, where relationships are treated as disposable, where money is a tool for greed, where pride is rampant in the hearts of many, and where murder is pronounced from a news anchor’s lips almost every 2 seconds... the list goes on.

You could say that Mormon knew what it felt like to be living in a world that seemed to be going crazy. There were corruptions in government. There was hatred for those who were different than them. There were people who began to deny God and His matchless mercy, miracles, and power.

I’m amazed at how similar his time was to ours. He seems like he could relate very well to us.

What this meant for Mormon and Moroni

Mormon Abridging the Plates, by Jon McNaughton

Mormon eventually fulfilled the wish Ammaron had for him. While fortifying a city called Jashon, he realized he happened to be nearby the city Antum where the record of his people was hidden. He took his chance and dug them up from the hill in which they were deposited and began to write the things he had seen.d

Within this time his son Moroni grew and became much like his father. You can imagine that Moroni grew up seeing the horrible things his father had seen. And yet, these two men, father and son, wrote some of the most hope-filled messages of Jesus Christ in the entire book of the Book of Mormon. With melancholy and despair at every turn, they had hope.

What was their secret?

The Unaccounted for… Account

There are pockets of time where Mormon and Moroni don’t write in their respective personal records and I wondered to myself, ‘What happened in those times?’ How did they go from despairing to rejoicing? They were strangers to a nation filled with peace.

And although they may not have kept a detailed diary of their conversion, their hopeful moments, or their how to’s during these extremely hard times, what we see as a result of their hidden growth is miraculous.

I made a timeline below to show the big events of both of their lives:

  • 321 AD. Mormon receives his mission from Ammaron.

  • 327-362 AD. Mormon leads the Nephites into battle. Many die in battle due to their foolish ways. He prays for them often, to no avail.

  • 345 AD. Mormon obtained the plates and desires to help his brethren come unto Christ, but they don’t listen.

  • 362 AD. Mormon refuses to lead the faithless and wicked Nephites in battle.

  • 375 AD. Mormon decides to help the armies again after their many losses in battle.

  • 385 AD. The Nephites and Lamanites arrange their final battles by the hill Cumorah. More than 130,000 Nephites were killed in battle leaving only 24 survivors including Mormon and his son Moroni.

  • 385-400 AD. The Lamanites hunt down the remaining Nephites, killing Mormon among them, leaving Moroni alone to finish the record of his fallen people.

  • 421 AD. Moroni finishes the record and bids us farewell with his last testimony. He buries all of the plates in the hill Cumorah.

As you can see, there were plenty of years to ponder for these two- especially in the years of 400-421 AD after Mormon was killed and Moroni was left alone.

I’m convinced that the time that is hidden to us, is when they were growing the most. I believe they were testing their faith and becoming the men we needed them to be. And as a result, they shared very inspirational and uplifting testimonies of Jesus Christ that have helped many come unto Him.

Because of their words, I myself was inspired to come back to Christ several years ago. I too, was at a very low point in my life when everything seemed over before it even began. I was so grateful for their words during this time. Especially Moroni’s words.

Mormon and Moroni testified of the truthfulness of faith, hope, charity, Jesus Christ, His Atonement, and the grace of God. They spoke of the lovely fruits of the Gospel; all after seeing heinous acts and abominations their entire lives. Their hope pierced through their circumstances. This hope was deeply rooted in them.

The question is, how did they do that?

The Healing Power of Christ

“When sore trials come upon us, it’s time to deepen our faith in God, to work hard, and to serve others. Then He will heal our broken hearts. He will bestow upon us personal peace and comfort. These great gifts will not be destroyed, even by death.”

-President Nelson-

Painting by Youngsun Kim

In her most recent talk given at the October 2020 General Conference, Sister Cristina B. Franco shared about her thoughts on the Healing Power of Jesus Christ‘. She said:

“…As we come unto Jesus Christ by exercising faith in Him, repenting, and making and keeping covenants, our brokenness—whatever its cause—can be healed. This process, which invites the Savior’s healing power into our lives, does not just restore us to what we were before but makes us better than we ever were. I know that through our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can all be mended, made whole, and fulfill our purpose, just like a beautiful-sounding, brand-new piano…”

As beautifully stated by Sister Franco, you can be healed! I have had some serious trials in my life. You have probably had serious trials, too.

Just like cracks in vase these trying and sometimes traumatizing circumstances can stay with us forever.

However, it doesn’t need to be that way! Mormon and Moroni had very hard trials and I don’t doubt they were affected greatly. But they were able to find happiness in the quite moments with their Savior in prayer and fasting.

They achieved something that so many people search for their entire lives and they found it in the most dark of times.

They studied the word of God in the scriptures, they experimented on their faith, they trusted God, and they were able to leave us at the end of their lives saying, ‘This is all real. This changed me, this helped me. And if you come unto Christ you will be healed.’

To conclude, I’ll share one of my favorite scriptures in all of the Book of Mormon in Moroni chapter 10:

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things.

And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

And ye may aknow that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, baccording to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

Moroni was sure of the truthfulness of these things. I mean, he had to in order to bear such a powerful testimony hope coming from where he’s been! And I want to let you all know that I know for myself that this is true, too.

Photo by mirsad mujanovic on Pexels.com

I bear testimony, that as someone who is taken up in the clouds looks down on the world they left behind, you will also gain this same exaltation if you embark on the journey to the summit that is Him.

If you’re looking for peace and happiness in today’s crazy world and are trying to navigate the never-ending obstacles, I invite you to read these chapters in the Book of Mormon:

  • Mormon 1-9
  • Moroni 1-10

They were the chapters I used to illustrate the journey of hope Mormon and Moroni took us on today. I know that if you do as they did and come unto Christ with all of you heart, mind, might, and strength, you will have joy. You will have peace. These are the valuable things the world can’t give you in the same abundance God can.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

REFERENCES:

a: Mormon 1:2

b: Mormon 2: 3-8

c: Mormon 2:18; Mormon 4: 11-12

d: Mormon 1-2; Mormon 6:7-22; Mormon 7

Continue reading “The Secret to Happiness in a Hapless World”

Daily Scripture Reading Day #6

This post is a 1-2 min read

March 14, 2018 8:46 PM:

Oh. My. Goodness. I haven’t written in forever!

Work has been a bit crazy, and so has institute, FHE commitee, tutoring, self reliance, and socializing. So….you could say my hands have been full. Luckily, I’ve been able to finally get a firm hold of my schedule and plan out everything much, much better. I now have time to blog again!!!! YAYYYYY💕

These chapters I’ve chosen are all from a current institute reading assignment. I missed class, so I decided to just read at home! I wanted to really, deeply study the scriptures in a way I haven’t done in a while (my thoughts intertwining with the Lord’s through prayerful and studious research) and felt this would be a great addition to the blog.

Before I head into the article, I want to make it clear that everything I say is all personal insight and interpretation, unless otherwise noted, or is known as common knowledge. Ex: “Paul was an apostate turned apostle.” vs. “Paul was possibly the only apostate turned apostle in Greece.” Fact, vs. opinion.

 

1 Corinthians Chapter 1:

In verse 17 Paul says: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words…” and I cut it off there.
I never fully understood what the scriptures meant when wisdom was portrayed as something bad, until I thought about how simple the Gospel is. Nephi said: “For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men.” (2 Nephi 31:3)
In this scripture, Nephi explains that “plainness” and simple explanation comes most naturally to us. “…according to their language…”, as he says later on in the verse.

So, when someone in the scriptures uses ‘wisdom’ in a bad context, they must be citing that it takes away from the Lord’s work, and is therefore, selfish. It isn’t wisdom at all, but folly. (Ref. verses 19-23)

In verse 21 it says: “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching [Gospel] to save them that believe.
By the way, these: [] indicate a personal note.
I think that when Paul is saying this, he’s explaining that the world, this age, will deny the wisdom of God, and preach “gospel” or their own wisdom to save those that believe in it. It’s almost like they’re creating rules to help a certain party in a game. Or these can also be known as, shifting values to bias a certain race, gender, nationality, belief, standard (or lack thereof), religion, political group, social group, or ethical or moral stance. This is “wisdom” in poor context. For the Jews, it was a “stumbling block.” For the Greeks, “foolishness”. But these were nonetheless seen as a token of wisdom to have- the ruminating of the Jews, and the discernment of the Greeks (ref. verse 23).

“God has often chosen the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.”
-Unknown and can’t remember

In verse 26, Paul explains that not many “wise men after the flesh”, mighty, or noble are called. Obviously this means called to the work of God.

  • “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” (verse 27)
  • “..God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (verse 27)
  • “…base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” (A.K.A., the flip side- the mighty may, at times, confound the mighty as well) (verse 28)

And this, He has done many times. Examples are found with Nephi, the youngest (and righteous) brother chosen to be a “ruler and a teacher” over his 3 older brethren. (1 Nephi 2:22) Or Moses, a murderer who had a speech impediment, and was the illegitimate child of the Pharaoh’s daughter whom led millions of God’s chosen people to a land where they would be free to worship Him. Or Abraham, a man who almost had to sacrifice his own, beloved son, for goodness sake! (literally)

I’ve heard the above quote somewhere during sacrament meeting before. It states that any ordinary person- in this case the prophets, apostles, and disciples in the scriptures and modern day-can typically perform extraordinary things and miracles. All with God’s help and influence, that is.
“…that no flesh should glory in his presence”. His being God’s. That those who rely on man, human, mortality, flesh, and wish to glorify and worship and praise, simply cannot praise God as it ought to be because they’re confounded and skewed by their misguided marvel. It’s folly, as I’ve said before. The only true, and meaningful, and purposeful glory can be in God’s glory. Relying on Him, God, the Eternal Father, and eternity.

30-31 states: “But of him ye are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and in righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
“That according as it is written, He that giveth, let him glory in the Lord.”

Amen

Diyana, 사랑 💖

 

Continue reading “Daily Scripture Reading Day #6”

Daily Scripture Reading Day #5

Book of Mormon Scripture Journal Reading; Day #5

This post is a 2-3 min read

November 28, 2017 1:09 PM:

1 Nephi Chapter 1:

So, the first chapter of 1 Nephi kind of introduces us to Lehi and his family, and Lehi’s calling to be prophet. It’s a simple back story, involving the visions he saw and what he heard, leading him to being called of God. In verse 6 it says [paraphrased]:

And it came to pass…there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much…

Sound familiar? Lehi’s account is similar to Moses’ on Mount Horeb when Moses was suddenly confronted by the Lord from a burning bush. In this time, the Lord told him he was meant to lead the children of Israel out of the hands of the Egyptians (Exodus 3).

The many things Lehi “saw and heard” [verse 6] were not recorded, but when he returned home, it is recorded what he saw in a second vision from God:

And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being aovercome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.

And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a avision, even that he saw the bheavens open, and he thought he csaw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.

And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his aluster was above that of the sun at noon-day.

10 And he also saw atwelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.

11 And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and astood before my father, and gave unto him a bbook, and bade him that he should read.

12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the aSpirit of the Lord.

13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine aabominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning bJerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be ccarried away captive into Babylon.

Hint: The little letters next to the words in the quotes are footnote holders; you can click on them in your own studies, and will find that they lead to further definition and study of the verses, words, and phrases.

For Lehi, the Lord was commanding him to warn the people of Jerusalem of their imminent destruction if they didn’t repent. So he did as he was told. Lehi went out like many of the other prophets and “…began to prophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard.” [verse 18] But he was soon ridiculed for his actions. The Jews mocked him because he was bringing their wickedness to light. [verse 19] The people of Jerusalem got so angry, that they even “…sought his life, that they might take it away.”,  just as they had done the prophets of old. [verse 20]

Lehi was dealing with something very serious. He was dealing with a life threatening mission that could have even affected his family. But he had such immense faith that he continued anyway.

Let me ask you a question: Do you think that Lehi was so intent on telling these people to repent because he thought they were wicked, and needed to know? Do you think he told them because he feared the Lord? Or do you think that he told them because he loved them?

Love is often a weight that helped prophets of old continue on in their duties to the Lord. Whether it be love of the Lord, love of the people, or both, it was a motivator. Lehi warned the people because they needed to be aware of their actions and because he loved the Lord. But it must have been love of the people and their eternal destination that pushed him to keep going even after he went home at the end of the day upon meeting death threats from his friends and neighbors.

At the end of the chapter, Nephi (Lehi’s youngest son and also the one who has compiled Lehi’s writing along with his own record) consoles us with a message that pierces through the ages:

20. …But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender cmercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of ddeliverance.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Thank you for tuning into my post! Even though I’m not incredibly consistent, I try, and I appreciate that you all still read my posts!! I will continue to write and pan out chapters of scripture, talks, and more on this blog! 💕💕💕

Continue reading “Daily Scripture Reading Day #5”

Scripture Journal Day #3

Book of Mormon Scripture Journal Reading; Day #3

This post is a 2 min read

October 25, 2017 2:42 PM:

The Testimony of Three Witnesses:

There may have been at least two things that I really pondered about in this passage…

So in the quote down below I found it very miraculous, or at the very least, admirable, that the three witnesses: Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris managed to see that connection between faith and salvation. Basically, that they were able to see and understand that if they were to have faith in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, they would ultimately be “found spotless” and be saved.

“And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall ride our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgement-seat of Christ…”

I find the important and interesting wording in “found spotless”. They don’t necessarily say they would be saved if they had faith in Christ, they just said they would personally be free from any blemish at the last day. Now, why is this important? Because they saw that connection, like I said. They understood that they would ultimately be saved, if they were to do what they were supposed to do and follow where their faith took them. Obedience is key, people!

This could mean following a prompting because of their faith in Christ, and serving a family. Or even sharing the Gospel with a stranger. Or moving to another state last minute when directed to. Their faith is the stepping stone to being “found spotless” as it is with all of us.

Continue reading “Scripture Journal Day #3”