I read from a pin on Pinterest an article suggesting different ways to read the Book of Mormon. One of these amazing ideas is to read all the chapter 5's of every book in the BOM. This week, I was scheduled to read 2Nephi 5. I thought to myself that this was very timely because this chapter talks about the treasure I called my 10+ 1 ways to be happy. What a good way to be reminded of each way but to my surprise I discovered a new lesson. A lesson opposite to joy and a life after the manner of happiness. The opposite of light,even darkness. This is why careful reading and study of the Book of Mormon is so special! The treasure of wisdom is limitless! So may I share, the 10 consequences of sinning.What is a sin? We cannot sin without the knowledge of the truth and the commandments of the Lord. Sinning is willfully disobeying God and failing to act righteously despite of knowing the good over evil. As I was pondering about this topic, it pressed upon my mind the very importance of staying humble and the virtue of Charity. We all have weaknesses and a finite mind. If we are not humble, it would be so hard for us to accept and see our mistakes. A tendency to be selfish is high. When our sin starts to file up, this can lead to the following 10 consequences enumerated below. If we will not be watchful, this can lead to our personal destruction.
King Benjamin said it best, "But this much I can tell you, that if you do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, YE MUST PERISH. And now, O man, REMEMBER, AND PERISH NOT. (Mosiah 5:30)
20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be (1)cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.
**What does it means to be cut off from the presence of the Lord?
Being cut off from the presence of the Lord is both our temporal and spiritual separations from God. Temporal separation means being physically away from God like Adam and Eve when they were cast-out of the Garden of Eden. They used to talk to God face to face. While Spiritual separation is the absence of the promptings and the guidance of the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit) in our lives because of sin. Without the guidance of the Holy Ghost, it is going to be so hard to succeed in this life and to endure to the End faithfully. What an honor to have a member of the three Godhead as our companion when we live worthily of this promised blessing. My mission president emphasized that this Holy Ghost carries INTO our hearts the precious understanding of Christ's true doctrine and divinity. No one, but only Him.
2. HARDENED THEIR HEARTS - a hardened heart is like m&m chocolates. It's coated hard outside, but it's soft inside. We gotta break these coats! The coat could be our harbored fears, anger or hatred towards anyone making it harder for the Spirit of the Lord to enter in. By doing the basics of the Gospel of Christ we all can break down whatever walls we have in our hearts.
(Basics - praying, studying the scriptures, fasting, service, FHE, going to church with sincere hearts and etc.)
When I read this one, I imagined a blackness of the souls! This is the curse of the Lord to distinguish His people from the people of Satan. A black soul reflects on our countenances. A sinful man's face is dark, unclean and gloomy leading to our #4 on the list. They are not likable unto the righteous.
4.THAT THEY MIGHT NOT BE ENTICING UNTO MY PEOPLE.
Proverbs 15:13, "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance." Happiness is an inside job. It's not what is happening around you. It is possessing the peace Christ promised to those who loves Him. When you are genuinely happy, everyone loves to be around you!
WHAT IS A FLINT?
5. CAUSE THAT THEY SHALL BE LOATHSOME
22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will (5) cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.
The ways of the wicked is to provoke others to anger and to become as miserable as they are. They will use others' weaknesses so they can make them look bad, say unkind things or do mean acts.
6. CURSED SHALL BE THE SEED OF HIM THAT MIXETH WITH THEIR SEED
23 And (6)cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.
***This is the sad part. The children of the Lamanites (and all those who joined them) inherited the curse that came upon their forefathers. It was passed on to the next generation unless they repent of their wicked ways. The choice is ours! We have the power to break any curse. We can win our fights! We make mistakes today, we can correct them tomorrow!
As one of my mottos in life is from the words of the Prophet Nephi,
"And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation." (2Nephi 4:27-30)
24 And because of their cursing which was upon them (7)they did become an idle people, (8)full of mischief and subtlety, and (9)did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.
7. IDLENESS - Idleness in Spiritual and Physically labors. They are unhealthy.
8. MISCHIEF AND SUBTLETY - Dishonesty and hypocrisy.
9. DID SEEK IN THE WILDERNESS FOR BEASTS OF PREY -
They seek the things of the world first over the things of God. They care so much of their reputation, the praise of the world and the sympathy of men.
10. THEY SHALL BE A SCOURGE UNTO THY SEED
25 And the Lord God said unto me: (10) They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.
A SCOURGE - a person or a thing that causes pain, sorrows and burdens to someone.
...because sinning affects the people around you, your loved ones and most especially the parents. I remember King Mosiah and the High Priest Alma, they were hurt and very much affected by the wickedness of their children. They prayed so hard to the Lord for added strength and understanding to these young men. They remembered God through their afflictions.
What a beautiful lesson! As I put together my 10+1 ways to be happy and this new list of the 10 Consequences of Sinning, there is one lesson that stands out in my happy heart right now, and that is True happiness is not found in the absence of trials, sins and afflictions, but it a continuous effort of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is waking up each day with a perfect brightness of hope that you will not give up on doing the right things even if we fall short sometimes. It is believing in the promises of our dear Heavenly Father, for when we believe, SALVATION will come - indeed, the Miracle of Forgiveness!