Friday, December 7, 2007

NaBoMoReMo Update

An update on the first week of my NaBoMoReMo: It's been 7 days and I have already read to Jacob 5. I haven't read the Book of Mormon so quickly in quite some time! I usually prefer to take a chapter or even a verse very slowly, looking up relevant scriptures and studying thematically. So it's interesting to be able to see the events in quick succession. I'll just note for you a few things that I saw from reading the Book of Mormon this way.

1. Two stumbling blocks. We all know that the main stumbling block for the Jews was not being able to accept Jesus as the Messiah. 2 Nephi 18:14 (quoting Isaiah 8) says that Christ will be a sanctuary for those who accept him, but for the house of Israel he is "a stone of stumbling" and a "rock of offense." Normally I wouldn't have read 2 Nephi 26 so soon after reading chapter 18. But since I did I noticed Nephi's explanation that the Gentiles must also be convinced that Jesus is the Christ. (v. 12) Their stumbling block is a bit different than that of the Jews. In 26:20 Nephi describes the greatness of the Gentiles' stumbling block: they are lifted up in pride. They have built up many churches but deny the power of God, preaching their own wisdom and making money in the bargain. I sure recognize Jewish and Gentile tendencies in these two descriptions!

2. The second thing I noticed was a repetition by Nephi of the same Isaiah passage. In 2 Nephi 21:4-9 Nephi quotes the famous passage from Isaiah 11 where the lamb shall lie down with the lion. (Except it actually says the wolf shall dwell with the lamb--the lion eats straw like an ox. We must get that lamb and lion image from Hymn #2!) Later in 2 Nephi 30:9-15 Nephi repeats that very same passage. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain. That's important to me, and I'm glad that Nephi had such strong feelings for the establishment of peace among both man and beast in the last days that he repeated this message twice.

There were many other interesting passages in my Book of Mormon reading, such as the reasons for the Nephites following the Law of Moses when they had already accepted Christ, but these are just two that I hadn't noticed before and that jumped out at me as a result of reading quickly straight through.

If you are reading the Book of Mormon this month, tell us if you've noticed anything new!

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