With the start of a new year, the year in which my daughter turns eight and is eligible to be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my wife and I talked about how we could help her prepare for this wonderful ordinance. My wife thought it would be great for our daughter to read the Book of Mormon before she turns eight. We both felt this was a good goal but did not say anything to her because we wanted her to set her own goal, whatever it might be.
Then out of the blue a couple Sundays ago our daughter was sitting in church when she told my wife that she thought she should read the Book of Mormon this year before she turns eight! My wife acknowledged to our daughter that that was a prompting from the Holy Ghost. We were both pleased to see our daughter listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Because of my daughter’s example, I decided that I should re-read the Book of Mormon this year as well. A number of years ago I had switched from serial readings of the scriptures to topical readings (in part to have posts for this website). It’s been a while since I’ve read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover; I’ve read it in its entirety countless times in the past, including 10+ times as a missionary but I’ve become so ensconced in my topical studies that I have neglected the larger picture that comes from reading the whole book with consistency.
My daughter is already in 2 Nephi; I’m not quite that far along yet. I’m always struck by 1 Nephi. It’s a remarkable book; Nephi was a remarkable individual. I have a post or two I want to write about what struck me this time through 1 Nephi so look for those in the coming days.
I’m grateful to my daughter for serving as a good example to me and inspiring me to return to serial reading of the scriptures in addition to topical reading of them.
“But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God” (Moroni 7:13).
We can learn a lot from this interesting scripture. We learn that which of God invites and entices us to do good continually. In other words, that which of God does not just invite us to do good; it invites us to do good all the time. Another important lesson from this verse is that God does not force us – He invites us and even entices us (for example, with the promise of eternal life) because that is sometimes what it takes to motivate us. Being enticed to do good provides us with hope; hope and faith are inseparably connected. Another thing that this part of the verse teaches us is that there are things that invite us to do good that are not necessarily “of God”, or rather, there are good things that are not necessarily inspired of God. The second sentence in this verse teaches us more about the conditions of inspiration.
“Every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God” (Moroni 7:13). This is a conjunctive statement. That means that all of the separate conditions or clauses of the sentence are required to support the conclusion. That which is inspired of God invites us to do good and love God and serve Him. It requires all three – do good, love, and serve. Why is this important to understand?
This means that there are things that invite us to do good that are not necessarily directly inspired of God, as I mentioned earlier. I don’t want to minimize any good thing but that which is good does not necessarily equal that which is best. As Elder Oaks stated in General Conference in October 2007, “We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives” (Source).