Where is Zarahemla? Why have we not found its ruins?

May 13, 2013

While reading the Book of Helaman with Esperanza this morning, I ran across a verse that jumped off the page at me.  I’ve read it many times before, but I did not notice it.  It is Helaman 12:19, and I think it might explain why archaeologists and other diggers have never found any proof that Zarahemla and other Book of Mormon sites existed.  Here is the verse:

“And if the Lord shall say–Be thou accursed that no man shall find thee from this time henceforth and forever–behold, no man getteth it henceforth and forever.” (Helaman 12:19)

The rest of the chapter includes important context for understanding this verse. It explains that when a wealthy man or a blessed people offend God by turning against him, he can curse their treasure so that when they bury them up in the earth, they can never be found again. He reminds the reader that the earth moves and mountains cover up cities according to his mere word. Could Zarahemla be buried deep beneath the earth because it was cursed by God at the time of the final destruction of the Nephites? The scriptural record does not record everything that God does. But these passages do indicate that God works in this way. It would explain a lot.

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Jesus Preaches Capitalism

August 27, 2012

Tell me, does this sound like capitalism or socialism?

Parable of the Talents

14 ¶For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful aservant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee cruler over many things: enter thou into the djoy of thy lord.

22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and afaithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:20-30)


The Sorrow of Losing A Loved One

November 18, 2011

I just spent nine days far away visiting a brother that I have loved since he was born in 1950. We grew up together for years, sleeping in the same bedroom.  I love him with all my heart.  Although he believes there is a God and attends church regularly, he has been resisting my efforts to make a Mormon of him for nearly fifty years since I joined.  Because I believe the teachings of Joseph Smith and his successors, and because I believe the teachings of the scriptures, I have no confidence that we will have a family relationship after this life, because the “forever family” is assured only to those who marry in the temple and keep those covenants thereafter.  I do not want to lose my wife and children, of course.  But I also do not want to lose my brother.  Now that we are approaching 70 years of age, I am beginning to lose hope.  My concern becomes more urgent.  When we love someone, how do we find comfort as we watch them slip away?

When I try to discuss this with him, he just says that religion is not his “hobby,” suggesting that it is mine.   He believes there is a God, but religion is just not something that interests him.  How can a good man, an honorable and honest man be disinterested in the welfare of his own soul? How can he care nothing about what comes next after this life or in what he might  do today to improve his situation there?  The Savior asked us in the Sermon on the Mount to “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth… But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”

My brother has been far more diligent than I in carefully managing his earthly  treasure.  He is a cautious, prudent man.  And his estate shows it.  If he believes in God, and a life after this one, how can he be so cavalier in his attitude about heavenly treasure?  If we cannot be the great friends and brothers in the next life that we have been here, I will sorrow.  I will be forlorn.