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Prospering in the Land
« on: July 21, 2020, 08:56:28 pm »
This week's readings start out with Alma swearing something to his son Helaman:

Alma 36:1 "My son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land."

The Book of Mormon contains a promise regarding the prosperity to attend certain righteous people in Nephi and Lehi's land of promise. The first version of it that I could find (searching for the word "prosper" so I might have missed other statements) comes from Nephi in 1 Nephi 2:20, and Lehi gives us an expanded version of the Lord's promise to him (there are differences between them!) but the version that seems to be referenced most commonly by future Book of Mormon people is Lehi's briefer version in 2 Nephi 4, which he attributes to having been said by the Lord God:

"Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence."

The questions I would like to examine are:
-What exactly do the promises of prospering entail?
-Who exactly do they apply to?
-What parts (if any) are group-only promises, and what parts (if any) are individual promises?

I'd welcome input on those.


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Re: Prospering in the Land
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 02:28:38 am »
I think that the Alma36:30 answers some of it. Prosper = to not be cut off from God's presence.

But I also believe it means that who ever keeps some  commandments will receive blessings tied to that blessing = prosper. I believe it was meant more to individuals, but when most individuals in a nation  follows God's laws, the nation as such also prospers, not only individuals. Thus we see that sometimes the Nephites prospered, sometimes the Lamanites prospered.

I believe it applies today as well, but nations are so much bigger (US citizens, Brasilians, Mexicans etc), that it is harder to have such a majority to follow God's commandments.

But I don't think it is something that can be turned the other way around. One cannot say that because that individual seems to prosper - money wise -he must be very righteous(or that because some feel the US prospers, it must be the chosen nation), or that because that family does not prosper, they must not keep the commandments. One can prosper in earthly goods by wicked means. But they don't prosper then in the first sentence. And one can do everything right and not prosper in eartly goods.

Then of course we can think of "this land" as in the earth being raised to it's celestial glory and those that keep the commandments prosper there, live in the presence of God and become Gods.

I think it means all of those. Many things in the scriptures often are very multilayered.
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Panama Jones

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Re: Prospering in the Land
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2020, 08:53:43 pm »
I just noticed this from last week's reading:

And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger; And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them;  --Alma 48:15-16a

Maybe "prospering in the land" can even mean fleeing the land. An interesting thought!
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