Hello everyone! My name is Megan Harvill and I am really excited to write about today’s chapters. First I want to say what a huge blessing it has been to be a part of this challenge, and have the scriptures play a bigger role in my daily life. It really does make a difference to read the Book of Mormon in such a short amount of time. The stories really come alive more! As I start reading each day, the previous day’s reading is still fresh in my mind, so it makes things much more interesting. What a great experience this has been! Now, on to today’s chapters:
So many exciting things happen in the first half of Helaman! I found this part in Chapter 4 interesting, when it explains that the Nephites were able to be defeated because of their wickedness.
And it was because of the pride of their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the poor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a mock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions, and deserting away into the land of Nephi, among the Lamanites—
Now, all of those things sound pretty evil – especially the sins listed at the end: adultery, stealing, murdering, etc. But for some reason, the part that stood out to me the most was that they lost the ability to be charitable. They became prideful, and withheld food and clothing from the hungry and naked. Charity is so incredibly important to keep us humble and help us remain close to our Heavenly Father.
I also found it interesting that the people who were doing this were those who “professed to belong to the church of God.” (Helaman 4:11) Isn’t it sad when the very people who claim to belong to God’s church are the ones who are mocking sacred things and sinning all over the place? That can only mean one thing in the scriptures: that they are about to be humbled again!
This brings us to my all time favorite scripture in the entire Book of Mormon. This is when Nephi and Lehi are remembering the words their father Helaman told them:
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
Isn’t that a fantastic, powerful verse? I love it! I love how it illustrates so clearly how important it is to have a solid foundation of faith in Christ. If you do, the devil will have NO POWER to drag you down into “the gulf of misery and endless wo” because you will not fall if you build upon the foundation of our Savior. I love it.
Here’s the important part: This does NOT mean you won’t have hard times. Notice how it says WHEN the devil shall send forth his “mighty winds,” not IF. We will still have challenges in life. We can count on it. But if we have built our foundation upon the rock of our Redeemer, these storms will have no power over us, and we won’t be dragged down into the “gulf of misery and endless wo.” Thank goodness!
Moving on to my favorite event from these chapters. Later in Chapter 5, Nephi and Lehi are put in prison by the Lamanites, and some men come in to try to kill them. Instead, an amazing miracle happens! They are surrounded by fire but aren’t burned, the Lamanites are unable to harm them, and everyone around hears the voice of God. The walls shake, and a dark cloud descends. It’s a pretty remarkable moment. The voice of God tells the Lamanites to repent, and not to harm Nephi and Lehi.
I don’t know about you, but I love reading people's descriptions of how the voice of God sounds to them. This is a fantastic one, in my opinion.
(Helaman 5:30) And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul-
This is another example of how loving our Heavenly Father is. It makes me happy to hear that the voice they heard was still, and mild, almost like a whisper, but still pierced their souls. And yet they still knew that He meant business! Read verse 31 below:
And notwithstanding the mildness of the voice, behold the earth shook exceedingly, and the walls of the prison trembled again, as if it were about to tumble to the earth; and behold the cloud of darkness, which had overshadowed them, did not disperse
I think we can learn something about missionary work as we read about this experience. After this miracle happened, and all those people saw the flames and heard the voice from Heaven, they went forth and preached, and shared their experience. Because of this, many people were converted, and Lamanites even laid down their weapons. Sharing our life experiences and our testimonies can change lives.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. This challenge has been such a great blessing in my life, and I've learned so much more than I ever imagined! Happy reading!