Key Verse: “He Will . . . Deliver You” (Mosiah 7:33)
King Limhi’s people escaping captivity.

I love this verse. I only recently “discovered” it. King Limhi, son of wicked King Noah in the Book of Mormon, gathered his people around the temple in the land of Nephi and made this amazing promise.

But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage. (Mosiah 7:33.)

His people, who were in bondage to the Lamanites after the raucous reign of Limhi’s father Noah, were told to follow three distinct steps in order to win deliverance from their enemies.

  1. “Turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart”
  2. “Put your trust in him”
  3. “Serve him with all diligence of mind”

A short and simple formula, but the promise is staggering.

To me, following #2 is easier than steps #1 and #3, but all are needed. If you follow #2, #1 and #3 will come naturally, eventually.

P.S. The word perseverance does not appear in the verse, but it’s there, nevertheless. Perseverance is the key to success in life and faith.

I also like this cross-reference, 14 chapters later.

And now all the study of Ammon and his people, and king Limhi and his people, was to deliver themselves out of the hands of the Lamanites and from bondage. (Mosiah 21:36; emphasis added.)

“All [their] study” was to “deliver themselves” from bondage. Though they called upon God, they also called on themselves to do their part. I believe God wants to help us fix our problems, not to always fix problems for us, with little interest or participation on our part.

Key Verse: “Eyewitnesses of His Majesty” (2 Peter 1:16)

It was was the last talk on conference Sunday, October 2, 1977. President Spencer W. Kimball quoted a verse of scripture that stuck with me ever since. I had read it before, but this was different.

I had been on my mission for nearly a year. Oh, how we hungered and thirsted for the word of God in those days! For the first time, all of conference was piped into the chapels by telephone (what they called a WATS line in those days). To here these words live while serving in the mission field was a treasure and a blessing.

Here are the words, a prophet quoting a prophet:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16.)

Of Peter’s testimony, President Kimball also said:

Perhaps one of the last of Peter’s testimonies was borne to all the people, both those who had been converted to the gospel and those who would in the future be influenced by his statement, throughout all time a memorial to be remembered. As this great prophet faced his death and knew that it would not be long until he would discard this body tabernacle and pass into the other world, he determined to write his testimony message so that coming generations might all have his witness. It has been read and heard by countless millions.

While serving as a missionary, the prophet’s words were seared on my soul. Clean, pure words, words of testimony. It was as if he said, “I am not making this up, nor have I been deceived. I am an eyewitness of His majesty.”

I remember that day feeling that these words were true, that President Kimball was letting us know what he knew for himself, though he quoted on of his predecessors. I haven’t forgotten the power of those words. I hope I never do.

Key Verse: “Put Your Trust in That Spirit Which Leadeth to Do Good” (D&C 11:12–14)

Here’s another passage I discovered while still in my teens. It’s been an important part of my spiritual foundation ever since.

And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit. Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; and then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive. (Doctrine and Covenants 11:12–14; compare Micah 6:8; emphasis added.)

These simple, straightforward verses have resonated with me since I first read them at age 18. They’re also a practical measure that inspire a few questions in me.

  • Are you putting your trust in the Spirit that leads you to do good or in that spirit that leads you to do wrong or bad?
  • Are you trusting in the Lord or in man and and reason—”the arm of flesh” (see 2 Nephi 4:34)?
  • Is it okay with you to not be right? Are you humble?
  • Do you set aside judgments and harsh opinions in favor of understanding others and listening to them?

If you do these things, you’ll be led by the Spirit. You will be joyful and enlightened and, if you truly believe, your righteous prayers will be granted.

When Nephi broke his his steel bow (see 1 Nephi 16), he didn’t slip into murmur mode, as his brothers and even father did. He went out and made himself a new bow and arrow and asked his father for directions to the nearest hunting hot spot (see v. 23). He clung to “that Spirit which leadeth to do good.”

With his “can do” attitude, he humbled his father and older brothers. He had a successful hunt. He had a successful life!

He wrote a successful book (the small plates of Nephi) that was included in a larger work, the Book of Mormon. He left behind an unforgettable name and example. All this because he “put [his] trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good.”

Key Verse: “All Victory and Glory” (D&C 103:36)
Young Captain Moroni was a diligent, faithful man who served the Nephites.

I found this verse in the Doctrine and Covenants when was still a teenager. I love it. It strikes me as a simple formula for success. It’s a success formula from a very authoritative source—the most authoritative source there is, in fact.

In this verse, spoken by our Savior, there are three keys to winning “all victory and glory”:

All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith. (Doctrine and Covenants 103:36; emphasis added.)

Let’s look at definitions of these three keys for a moment:

  1. Diligence. Describes a “steady, earnest, and energetic” and even painstaking effort, includes perseverance.
  2. Faithfulness. The quality of “having or showing true and constant support or loyalty“; also, “firm in devotion or support.”
  3. Prayers of faith. A genuine prayer of faith is “a reverent communication with God during which a person gives thanks and asks for blessings. . . .”

If you are diligent, faithful, and persevere in prayer, your “victory” is assured.

Key Verse: “He Did Visit Me and . . . Soften My Heart” (1 Nephi 2:16)

This verse has stuck with me for years. I don’t ever remember hearing it quoted over the pulpit or in Sunday school. To me, it is one of the key verses in the entire Book of Mormon because it’s like a hinge for the rest of the book. It’s from the early life of Nephi, one of the sons of Lehi, who took a spiritual approach to a big problem.

After Lehi’s revelation about the destruction of Jerusalem in around 600 AD, he left the city and traveled three days into the wilderness, leaving behind home and to escape those who protested Lehi’s prophecies and threatened his life.

Nephi’s older brothers Laman and Lemuel were none too happy about leaving behind the comforts and security of home. Nephi on the other hand wanted to believe and follow his father. He went off by himself for a time, his is what he said.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, . . . having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers. (1 Nephi 2:16; emphasis added.)

It started with a sincere desire, not denial or mocking. He cried to the Lord who visited him, softened his heart, enabling him to believe his father’s words. Consequently, he did not rebel like his brothers. And that all the difference for his posterity kept faith alive for nearly 1,000 years that followed.