I was pondering very early this morning as I looked out the window: “What if at 4:00 in the morning on a fall day I looked out the window and it was as bright as day?  Would my heart take a leap and would I think: What is going on?!”  It was pitch dark when I peered out my window and yet, we have record of an event in this week’s reading, where untold thousands of people could not help but see this incredible, unforgettable sign of a day, a night and a day wherein there was no darkness.  The righteous rejoiced and the wicked were struck with fear.  We’re going to look at a lot of contrasts together in this week’s lesson.

You can also find it on any of these platforms by searching for Meridian Magazine-Come Follow Me.

Maurine and Scot Proctor have taught Book of Mormon for many years in Institute and have spent extensive time in the Arabian peninsula, following Lehi’s trail. They are the creators of a foundation that has sponsored a multi-year archaeological study of the best candidate for Nephi’s Bountiful in Oman. They have written a book on the Book of Mormon, as well as immersed themselves in the culture, history, and geography. of the scripture.

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Scot

I was pondering very early this morning as I looked out the window: “What if at 4:00 in the morning on a fall day I looked out the window and it was as bright as day?  Would my heart take a leap and would I think: What is going on?!”  It was pitch dark when I peered out my window and yet, we have record of an event in this week’s reading, where untold thousands of people could not help but see this incredible, unforgettable sign of a day, a night and a day wherein there was no darkness.  The righteous rejoiced and the wicked were struck with fear.  We’re going to look at a lot of contrasts together in this week’s lesson.

Maurine

Welcome dear friends to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me podcast.  We’re Scot and Maurine Proctor and this week we’ll be studying 3 Nephi chapters 1-7, with the lesson entitled: “Lift Up Your Head and Be of Good Cheer.”  That’s good counsel in every situation!

Before we get started, we have an announcement. Last year Scot created a Bicentennial Calendar celebrating the First Vision.  Thousands of you responded.  This year, based on our upcoming course of study, Scot has created the 2021 Church History Come Follow Me Calendar.  It is stunning.  He’s really pulled out all the stops.  Not only are the photographs from each month delightful, delicious and significant—he has added a number of wonderful features to this calendar.

Scot

That’s right:  I received a lot of feedback from you last year so this calendar has the added features of:  1) All the Come Follow Me lessons each Monday with the reading assignments. It will be a wonderful tool in your home to just glance at the calendar and there is the reading assignment for that week.

Maurine

2) The major events of Church History from Joseph Smith’s birth in 1805 until the pioneers arrived in the Valley in 1847.  You’ll be able to glance at your calendar and in a moment, for example, know that on that very day, March 18, 1833, the First Presidency was first organized.  This will greatly enhance your studies of Church History in 2021.

Scot

3) I’ve added in all the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants where we actually know the date.  So, for example, when you come to February 16—you’ll see that the great vision of the Three Degrees of Glory was received on that very day in 1832.  I’ve personally made it a habit of reading and studying Section 76 every year on that day for the past 40 years.

Maurine

4) Of course, you’ve put in all the significant National Holidays and remembrances so that you can see what day of the week Christmas or the 4th of July falls on. 

Scot

5) And, I’ve added the phases of the Moon for all of you who gaze at the heavens or want to know when a good night would be to camp in the dessert or the woods.  And, of course, the photographs are from Church history sites including the only extent home of the Smiths from the New England period and a room in Kirtland where more revelations were received than any other location. And I’ve added many other little things as well—it’s a calendar unlike any other you’ll find and it will greatly enhance your studies and bring you delight all year long.

Maurine

And for all this, we’re still keeping the pre-order price at just $15.00 plus shipping and handling.  These make the perfect gift for all your grown kids, for your ministering sisters and brothers and are perfect to hang in your kitchen, office, bedrooms or prominent calendar locations.  Of course, we know you’ll want to take a look at the calendar first so please go to latterdaysaintmag.com/2021 that’s latterdaysaintmag.com/2021.  We’re so excited to share this with you—we have four of these hanging in various places in our home from this year’s and will the do the same for this coming year.

Scot

We’re so thrilled to be talking about these chapters this week.  We’ll start by talking about the difference between a prediction and a prophecy.  A prediction, by definition is:

A statement about what someone thinks will happen in the future.  The prefix is “pre” which means before and the root dic means “to say.”  So, the meaning: “to say before.”

A prediction can be as simple as: “I predict our team is going to win.” Or “I predict that the ward picnic will be rained out.”

Maurine

A prophecy, I mean, a real prophecy from a true prophet of God, is also a prediction but it has God’s stamp and signature upon it and it will come to pass.  “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken and I excuse not myself,” the Lord tells us. “And though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants it is the same.” That’s from the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, verse 38.  That’s the power and the trustworthiness of prophecy.

Scot

And Joshua’s last testimony was the same, “And behold,” he says in Joshua 23:14, “this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” By the way, I’ve set that scripture to pop up on my phone every day at 2:15 in the afternoon as a constant reminder of the trustworthiness of the word of God.

In fact, the book of Mormon is all about a people who were focused on the coming of Jesus Christ. They are preparing for His coming.  They watch for His coming. They are taught of his coming. They live their daily lives with rituals and practices that point to his coming. They hear prophecies of His coming. The entire book is focused on this–and then, he came! This is so exciting.  There is a type in all of this for our time.

Maurine

So, when Samuel the Lamanite spoke various prophecies to the Nephites, as we talked about last week, they would ABSOLUTELY come to pass, because he was speaking, as a prophet does, as a mouthpiece for the Lord.  And he had some very specific prophecies.

“Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.

“And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.

Scot

“Therefore,” Samuel continued, “there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign…” (Helaman 14: 2-4)

Now, how could that be more clear?  That’s a sign that is unmistakable and it comes with a specific time: 5 years.  That’s one you can bank on as a faithful believer in God’s word.

Maurine

Well, and Samuel also gives further specific prophecies:

“And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.

“And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.” (Helaman 14: 5-6)

You can imagine, then, how the faithful would be carefully watching for the signs in the heavens—trusting in the Lord that all that had been said will indeed come to pass.

Scot

Now, in our day and time, here in the United States, we have an atomic clock which sets the official time for the United States.  It is called the NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Atomic Clock and it is located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado.  We also have another atomic clock at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. that provides the time standard for the Department of Defense. I wore a watch for many years that received a radio signal from the atomic clock and if my watch was off at all it would adjust to the exact time.  We don’t even think about accuracy and precision of time in our day. 

Maurine

That’s right—if you live in the area of Salt Lake and you ever listen to KSL, you know that the Nauvoo Bell, on Temple Square, rings every hour on the hour and you can set you watch by it.  Many just glance at their cellphones and know instantly the exact time and the date.

What about the time of Samuel the Lamanite?  How did they keep time? They kept time by astronomical observations. They clearly have a calendar system—but it based on the moon and the position of the sun and constant observations of the heavens.  They had no atomic clocks or wrist watches or cellphones—so they were constantly looking to the heavens.

Scot

That’s right and so it was very natural for Samuel’s prophecies to point to the very place where they were already looking on a daily basis—the heavens. You watch for the new moons.  You watch for the setting of the sun and the appearance of the first three stars so you know when the Sabbath begins. You watch for the solstices and the equinoxes. This is how you tell time.  This is how you keep the Law of Moses.

But, there can be some questions in keeping time that way—what if you have four or five overcast days and nights in a row? Or two weeks?  What if you cannot see the moon or the stars?  This could cause some to get off in their calculations—

Maurine

And what if you have non-believers who are constantly looking for proof that the believers are fools and they mock the prophecies and the doctrines that the faithful believe in with all their hearts?

So, about the time that the five-year prophecy of Samuel should come to pass we have two groups among the Nephites: the faithful and the unbelievers.

Scot

And about the time that the prophecy should be fulfilled, “there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.” (3 Nephi 1:4)

“But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.

“And they began to rejoice” and they mocked the believers and said, “your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.” (3 Nephi 1:5-6).

But the faithful “did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.” (3 Nephi 1:8)

Maurine

Well, it got so bad that the unbelievers set a specific day apart “that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass…” (3 Nephi 1:9)

I would say that’s rather radical—to kill all those who believed in a prophecy?  What is going on here?  … Satan is having a hay day with the unbelievers!  His end goal in almost any series of temptations is to bring people to destroy the body of another—and especially to murder.  You can see his signature all over this crisis.

Scot

Now, the prophet Nephi, who has been observing all this, and seeing all this wickedness is “exceedingly sorrowful.” (see 3 Nephi 1:10)

Here we observe one of the great prayers recorded in the entire Book of Mormon.

11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day…

I do love the faith of Nephi.

Maurine

I do too.  

“…and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets. (3 Nephi 1:11-13, emphasis added)

This is one of the great moments of the Book of Mormon.  I hope you can see this more in perspective now. 

Scot

And I love how Mormon records the aftermath of Nephi’s prayer:

15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.

16 And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.

17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear…

19 And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.

Maurine

And listen to this:

20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.

21 And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.

This whole section is not just an historical record, this is a witness and a warning that whatever the Lord says by his own voice or by the voice of his servants the prophets will indeed come to pass.  It is a message that we need to give heed to the words of the prophets and listen closely to all that they reveal to us.  It shows that the faithful are rewarded for their faithfulness. It reminds us that from creation’s dawn, the heavens were designed as a place where we can all see and where the Lord can show us signs and wonders and remind us that He is there.

Scot

Now, we don’t know what happened that caused this great sign to take place—this day and a night and a day with no darkness.

“Hugh Nibley suggested to his students once that this sign could have been caused by a supernova, comparing it to one in AD 1054 which “could be seen all over the world” and “was almost as bright as the sun.”4 Astronomers have documented a supernova in the 11th century which, according to lead researcher Frank Winkler, provided enough light that “people could probably have read manuscripts at midnight by its light.”5 (Book of Mormon Central)

Maurine

“John A. Tvedtnes noted some possible similarities to the atmospheric effects caused by an explosion that took place in a remote part of Russia on June 30, 1908.7 Known to scholars simply as the “Tunguska event,” scientists are still unsure what exactly caused the explosion.8 Its effect on the night sky, however, is well documented. As reported by NASA, “Night skies glowed, and reports came in that people who lived as far away as Asia could read newspapers outdoors as late as midnight.”9

Scot

Elder John A. Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve and himself a scientist, gave assurances that “This is a universe of law and order,” and thus “a miracle simply means a phenomenon not understood, in its cause and effect relations.”19

Our friends at Book of Mormon Central write: 

“Regardless of the actual method the Lord used to accomplish this miracle, the night without darkness was deeply symbolic and meaningful. Kimberly M. Berkey noted, “The excessive light surrounding Christ’s birth acts as a kind of morning,”22 the beginning of a new dawn welcoming the Savior into the world: the Light of the World had come,23 introduced into the world by light.

Maurine

“Furthermore, just as with the appearance of the new star, any method for making night bright as day would have required a great deal of advanced planning on the part of the Lord. Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “the so-called ‘little star of Bethlehem’ was actually very large in its declaration of divine design! It had to have been placed in its precise orbit long, long before it shone so precisely!”24

“Elder Maxwell went on to explain that the Lord puts the same care and attention into the lives of his children. ‘His overseeing precision pertains not only to astrophysical orbits but to human orbits as well.’25 Just as the new star “was in its precise orbit long before it so shone,” so are individuals “placed in human orbits to illuminate.”26” (https://knowhy.bookofmormoncentral.org/knowhy/how-was-there-a-night-without-darkness)

Scot

I love that idea and truth that Elder Maxwell taught us. And I love the words of the Lord to Nephi at that critical junction:  Lift up your head and be of good cheer.  What a great commandment!

When I was serving my mission in Germany I received a very special assignment to leave my mission with my companion and two other sisters and work in the Swiss Temple in Zollikofen for three months. We would work about 12-16 hours a day, five days a week in the Temple and then spend the rest of our time proselyting.  It was very exciting.  We arrived there on January 3 in the midst of a beautiful and heavy winter.  I was so excited to learn my duties as fast as I could and I wanted to do everything with exactness and just as I was instructed.

On January 19, just 16 days after our arrival, I work up with a horrible pain in my side.  It was debilitating.  But I was determined to put in my 12 or more hours that day.  After our prayer meeting in the temple that morning I told the temple matron, Sister Thelma Fetzer, with a little lilt in my voice and a touch of humor, “Sister Fetzer, I just wanted you to know I have this dreadful pain in my side and if I keel over in the temple somewhere, you’ll know that I told you first.”  Ha ha.  I went on my way to my duties.

Ten minutes later the Temple engineer came and found me and said, “Elder Proctor, we are going to the hospital in Bern immediately.”  I said, “Why?” He said, “Because Sister Fetzer told me you needed to go and I am taking you there right now.  Get in your outside clothes.”  Off we went.

This began quite an ordeal.  I did have a very enlarged appendix and within a few hours I was on the operating table.  The doctors told me I was hours away from this thing rupturing.  The operation went well, but rather took the wind out of my sails.

I spent a week in the hospital and then two weeks of convalescing in President and Sister Fetzer’s basement bedroom.  Now, being a very enthusiastic missionary and not being able to do my daily duties was quite discouraging to me.  I wanted to get better NOW.  But, there was a process of healing involved and there was one thing that really helped me the most.

Every morning at 4:30 AM I would wake up the same time the Fetzers did and I would walk them to the door sometime around 5:00 AM.  As they left to walk over to the temple, President Fetzer would say, “Sei guten Mutes.”  That means, “Be of good cheer.”  Now, this man, Percy K. Fetzer, looked like an angel (and so did Thelma Fetzer). They were about as pure and loving as anyone on the planet.  President Fetzer had this shock of white hair and when he said, “Sei guten Mutes,” “be of good cheer” I took it as a command and it truly lifted me and help me heal.  I thought about it all day.  I let it echo in my mind.  “Sei guten Mutes.”  I’ve thought about these past more than 40 years and it has blessed me and helped me and lifted me myriads of times.

It’s the same command given to Nephi:  Lift up your head and be of good cheer.

Now, Maurine, we’ve had quite a trial these past few days in this same arena.  Can you share what has happened to you?

Maurine

I have just learned personally again this week how the Lord can bless us to be able to be of good cheer under any circumstance.

We we’re taking a bike route called The Route of the Hiawatha that is up on the border of Montana and Idaho. It is a root of 11 long tunnels and 9 trestles that ride high above pine covered mountains where a train once traveled.

Now it is a lovely hiking and biking trail that is nearly 16 miles long. At the very first part of it is a long dark, drippy tunnel that goes 8,775 feet, nearly 1.7 miles. To go through this tunnel the only thing you have are the headlights on your bicycle. This particular day, two weeks ago, we went into this tunnel and I was immediately surprised to find out that not only was it dark, it was very wet as well, and there were many areas in the trail where the water made parts of the clay base very slippery and uneven. In the complete darkness with only my bike headlamp, and the wet and pot-holed path on my electric bike, I was having a hard time staying balanced and steady.

We were almost all the way through the tunnel, only one tenth of a mile from the end, when I swerved a little bit to miss a bump and my bike, with that electric assist, propelled me straight into the tunnel wall. In those last seconds I could see it coming, so I put up my left arm to stop the rest of my body from going into the wall. Lying in a heap upon the ground, partially in the foot-deep stone ditch and unable to move because my legs were caught in the bike. Scot heard me go down behind him came immediately. He had a hard time lifting me up and dragging me out because my legs were so intertwined in the bike, but it was immediately clear that the bigger problem was my arm. It was broken into what the doctors would later call kibbles and bits and hung there at my side like a lifeless fish. Or perhaps a pretzel. Or perhaps Harry Potter‘s arm when in the story he lost all his bones playing Quidditch. There was just no support there. The pain was instantly agonizing. It was in a league of its own. Later when we came to the hospital in Coeur d’Alene, the doctor examining me in the emergency room asked what my pain level was and then he stopped, looked at my arm and said I already know. It’s a 10.   He was almost right.  I thought the scale should be changed so that you could report pain in the teens. 

We walked back through the tunnel about a mile and a half to the entrance, all the time my arm hanging at an unnatural angle, all the time wondering how I could endure such anguish. A man who worked there came to help us and said “she’s in shock.”

But here was the interesting thing. I knew I was not in shock, and when he later looked into my pupils he agreed. “She’s not in shock,” instead, from the moment I hit the wall, I was immediately in this calm and grounded place where I felt my ancient spirit telling me that all was fine, All was well and that the Lord was with me. It was so profound I hardly have words to express it.

The agony in my arm at the same time that I am feeling warm and hopeful and even happy in my soul. This rootedness of my ancient spirit was in some divine stream of light.

My friends said I was being brave, but I knew it was something much more than that. It was a peace that truly surpasses understanding even while my body was in torment. How could I be having such contrary experiences at the same time?

There were all kinds of natural man feelings that could have so easily been resident in me. I could’ve felt just overtaken by the pain so that there was no place for calm. I could have been resentful that this had happened to me only halfway through a cycling- vacation whose sunny, forested days I had hoped to store up in my soul against the long wintry, COVID-distanced days coming ahead. I could have been blaming that the Lord let this happen to me. After all, hadn’t I prayed for protection this very morning? I could have asked, why me? To which I surely would have heard Elder Neal Maxwell’s words in my head, “why not me?” I could have been worried that my friends would resent me for cutting their trip short. Instead I knew they loved me no matter what. I could have felt humiliated. There was surely pilot error in my injury. I could have been stuck in cosmic blaming. How could they let people go through this drippy, wet tunnel anyway?

But there was none of that. And it wasn’t because I am such a good person that I kept my calm under this situation. It was made clear to me that I was given a heavenly gift to help me endure what I must I endure. I cannot even imagine how impossibly difficult this injury would have been if it had been accompanied by the impossible burden of negative thought or fear or resentment. Instead, I felt like this was one of those instances when the Lord said, “Let me show you how to lift up thy head and be of good cheer in the midst of whatever happens in life. You can know that I will be there and that a tragic event does not absolutely necessitate tragic or negative feelings.”

To think that I must feel disheartened and despairing in the face of hard things is simply wrong. it is that despair that will make the hard thing even harder. When we somehow let our lives be comforted by the only one who can give that comfort is to open yourselves up to streams of light in the midst of darkness, to warm pools of stillness in the whirl of the storm.

The last few days have been difficult for me but think how much more agonizing if I had been carrying a mental weight as well. My arm has been heavy and pained, but my heart has been light. I have been of good cheer.

Scot

It has truly been a remarkable time—and I am hurrying to prepare and record this podcast today because I go in for oral surgery this afternoon.  So, with Maurine facing me right now with her left arm vertical and trying to clear her throat between takes of the extra fluids and aftermath of two anesthesias, well, we’re quite a scence right now.

Oh, there it is again, there is President Fetzer’s voice in my mind, “Sei guten Mutes!” “Be of good cheer!” It truly does help to follow that commandment.

Elder Holland taught: 

“I love what Elder Orson F. Whitney once said: ‘The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience.’ We should honor the Savior’s declaration to ‘be of good cheer.’ (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilt of breaking that commandment than almost any other!) Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly. As someone once said, ‘Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow.’” (Holland, Jeffrey R., The Tongue of Angels, General Conference, April 2007)

So, our dear listeners: Sei guten Mutes! Be of good cheer! Trust in the Lord.  Trust in His promises.  Know that everything will be alright.  Hold on.  Things will work out. They always do.  And, if they don’t seem to work out—well, the story isn’t over yet and things will work out.

Maurine

I wanted to talk about another major lesson in these chapters and that is about rewriting your own history and revising your testimony.

We read that right after those amazing signs had been given:

that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord. (3 Nephi 1:22)

So, most of the people are converted.  How could you possibly NOT believe in these signs and wonders that had been shown to you?  How could you forget that day and a night and a day wherein there was no darkness?  How could you possibly forget that new star in the heavens?  How could you deny all the signs and wonders you had witnessed with your own eyes?

Scot

And yet, just a short time later, Maurine, just within three years, we get this terrible recounting of what happened:

“…the people began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be heard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen—

“Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that is was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.” (3 Nephi 2:1-2)

We look at this and we say, “That is unbelievable! How could these people possibly NOT believe with all they had experienced?

Maurine

But the more important question for us is, “How can WE possibly not believe after all WE have experienced?” When we become discouraged or we have faced seemingly insurmountable trials, or we have experienced a divorce or we have been unfairly treated or we find out something in the history of the Church that bothers us or we never knew about or we have been unjustly treated or unfairly dealt with, what do we do with our knowledge and our testimonies? Are we ever tempted to doubt or revise our thinking when the Spirit has given us witness after witness?

We had a dear friend who had been faithful all his life, had served a fantastic mission, had taught at the MTC, had been an Elder’s quorum president, had married in the temple, graduated from BYU, had pretty much done everything right, and had felt the Spirit hundreds of times and had a powerful testimony.  But then, faced with a very personal trial that rocked his world, including destroying his marriage, he began to rethink and revise all that he had been through.  He revised his entire history.

Scot

He certainly did.  “I’m not sure that what I was feeling was the Spirit.  I think it could have just been my emotions.  I am not sure God was really involved in my life, and, if He was, why would all these bad things have happened to me?  I am not sure I want to follow or believe in this kind of God—if He even exists.”  Those are the kind of things we heard from him. 

One by one he began to revised and re-visit and re-interpret every one of his spiritual experiences. Just as the Nephites of old, Satan took possession of his heart, he wrote things off to imaginations and improbabilities.  His heart became hardened and his eyes were blind.

And it’s so sad to see this happen, because, would we say, Maurine, that our friend was happier after all these revisions?  He said that he finally felt free and he felt more like himself.

Maurine

He was absolutely miserable.  And nothing, I mean, nothing was working out for him after this.  It was one of the saddest things we have ever seen.  And he’s not the only one we’ve seen this deception happen to.

Scot

And there is so much more to talk about in these chapters—especially the Gadianton Robbers and the people all gathering together in one body to stand against them—and their God-given victory—but alas, there is always more to talk about.  That’s why we are given the immense privilege of studying these things daily in our homes.  So, our dear and precious listeners and friends, Lift up your heads and be of good cheer.  Following that commandment will bless your lives forever.

Maurine

That’s all for today.  We love you.  Don’t forget about ordering the new 2021 Church History Come Follow Me calendar.  You can find it at latterdaysaintmag.com/2021 that’s latterdaysaintmag.com/2021. Next week we will be studying 3 Nephi chapters 8-11 with the lesson entitled “Arise and Come Forth Unto Me.”  This is an exciting time to be alive.  Blessings to all of you this week and please, “Be of good cheer.”