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Saturday, September 17, 2005


Day 8: Soak Ponder and Pray. 3rd Nephi 28 -4th Nephi 1, pages 460-470

Yesterday's hasty and quick late-night reading was so discouraging that I vowed I would try harder to read earlier in the day. After returning from my job interview, trekking through the shifting sands of Sharjah to the butcher, and starting dinner, I settled in to start reading at about 4pm. As I put my feet up over the arm of the love seat I was shocked by their terrible appearance... I knew I was about 2 months overdue for my seasonal pedicure, but my feet looked even more ashy and crusty then I had realized. I realized their appearance was due in part to a coating of sand dust, it's a Sharjah thing, but I decided to kill two birds with one stone and soak my feet while I read. A quick look around the house failed to find the footbath, so I decided to do something I haven't done in 5 years... take a bath!!! Ok, I'm just messing with your mind; but both houses we lived in in Pakistan had multiple bathrooms, but not a single bathtub. The idea of reading in the bathtub was tempting, but I was afraid to get my scriptures wet. Since I have a large print quad, it's a pretty hefty book. I found a small folding stool that was just the right height to stand beside the tub. So thus equipped and with an ancient bottle of bubble bath, I began. I would read a few pages in a kind of sideways twisted position, then soak and relax for a few minutes while I gave my back a break and pondered what I had just read, and then return to my reading. Pretty enjoyable actually.

Today's reading marked the beginning of the end of the Nephites. Read as I chronicle their rapid decent.

4th Nephi 1:[20] And he kept it eighty and four years, and there was still peace in the land, save it were a small part of the people who had revolted from the church and taken upon them the name of Lamanites; therefore there began to be Lamanites again in the land.

[24] And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

[25] And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.

[26] And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.

[27] And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness. (Carol's note: Could this be taking the sacrament unworthily or allowing unworthy members into the Temple?)

[35] And now it came to pass in this year, yea, in the two hundred and thirty and first year, there was a great division among the people.

[40] And it came to pass that two hundred and forty and four years had passed away, and thus were the affairs of the people. And the more wicked part of the people did wax strong, and became exceedingly more numerous than were the people of God.

[41] And they did still continue to build up churches unto themselves, and adorn them with all manner of precious things. And thus did two hundred and fifty years pass away, and also two hundred and sixty years.

[42] And it came to pass that the wicked part of the people began again to build up the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton.

[43] And also the people who were called the people of Nephi began to be proud in their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, and become vain like unto their brethren, the Lamanites.

[45] And it came to pass that when three hundred years had passed away, both the people of Nephi and the Lamanites had become exceedingly wicked one like unto another.

[46] And it came to pass that the robbers of Gadianton did spread over all the face of the land; and there were none that were righteous save it were the disciples of Jesus. And gold and silver did they lay up in store in abundance, and did traffic in all manner of traffic.

[47] And it came to pass that after three hundred and five years had passed away, (and the people did still remain in wickedness) Amos died; and his brother, Ammaron, did keep the record in his stead.

[48] And it came to pass that when three hundred and twenty years had passed away, Ammaron, being constrained by the Holy Ghost, did hide up the records which were sacred -- yea, even all the sacred records which had been handed down from generation to generation, which were sacred -- even until the three hundred and twentieth year from the coming of Christ. {end of quote}

There is the shortened version of how the Nephites fell from total righteousness to total wickedness in less than 400 years. We know the Book of Mormon was written, preserved and brought forth to serve as a voice of warning for our time and our people. We can use this list as a warning list against personal apostasy.

How have Large Hulking Son and I been doing? We've had our good times and our arguments. The past few days I have ranted at his rudeness and cried at his callousness, but the change that I felt since I started this program of reading and my inspired program of hugs for service continues in spite of our down and out times. I get angry and hurt, but my heart has been softened. I'm not too hurt or afraid to love him again and that feels really good.

Today he was excessively rude when I had to wake him up early so he could drive me to the job interview. He was dead tired, yelling, rude and insulting. I admit, I yelled back, cursed and even hit him with my small notebook as he was driving and driving me insane at the same time.

This evening he returned from college asked me to make him some burgers, ("You have to hug me first."), then asked for a glass of my pop. "No pop for you." I said. "You drink it all, but you never buy any and I have to drive around town looking for the diet and then carry the big heavy bottles from the parking lot up the stairs." "Okay, he said, I'll buy you more tomorrow. And I'll give you two hugs if you'll please iron my shirt."

And how was my job interview? It was a daylong interactive interview in a nursery school. I haven't been in a nursery class for several years and I was worried that I was too old, too deaf and too grouchy to work with pre-schoolers again, but what can I say? It was like I've never left the classroom. It felt wonderful to be in a classroom again. How can I worry when the interview concluded with me as the recipient of kisses, a group hug and a seruptious tummy tickle?

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