Dec 6 2011 3 Nephi 20-22 by Nancy Baird

Quotes

“Sometimes I pray for compassion, but more often I pray for harmlessness, the great spiritual quality embodied in the Hippocratic oath…it is my hope I may be used to serve a holy purpose without ever knowing.  So sometimes, before I see a patient I offer up a little wordless prayer:  Understanding the suffering is beyond me.  Understanding the healing is, too.  But in this moment, I am here.  Use me.”
  Rachel Naomi Remen M.D., Kitchen Table Wisdom, 272.

“Do we really comprehend, do we understand the …significance of… what we have?…we…are the end harvest of all that has gone before.”
Gorden B. Hinckley, Conference Report, Apr. 2004.

“In the Book of Mormon, there is another version of the Exodus story.  In it, the Jaredites, forced from their homes by conditions that stifle their freedom, set out across great uncharted waters to reach the land of promise in boats sealed up tightly against the sea.  Jared speaks to God about the difficulty in steering these boats in total darkness.  He is told that if he brings stones with him, God will touch them and they will shine forth light.

The voyage is long and difficult in the extreme; there are mighty storms, and the boats are plunged deep beneath the water over and over again.  But their seal holds, and the stones, touched by God, continue to shine.  According to Jung, the stone is one of the two archetypal symbols for the soul.  This image of a people sailing through heavy seas in search of freedom, steering only by the light that the touch of God kindles in their souls, is a particularly beautiful one for me.

The journey to freedom and the promised land may take many forms.  Years ago, a friend in England sent me a card with a quote from King George V’s Christmas message to the British people.  Shortly before I received this card, my mother, old and very ill, had come from New York City to live the last years of her life with me.  She had loved this card and kept it in her purse.  Throughout her final illness it stood on her bedside table.  It was there on the day that she died.  I have framed it now and keep it in my kitchen.  It reads as follows:

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year,
Give me a light that I might go safely out into the darkness.
And he replied, Go out into the darkness and put your hand into
the hand of God.
That shall be more to you than a light and safer than a known
way.

In the course of any lifetime there are times when one has to sail into the unknown without map or compass. These can be times of despair and terror; they can also be times of discovery.  Having accompanied many people as they deal with the unknown, I find that the most moving part of the Mormon exodus story is a single line.  Despite the challenges and great difficulties of this sea journey, “the wind always blows in the direction of the promised land.”  I have seen many people spread their sails and catch this wind.

There is a grace in life that can be trusted.  In our struggle toward freedom we are neither abandoned nor alone.”
Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings, 375-376.

“We have two great challenges, you and I, and they never end as long as breath lasts; to choose     God and to love each other.”
Marion D. Hanks

SCRIPTURES


Matthew 17:2
    “And [Jesus] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun,         and his raiment was white as the light.”

John 10:16
    “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall     hear my voice.”

Alma 34:27    “Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer     unto him continually…”

2 Nephi 32:3, 5    “…feast upon the words of Christ; for behold the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do…it [the Holy Ghost] will show unto you all things what ye should do.”

1 Corinthians 2:16
    “…But we have the mind of Christ.”

Alma 37:37    “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou     liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when     thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God…”

Rev 10:9-10      “I took the little book…and ate it up.”

Jeremiah 15:16   “Thy words were found, and I did eat them…”

Ezekiel 3:1-3    “…Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll…then I did eat it; and it was in my      mouth as honey for sweetness.”

Luke 24:36-45    “…Then opened he their understanding.”

D&C 45:66,69
      “And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of     safety for the saints of the Most High God…and it shall be the only people that shall not be at     war one with another.”

Revelation 21:1-22
    (Stones in the New Jerusalem)

Exodus 28:17-20
    (12 stones on the breastplate of the High Priest of Israel)

D&C 130:10-11,  Revelation 2:17    (white stone with a new name written in it)

Exodus 24:10    “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of     a sapphire stone…”

Revelation 22:1-2    (River of the water of life)

Ezekiel 47:1-12        (Water from under the threshold of the house.)

1 Nephi 19:23
        “…liken all scriptures unto us…”

Matthew 25:31-46
    “unto one of the least of these…”

D&C 38:7    “But behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you.  I am in your midst     and ye cannot see me.”

1 Peter 3:12      “…the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their     prayers…”

2 Sam 6:14-16
    “And David danced before the Lord with all his might…So David and all the house of     Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet…king     David leaping and dancing before the Lord.”

Moses 7:28-33
    (Why God weeps.)

Mark 12:30-31
  (Shema)    “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:  this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Nov 29 2011 – 3 Nephi 18-19 by Diane Adair

 

Quotes
3 Nephi 18 – 19

In that most burdensome moment in all human history with blood appearing at every pore, and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought – His Father.  “Abba” He cried, “Papa” or from the lips of a younger child, “Daddy”.  This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it.  A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father, His only source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night together.

Jeffrey R. Holland

“I am a father, inadequate to be sure, but I cannot comprehend the burden it must have been for God in His Heaven to witness the deep suffering and Crucifixion of His Beloved Son in such a manner.  His every impulse and instinct must have been to stop it, to send angels to intervene – but He did not intervene.  He endured what He saw because it was the only way that a saving, vicarious payment could be made for the sins of all His other children from Adam and Eve to the end of the world.  I am eternally grateful for a perfect Father and His perfect Son, neither of whom shrank from the bitter cup nor forsook the rest of us who are imperfect, who fall short and stumble, who too often miss the mark.

In considering such beauty of the “at-one-ment” in that first Easter season, we are reminded that this relationship between Christ and His Father is one of the sweetest and most moving themes running through the Savior’s ministry.  Jesus’ entire being, His complete purpose and delight, were centered in pleasing His Father and obeying His will.  Of Him He seemed always to be thinking; to Him He seemed always to be praying.  Unlike us, He needed no crisis, no discouraging shift in events to direct His hopes heavenward.  He was already instinctively, longingly looking that way.”

Jeffrey R. Holland
                                                                                           The Hands of the Father, Oct Conf. 1999

“In His Sermon on the Mount the Master has given us somewhat of a revelation of His own character every syllable He had written down in deeds.”

Harold B. Lee

“I feel satisfied that there is no adequate substitute for the morning and evening practice of kneeling together father, mother and children.  This, more than soft carpets, more than lovely drapes, more than cleverly balanced color schemes, is the thing that will make for better and more beautiful homes.”

Gordon B. Hinckley  
                                                                                          Conf. Report, April 1963 p.127

“The sacrament is one ordinance that allows us to experience a personal relationship with God and enlarges our knowledge and understanding of Him and His Beloved Son…”

David B. Haight
                                                                                         A Light Unto the World p. 176-177

“What does the Master mean when He wants us to pray always?… It is because He knows perfectly the powerful forces that influence us and also what it means to be human… He knows what it is like to have the cares of life press in upon us… And He knows how human powers to cope are not constant… As the forces around us increase in intensity, whatever spiritual was once sufficient will not be enough… Start with remembering Him The Lord hears the prayers of your heart.  The feelings of your heart, of love for our Heavenly Father and for His Beloved Son, can be so constant that your prayers will ascend always.”

Henry B. Eyring
                                                                                         Ensign, October 1999 p. 8- 10, 12

You can invite the Holy Ghost’s companionship in your life.  And you can know when he is there, and when he withdraws.  And when he is your companion, you can have confidence that the Atonement is working in your life.  Reception of the Holy Ghost is the cleansing agent as the Atonement purifies      you – – strengthens and gives power.

Henry B. Eyring
                                                                                         BYU October 29, 1989

  
“This Do In Remembrance of Me”
October 1995 Conf. Address
Jeffrey R. Holland

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The hours that lay immediately ahead would change the meaning of all human history. It would be the crowning moment of eternity, the most miraculous of all the miracles. It would be the supreme contribution to a plan designed from before the foundation of the world for the happiness of every man, woman, and child who would ever live in it. The hour of atoning sacrifice had come. God’s own Son, his Only Begotten Son in the flesh, was about to become the Savior of the world.
The setting was Jerusalem. The season was that of the Passover, a celebration rich in symbolism for what was about to come. Long ago the troubled and enslaved Israelites had been “passed over,” spared, finally made free by the blood of a lamb sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts of their Egyptian homes (see Ex. 12:21–24). That, in turn, had been only a symbolic reiteration of what Adam and all succeeding prophets were taught from the beginning—that the pure and unblemished lambs offered from the firstlings of Israel’s flocks were a similitude, a token, a prefiguration of the great and last sacrifice of Christ which was to come (see Moses 5:5–8).
Now, after all those years and all those prophecies and all those symbolic offerings, the type and shadow was to become reality. On this night when Jesus’ mortal ministry was concluding, the declaration made by John the Baptist when that ministry had begun now meant more than ever—“Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29).
As a final and specially prepared Passover supper was ending, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his Apostles, saying, “Take, eat” (Matt. 26:26). “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). In a similar manner he took the cup of wine, traditionally diluted with water, said a blessing of thanks for it, and passed it to those gathered about him, saying: “This cup is the new testament in my blood,” “which is shed … for the remission of sins.” “This do in remembrance of me.” “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (Luke 22:20; Matt. 26:28; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:26).
The Sacrament – Our Passover
Since that upper room experience on the eve of Gethsemane and Golgotha, children of the promise have been under covenant to remember Christ’s sacrifice in this newer, higher, more holy and personal way.
With a crust of bread, always broken, blessed, and offered first, we remember his bruised body and broken heart, his physical suffering on the cross where he cried, “I thirst,” and finally, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (John 19:28; Matt. 27:46.)
The Savior’s physical suffering guarantees that through his mercy and grace (see 2 Ne. 2:8) every member of the human family shall be freed from the bonds of death and be resurrected triumphantly from the grave. Of course the time of that resurrection and the degree of exaltation it leads to are based upon our faithfulness.
With a small cup of water we remember the shedding of Christ’s blood and the depth of his spiritual suffering, anguish which began in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matt. 26:38). He was in agony and “prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
The Savior’s spiritual suffering and the shedding of his innocent blood, so lovingly and freely given, paid the debt for what the scriptures call the “original guilt” of Adam’s transgression (Moses 6:54). Furthermore, Christ suffered for the sins and sorrows and pains of all the rest of the human family, providing remission for all of our sins as well, upon conditions of obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel he taught (see 2 Ne. 9:21–23). As the Apostle Paul wrote, we were “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20). What an expensive price and what a merciful purchase!
That is why every ordinance of the gospel focuses in one way or another on the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and surely that is why this particular ordinance with all its symbolism and imagery comes to us more readily and more repeatedly than any other in our life. It comes in what has been called “the mostsacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56, 2:340).
Perhaps we do not always attach that kind of meaning to our weekly sacramental service. How “sacred” and how “holy” is it? Do we see it as our passover, remembrance of our safety and deliverance and redemption?
With so very much at stake, this ordinance commemorating our escape from the angel of darkness should be taken more seriously than it sometimes is. It should be a powerful, reverent, reflective moment. It should encourage spiritual feelings and impressions. As such it should not be rushed. It is not something to “get over” so that the real purpose of a sacrament meeting can be pursued. This is the real purpose of the meeting. And everything that is said or sung or prayed in those services should be consistent with the grandeur of this sacred ordinance.
Privilege of Aaronic Priesthood Holders
The administration and passing of the sacrament is preceded by a hymn which all of us should sing. It doesn’t matter what kind of musical voice we have. Sacramental hymns are more like prayers anyway—and everyone can give voice to a prayer!
We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.
“There is a Green Hill Far Away”, Hymns. no. 194
It is an important element of our worship to unite in such lyrical and moving expressions of gratitude.
In that sacred setting we ask you young men of the Aaronic Priesthood to prepare and bless and pass these emblems of the Savior’s sacrifice worthily and reverently. What a stunning privilege and sacred trust given at such a remarkably young age! I can think of no higher compliment heaven could pay you. We do love you. Live your best and look your best when you participate in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
May I suggest that wherever possible a white shirt be worn by the deacons, teachers, and priests who handle the sacrament. For sacred ordinances in the Church we often use ceremonial clothing, and a white shirt could be seen as a gentle reminder of the white clothing you wore in the baptismal font and an anticipation of the white shirt you will soon wear into the temple and onto your missions.
That simple suggestion is not intended to be pharisaic or formalistic. We do not want deacons or priests in uniforms or unduly concerned about anything but the purity of their lives. But how our young people dress can teach a holy principle to us all, and it certainly can convey sanctity. As President David O. McKay taught, a white shirt contributes to the sacredness of the holy sacrament (see Conference Report, Oct. 1956, p. 89).
Sacramental Prayers
In the simple and beautiful language of the sacramental prayers those young priests offer, the principal word we hear seems to be remember. In the first and slightly longer prayer offered over the bread, mention is made of a willingness to take upon us the name of the Son of God and to keep the commandments he has given us.
Neither of those phrases is repeated in the blessing on the water, though surely both are assumed and expected. What is stressed in both prayers is that all of this is done in remembrance of Christ. In so participating we witness that we will always remember him, that we may always have his Spirit to be with us (see D&C 20:77, 79).
Remember His Premortal Life and Birth
If remembering is the principal task before us, what might come to our memory when those plain and precious emblems are offered to us?
We could remember the Savior’s premortal life and all that we know him to have done as the great Jehovah, creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. We could remember that even in the Grand Council of Heaven he loved us and was wonderfully strong, that we triumphed even there by the power of Christ and our faith in the blood of the Lamb (see Rev. 12:10–11).
We could remember the simple grandeur of his mortal birth to just a young woman, one probably in the age range of those in our Young Women organization, who spoke for every faithful woman in every dispensation of time when she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).
We could remember his magnificent but virtually unknown foster father, a humble carpenter by trade who taught us, among other things, that quiet, plain, unpretentious people have moved this majestic work forward from the very beginning, and still do so today. If you are serving almost anonymously, please know that so, too, did one of the best men who has ever lived on this earth.
Remember His Example and Teachings
We could remember Christ’s miracles and his teachings, his healings and his help. We could remember that he gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf and motion to the lame and the maimed and the withered. Then, on those days when we feel our progress has halted or our joys and views have grown dim, we can press forward steadfastly in Christ, with unshaken faith in him and a perfect brightness of hope (see 2 Ne. 31:19–20).
We could remember that even with such a solemn mission given to him, the Savior found delight in living; he enjoyed people and told his disciples to be of good cheer. He said we should be as thrilled with the gospel as one who had found a great treasure, a veritable pearl of great price, right on our own doorstep. We could remember that Jesus found special joy and happiness in children and said all of us should be more like them—guileless and pure, quick to laugh and to love and to forgive, slow to remember any offense.
We could remember that Christ called his disciples friends, and that friends are those who stand by us in times of loneliness or potential despair. We could remember a friend we need to contact or, better yet, a friend we need to make. In doing so we could remember that God often provides his blessings through the compassionate and timely response of another. For someone nearby we may be the means of heaven’s answer to a very urgent prayer.
We could—and should—remember the wonderful things that have come to us in our lives and that “all things which are good cometh of Christ” (Moro. 7:24). Those of us who are so blessed could remember the courage of those around us who face more difficulty than we, but who remain cheerful, who do the best they can, and trust that the Bright and Morning Star will rise again for them—as surely he will do (see Rev. 22:16).
Remember His Response to Adversity
On some days we will have cause to remember the unkind treatment he received, the rejection he experienced, and the injustice—oh, the injustice—he endured. When we, too, then face some of that in life, we can remember that Christ was also troubled on every side, but not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (see 2 Cor. 4:8–9).
When those difficult times come to us, we can remember that Jesus had to descend below all things before he could ascend above them, and that he suffered pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind that he might be filled with mercy and know how to succor his people in their infirmities (see D&C 88:6; Alma 7:11–12).
Remember What His Wounds Signify
To those who stagger or stumble, he is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end he is there to save us, and for all this he gave his life. However dim our days may seem they have been darker for the Savior of the world.
In fact, in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, our Lord of this sacrament table has chosen to retain for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in his hands and his feet and his side—signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect. Signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you. It is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul—he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness.
Those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel (see 3 Ne. 11:15; 3 Ne. 18:25). Then we remember with Isaiah that it was for each of us that our Master was “despised and rejected … ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). All this we could remember when we are invited by a kneeling young priest to remember Christ always.
We no longer include a supper with this ordinance, but it is a feast nevertheless. We can be fortified by it for whatever life requires of us, and in so doing we will be more compassionate to others along the way.
One request Christ made of his disciples on that night of deep anguish and grief was that they stand by him, stay with him in his hour of sorrow and pain. “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” he asked longingly (Matt. 26:40). I think he asks that again of us, every Sabbath day when the emblems of his life are broken and blessed and passed.
How great the wisdom and the love
That filled the courts on high
And sent the Savior from above
To suffer, bleed, and die!
“Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!” (Hymns, 1985, no. 193). I bear witness of him who is the Wonder of it all, and I do so in his own name, even Jesus Christ, amen.