Come Follow Me – 1 Nephi 1 – 7

The religious study for 2020 for Primary, Sunday School, Seminary and families and individuals for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Each week as families and individuals we strive to study this information and then in Sunday School (held every other week for those 12 and older) we discuss together in detail.

This week we read 1 Nephi chapters 1 – 7. These opening pages of The Book of Mormon tells of a family living in Jerusalem about 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament teaches us that during this time period Nebuchadnezzar defeats the king of Judah (Jehoiakim) due to his wickedness. Nebuchadnezzar also ransacked the temple, and Jehoiakim’s 8-year old son (Jehoiachin) became king. Sadly this 8-year old didn’t learn from the mistakes of his father and during his 3-month and 10-day rein he continued in the wickedness of his father. Nebuchadnezzar has Jehoiachin taken into Babylon and another son of Jehoiakim, 21-year old Zedekiah became king of Judah. (2 Chronicles 36:5-11)

During this period of wickedness the Lord continued to send various prophets warning the people to repent or Jerusalem would be destroyed and many people would be killed and many would be carried into Babylon. (1 Nephi 1:4, 13, 18, compare 2 Chronicles 36:16-16, Jeremiah 25:4). The Old Testament names 9 prophets active during this general time period, including Zephaniah, Nahum, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Huldah, Urijah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Obadiah.

With this quick history in mind, Lehi, a man who has lived in Jerusalem his whole life is introduced in 1 Nephi in The Book of Mormon. He went to his home and had a vision of our Father in Heaven and the premortal messiah Jesus (1 Nephi 1:8-9). They teach him and then Lehi goes and preaches in Jerusalem. The people grow angry with him (although Nephi doesn’t tell us why I believe the people thought Lehi was being blasphemous) and decide they want to kill Lehi. (1 Nephi 1:20, Leviticus 24:16). As a result the Lord directs Lehi and his family (wife Sariah, 4 sons – Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi and at least 2 unnamed daughters) to travel into the wilderness to a land of promise. The two older sons don’t believe that Jerusalem will be destroyed while the two younger do. As a result there is family conflict as to the prophetic mission of their father. These 4 sons end up having to head back to Jerusalem twice – first to get a genealogical and scripture record known as “the brass plates” and later to get another family that has daughters these sons end up marrying.

There are many fascinating things in these chapters.

First, a most remarkable parallel that I have read hundreds of times but didn’t really sink in until this week. Most of the readers of this post likely know later this year will be the 200th anniversary of the First Vision of Joseph Smith where God the Father and the resurrected Jesus Christ appeared to him, setting into motion the restoration of the gospel. In like manner God the Father and premortal Jesus Christ appeared to Lehi, setting into motion everything else in the Book of Mormon.

Second, Nephi fought his own Goliath. The brothers Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi return to Jerusalem and attempt to get the brass plates from a man named Laban who is a “might man [that] can command fifty” (1 Nephi 3:31). The oldest Laman first tried to get from Laban, who false accuses Laman of being a robber and threatening to kill him. Fearful of Laban (and his 50 solders) Laman runs. He and Lemuel want to give up but Nephi has them take all the gold and silver they had left at their house when the family left and attempt to buy the brass plates from Laban. Laban again falsely accuses the brothers of being robbers, threatens to kill them, and the brothers escape, leaving all their gold and silver behind. Now angry the older brothers start hitting their younger brothers with a rod until an angel comes to all of them and tells them again to get the plates. This time just the youngest, Nephi, goes out in the city and finds the drunked Laban passed out on the ground. The spirit tells Nephi to kill him. After some internal struggle Nephi obeys the Lord, takes Laban clothes, and meets one of the servants of Laban, who believing Nephi to be Laban gets him the brass plates. This has a strong parallel with the story of David & Goliath. Compare 1 Nephi 4:7-18 with 1 Samuel 17:48-51. Especially note how in both cases the young man drew the might and powerful man’s sword out of the sheath and cut the other’s head off, using nearly identical language (1 Nephi 4:9,18 and 1 Samuel 17:51). In both of these cases this was the youngest brother and, in both of these cases, they are to become the king, instead of one of their older brothers.

When was 1st Nephi written?

I believe most readers of The Book of Mormon believe that 1 Nephi was written basically as a daily journal or soon after it happened. However, that is not what the scriptures indicate. The small plates of Nephi, which 1 Nephi is the first part, were not created until 30-40 years later! The Lehites will spend 8-years traveling to the promised land, Lehi will die, the brothers will divide into seperate nations (“Nephites” and “Lamanites”), and they will have fought wars together, before Nephi will be instructed by the Lord in 2 Nephi 5:30-31.

I believe The Book of Mormon is scripture and hope to better understand it this year as we study it.

References

  1. https://latterdaysaintmag.com/who-were-the-many-prophets-in-jerusalem-during-lehis-time/
  2. https://benspackman.com/2020/01/10/bom-gospel-doctrine-lesson-2-1-nephi-1-7/
  3. The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories by Don Bradley
  4. https://archive.bookofmormoncentral.org/node/251

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Aaronic Priesthood

I know I should keep a journal, but have been bad for years. I felt today was worth writing a brief journal entry and, for lack of a better place, decided to write it here.

My oldest child, Mikey, will be turning 14 later this month. My second child, Josh, will be turning 12 in March. As a result, today in Sacrament meeting, they were both sustained to be ordained, respectively, Teachers and Deacons in the Aaronic Priesthood. After Church I had the privilege to do these ordinances. I first confer the Aaronic Priesthood on Josh and ordained to the office of Deacon. For a few minutes today I had two Deacons in my household. Afterwards I ordained Mikey to the office of Teacher. My dear, sweet wife Amanda was set apart to be a nursery teacher.

Today was a blessed day for my family.

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Business Owners Should Hire Their Kids

As most of my readers know I have had many different business ventures over the years. I did work a Corporate job from 2008 – 2017, but other than that, I have been self employed most of my adult life. I believe that I continue to get smarter as I’ve gotten older, and I know more that I did in the past. I recently learned a new strategy that I wish I had known years ago.

I have 4-kids. My oldest is almost 14-years old. He does administrative work for me and one of my businesses would write a check to him for his work. My other kids will from time to time, but none as regularly as him.

I recently made my oldest an actual part time employee, giving him a paycheck (I am actually direct depositing it in his account). The company that I am paying him from is a LLC taxed as a partnership (using IRS form 1065), owed by my wife and I, his parents. A provision of the 2017 tax bill (“the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”) increased the Standard Deduction all the way unto $12,200 (in 2019). This means that I can pay my children employed in the family business $12,200 in income and they will have a 0% tax rate!

Ideally this means that I will divert income from a higher tax bracket into their lower (I.E. 0%) tax bracket. And it will be a business deduction.

Another great benefit is that when both parents are the only owners of the partnership they are not required to pay employment tax on their minor children working for the business.

Since my child(ren) now has documented earned income (due to W2) he qualifies to open a Roth IRA. We are doing direct deposit, putting 45% of his pay check into his brand newly opened Roth IRA and 55% into his checking account. He is then paying a 10% tithe to our Church and then keeping the balance of the 45% as spending money.

A Roth IRA, for those unfamiliar, is money put away for retirement using after tax dollars. The money grows tax free and at retirement (59 1/2 or later) the money and any growth can be pulled out, tax free. There are actually 2 other provisions in the tax law where the growth in an IRA can be pulled out tax free. To pay for schooling (college) and for the downpayment on a first house. Parents who are in a position to do so tend to try to help their children pay for college and to help them buy their first house. However these parents are doing it with after tax dollars.

By putting the kids on payroll, they are able to do this using before tax dollars. The wages paid must be at a reasonable wage for work they actually do. I’d advise you to document the work your kids do, who they do it for, and the amount they are being paid.

For more in depth reading of these topics:

  1. https://www.kitces.com/blog/tax-rules-hiring-children-family-business-flsa-tax-savings-standard-deduction-roth-contribution/
  2. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/why-your-kid-needs-a-roth-ira/
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/garrettgunderson/2016/02/20/see-the-irss-incredibly-generous-tax-benefits-for-hiring-your-own-child-part-two/?fbclid=IwAR3z4bzEprV0Np_826KBp21D3pmn0dVA8w-9AkebrxAjwSqFvq0PrTJY4IA#49f641f07243

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May 2019 Dividends

During May 2019, I received $534.30 in dividends. For other months visit my Monthly Dividend Recap page.

 AAPL APPLE INC COM USD0.0000131.04
 AAPL APPLE INC COM USD0.0000119.62
 AAPL APPLE INC COM USD0.000017.73
 ABBV ABBVIE INC COM USD0.0113.01
 ABBV ABBVIE INC COM USD0.017.82
 ARNC ARCONIC INC COM3.93
 CAT CATERPILLAR INC COM USD1.0019.78
 CCLP CSI COMPRESSCO LP COM UNIT2.20
 CGNX COGNEX CORP COM0.70
 COST COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP COM USD0.016.53
 EMO CLEARBRIDGE ENERGY MIDSTRM OPP COM26.53
 FL FOOT LOCKER INC COM USD0.011.20
 GIS GENERAL MILLS INC COM USD0.1055.09
 HAS HASBRO INC COM USD0.506.33
 HCP HCP INC COM USD1.0012.30
 HNDL STRATEGY SHARES NASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF17.17
 HNDL STRATEGY SHARES NASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF1.99
 HRL HORMEL FOODS CORP COM5.30
 MA MASTERCARD INC CL A7.94
 MAIN MAIN STREET CAPITAL CORP COM5.25
 ORC ORCHID IS CAP INC COM8.86
 PBR PETROLEO BRASILEIRO SA PETROBRAS SPON A6.84
 PBR PETROLEO BRASILEIRO SA PETROBRAS SPON A0.16
 PSEC PROSPECT CAP CORP1.71
 QYLD GLOBAL X FDS NASDAQ 100 COVER8.94
 QYLD GLOBAL X FDS NASDAQ 100 COVER7.50
 RGR STURM RUGER &CO INC COM2.08
 SIRI SIRIUS XM HLDGS INC COM0.24
 SMHB UBS AG LONDON BRH ETRACS MP2X B 0.000001.66
 SYF SYNCHRONY FINANCIAL COM USD0.0015.39
 TAT&T INC28.07
 ZION ZIONS BANCORPORATION N A COM34.20
AAPL        APPLE Inc28.48
AGG         ISHARES CORE U S AGGREGATE BD  ETF0.53
BKS BARNES &NOBLE INC COM32.25
DWDP DOWDUPONT INC COM 1 FOR 3 R/S INTO DUPO2.13
FCAU        FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES7.35
FCAU        FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES15.14
FII         FEDERATED INVESTORS INC (PA.)  CL B0.55
LCUTLIFETIME BRANDS INC0.86
ORCORCHID ISLAND CAPITAL INC42.43
SHY         ISHARES 1 3 YEAR TREASURY BOND ETF0.16
SPHD        INVESCO EXCHANGE TRADED FD TR  II S&P 500 HIGH DIVID LOW VOLATILITY ETF1.37
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF4.93
SYF         SYNCHRONY FINANCIAL16.17
T           AT&T INC4.08
TIP         ISHARES TIPS BOND ETF0.03
UI UBIQUITI NETWORKS INC COM USD0.00110.57
VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONS3.41
Interest0.83
 SPAXXInterest4.77
 SPAXXInterest0.26
 SPAXXInterest0.06
            Interest0.03
Interest0.50
Interest0.30

Most months I purchase and sell covered call options, although I did not do so during May 2019. I spent $9,374.16 on long term option contracts, however I am not calculating these into my net short term contracts.

As one of my goals is to eventually replace my income with my investments, one of the metrics I look at is my monthly, weekly, and hourly cash flow from my investments. My combined dividends and net short term covered call options gives me a monthly cash flow of $534.30. This works out to be $123.31 per week and $3.08 per hour.

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Bachelor’s Degree

I’ve never been very regular on posting on my blog, however I’ve been trying to do better, especially regarding my monthly dividends from the stocks I invest in. You may have noticed I’ve been extremely quite these last couple of months. I decided in mid May that I wanted to finally finish my 4-year Bachelor’s degree. I have worked on this off and on for years. When my sister Michelle passed away about 6 1/2 years ago, I dropped out again and had never returned. At that time I was working on Bachelors of Science – Information Technology with a Security emphasis through Western Governors University. Since that time I have left the corporate job I had in Las Vegas, moved to Southern Utah, and have been doing a bunch of different things. It didn’t feel like an IT degree was as important to me as it once had. So, much like when I finally got my Associates degree from College of Southern Nevada, I decided to focus on business management instead of IT. I started at WGU on July 1, 2019. I had 15-classes left. Under the standard class schedule I would complete 4-classes during the 6-month semester, taking me much longer to complete than I wanted to. Due to being able to “Accelerate“, I was able to complete these 15-classes in under 2-months. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I now have my 4-year college degree, Bachelors of Science – Business Management.

I graduated with a High School Degree in 1999.
It took me 10-years to graduated with a 2-year Associates in Business in 2009.
It took me another 10-years to graduate with a 2-year Bachelors of Science – Business Management in 2019.

Just in time for my 20-year high school reunion… I have a 4-year college degree.

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April 2019 Dividends

During April 2019, I received $233.22 in dividends. For other months visit my Monthly Dividend Recap page.

SymbolStockAmount
AGGISHARES CORE U S AGGREGATE BD  ETFCASH DIV ON 2.02367 SHS REC 04/02/19 PAY 04/05/19 NON-QUALIFIED DIVIDEND0.53
BBBYBED, BATH AND BEYOND COM USD0.0117.79
BBGIBEASLEY BROADCAST GROUP INC CL A13.2
BBYBEST BUY CO INC COM USD0.1031.71
BPY***BROOKFIELD PROPERTY PARTNERS L P DIST ON 9 SHS REC 02/28/19 PAY 03/29/190.09
BPY***BROOKFIELD PROPERTY PARTNERS L P DIST ON 9 SHS REC 02/28/19 PAY 03/29/190.53
BPY***BROOKFIELD PROPERTY PARTNERS L P RTN OF CAPTL 9 SHS REC 02/28/19 PAY 03/29/192.09
CODIPRBCOMPASS DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS FIXED FLTG RATE CUM PERP PREFERRED STOCK DIST ON 2.04888 SHS REC 04/15/19 PAY 04/30/191.01
CSCOCISCO SYSTEMS INC CASH DIV  ON 40 SHS REC 04/05/19 PAY 04/24/1914
CSCOCISCO SYSTEMS INC CASH DIV  ON 27.05099 SHS REC 04/05/19 PAY 04/24/199.47
GEGENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY COM CASH DIV  ON 100 SHS REC 03/11/19 PAY 04/25/191
FRTFEDERAL REALTY INVESTMENT TRUST SBI USD2.07
FSELXFIDELITY SELECT SEMICONDUCTORS PORT4.76
FXAIXFIDELITY 500 INDEX FUND18.57
GEGENERAL ELECTRIC CO COM USD0.060.28
HNDLSTRATEGY SHARES NASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF6.91
HNDLSTRATEGY SHARES NASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF0.8
JPMJPMORGAN CHASE &CO. COM USD1.0016.12
MAINMAIN STREET CAPITAL CORP COM5.22
NXPINXP SEMICONDUCTORS N V4.52
ORCORCHID IS CAP INC COM8.76
 PSECPROSPECT CAP CORP1.7
 SMHB UBS AG LONDON BRH ETRACS MP2X B 0.000006.38
SPAXXFIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET9.23
SPAXX FIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET0.53
 SPAXX FIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET0.06
 UBSI UNITED BANKSHARES INC WEST VA COM8.59
VGENXVANGUARD ENERGY INVESTOR FUND0.12
IIPRINNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES INC COMMON STOCK CASH DIV ON 5 SHS REC 03/29/19 PAY 04/15/19 NON-QUALIFIED DIVIDEND2.25
InterestINTEREST0.32
InterestINTEREST0.03
INTERESTINTEREST0.46
INTERESTINTEREST0.16
NWSNEWS CORPORATION CLASS B CASH DIV  ON 2 SHS REC 03/13/19 PAY 04/17/190.2
ORCORCHID ISLAND CAPITAL INC CASH DIV  ON 524 SHS REC 03/29/19 PAY 04/30/19 NON-QUALIFIED DIVIDEND41.92
QQQINVESCO QQQ TR UNIT SER 1 CASH DIV ON 1.00274 SHS REC 03/19/19 PAY 04/30/19 NON-QUALIFIED DIVIDEND0.33
SHYISHARES TRUST ISHARES 1 3 YEAR TREASURY BOND ETF CASH DIV 1.00863 SHS REC 04/02/19 PAY 04/05/19 NON-QUALIFIED DIVIDEND0.17
SPHDINVESCO EXCHANGE TRADED FD TR  II S&P 500 HIGH DIVID LOW VOLATILITY ETF CASH DIV ON 9.06111 SHS REC 04/23/19 PAY 04/30/19 NON-QUALIFIED DIVIDEND1.34

Also during the month I purchased and sold covered call options. On short term contracts I netted $7.27 during the month. I also spent $16,346.20 on long term option contracts, which I am not calculating into my net short term contracts.

As one of my goals is to eventually replace my income with my investments, one of the metrics I look at is my monthly, weekly, and hourly cash flow from my investments. My combined dividends and net short term covered call options gives me a monthly cash flow of $240.49. This works out to be $55.50 per week and $1.39 per hour.

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March 2019 Dividends

During March 2019, I received $619.92 in dividends. For other months visit my Monthly Dividend Recap page.

SymbolStockAmount
 BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP15.85
 BP BP PLC SPONSORED ADR17.58
 BP BP PLC SPONSORED ADR11.33
 CGNX COGNEX CORP COM0.70
 D DOMINION ENERGY INC COM46.4
 DGRO ISHARES TRUST CORE DIVID GWTH3.27
 DWDP DOWDUPONT INC COM5.74
 ENB ENBRIDGE INC COM ISIN #CA29250N1050 SED5.25
 F FORD MTR CO DEL COM15.24
 HDV ISHARES TRUST ISHARES CORE HIGH DIVIDEND8.22
 HDV ISHARES TRUST ISHARES CORE HIGH DIVIDEND1.66
 HNDL STRATEGY SHARES NASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF3.68
 HNDL STRATEGY SHARES NASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF0.43
 HSY HERSHEY COMPANY COM USD1.0018.29
 IBM INTERNATIONAL BUS MACH CORP COM USD0.2031.81
 INTC INTEL CORP COM USD0.00113.04
 JNJ JOHNSON &JOHNSON COM USD1.009.00
 KHC KRAFT HEINZ CO COM10.00
 MAIN MAIN STREET CAPITAL CORP COM5.07
 MCY MERCURY GENERAL CORP0.67
 MCY MERCURY GENERAL CORP128.99
 MGM MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL COM0.50
 MSFT MICROSOFT CORP12.93
 NEWT NEWTEK BUSINESS SVCS CORP COM NEW21.97
 ORC ORCHID IS CAP INC COM8.65
 ORC ORCHID IS CAP INC COM41.93
 PFE PFIZER INC7.25
PIREXPrincipal Real Estate Securities Fund8.21
 PSEC PROSPECT CAP CORP1.68
 QYLD GLOBAL X FDS NASDAQ 100 COVER8.46
 RGR STURM RUGER &CO INC COM2.00
 SMHB UBS AG LONDON BRH ETRACS MP2X B 0.000001.69
 SPAXX FIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET3.27
 SPAXX FIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET1.96
 SPAXX FIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET0.06
 SPAXX FIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET1.81
 TCEHY TENCENT HLDGS LTD UNSPON ADR0.07
 TCEHY TENCENT HLDGS LTD UNSPON ADR0.08
 TQQQ PROSHARES ULTRAPRO QQQ0.04
 XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP91.15
AGG         ISHARES CORE U S AGGREGATE BD  ETF 0.54
AVY         AVERY DENNISON CORP2.08
BA          BOEING CO28.92
BAC         BANK OF AMERICA CORP5.13
BPY         BROOKFIELD PROPERTY PARTNERS L P0.26
IVW         ISHARES S&P 500 GROWTH ETF1.18
JNJ         JOHNSON & JOHNSON9.00
NSPRC       NUSTAR ENERGY LP2.81
SHY         ISHARES 1 3 YEAR TREASURY0.16
SPHD        INVESCO S&P 500 HIGH DIVID LOW VOLATILITY ETF1.30
STM         STMICROELECTRONICS N V 0.18
VTI         VANGUARD TOTAL STOCK MARKET    ETF1.55
WBA         WALGREEN BOOTS ALLIANCE INC0.88

Also during the month I purchased and sold covered call options. I netted $417.93 during the month.

As one of my goals is to eventually replace my income with my investments, one of the metrics I look at is my monthly, weekly, and hourly cash flow from my investments. My combined dividends and net covered call options gives me a monthly cash flow of $1,037.85. This works out to be $239.52 per week and $5.99 per hour.

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February 2019 Dividends

During February 2019, I received $698.88 in dividends. Look at monthly recaps from other months. For other months visit my Monthly Dividend Recap page.

SymbolStockAmount
ABBVABBVIE Inc12.84
ABBVABBVIE Inc7.72
AAPLApple Inc29.31
AAPLApple Inc18.53
AAPLApple Inc99.58
AAPLApple Inc3.66
ARNCArconic11.76
TAT&T Inc228.10
EMOClearbridge Energy25.90
COSTCostco Wholesale Club5.71
CCLPCSI COMPRESSCO LP2.19
SPAXXFIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET4.32
SPAXX FIDELITY GOVERNMENT MONEY MARKET4.28
FLFoot Locker Inc1.09
GISGeneral Mills Inc54.48
QYLDGLOBAL X FDS NASDAQ 100 COVER7.63
HASHasbro Inc5.82
HCPHCP Inc12.16
HRLHormel Foods Corp5.27
MAINMain Street Capital Corp5.04
MAMastercard Inc7.93
ORCOrchid Island Capital Inc41.46
ORCOrchid Island Capital Inc8.56
PSECProspect Capital Corp1.68
SIRISirus XM Holdings Inc.24
HDNLNASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF16.56
HDNLNASDAQ 7HANDL INDEX ETF1.92
SYFSynchrony Financial5.35
SYFSynchrony Financial16.08
UBNTUbiquiti Networks Inc10.55
SMHBUBS AG LONDON BRH ETRACS MP2X1.37
ZIONZions Bancorporation33.99

Also during the month I purchased and sold covered call options. I netted $889.53 during the month.

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What does it mean to become “born again”?

During Sunday School today we were reading John 3:2-6. The discussion came up of what the Lord meant by being “born again”. The typical answer of being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and other comments where made. As everyone was speaking and quotes were read from various Latter-day Prophets and Apostles I had a though come to mind.

Recall that the Lord is speaking to a member of the pharisees – nicodemus to be exact. I believe that the Savior is trying to expand the mind of Nicodemus and, by extension the Jews then and the readers today. The Jews in the days of the Savior thought that being born through the lineage of Abraham was enough for them to be saved in the Kingdom of Heaven, yet the Lord is trying to let them know that being a descendant of Abraham simply isn’t enough. We are “born of water” when we are first born, however we must be born again “of the spirit” which is a process that includes faith, repentance, and baptism.

This is a great parallel for us. Just being Christians and members of His church isn’t enough. We must become converted, increase our faith, receive the necessary ordinances (including baptism), and endure to the end.

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