Abraham Lincoln(Freedom Activist President), George Washington(Political leader, Commander, President), Mozart(Composer), Brahms(Composer), Beethoven, Adam Smith(The Wealth of Nations), Robert Shaw (Chorale), Gordan B.Hinckley(prophet), Joseph Smith(founder of LDS church), Mother Theresa (Catholic Saint), Gandi, Roosevelt, Einstein, sport stars, Galileo, Copernicus...etc... Does notoriety give cause for greatness. Does accomplishments give rise for greatness? Or is greatness found within us and all we have to do is reach deep inside and touch it. If Adam Smith had said what Abraham Lincoln said about freedom would anyone have listened? If Mother Theresa had been born a Jew would it have made a difference? If Gandi had receive a formal education as a young child, would it have changed his star?
vs 6 a garb of secrecy - there is no greatness in secrecy. Stars do not shine under a cloud of darknessvs 6 raising a cry of murder - the murderer yelled murder and blamed another. Where is the greatness here?
vs 7 the five men - remember these men fell because of their spiritual astonishment at discovering the truth within Nephi. When these people were astonished they were so because they felt that these five had been captured by their guilt. Again they let their physical symptoms mark their course and ignored the spiritual truths that astonished them. If they had questioned their astonishment, it might have occurred to them that it was wrong to expect 5 men to kill someone and then remain, to not argue amongst themselve, or to all have the same story.Vs 8 God has smitten them? Why would God send them and then smite them. Surely these men must have gained a new understanding of faith that day. They arrived on assignment to discern the truth, and then were cast in prison unable to convince anyone present of the truth. Truth is like this. It brings controversy not because it is not true, but because so many don't want to believe it as it changes their favor (in the eyes of the world).vs 10 to mourn and to fast - mourning and fasting both bring truth. Truth then brings the seeds of greatness.
vs 14 even as Nephi testified - Great men testify of truths. Weather it be political, musical, intellectual, philosophical, historical, religious. Great men testify of truths that live within them and then they equally accept the blessings with the consequences. The speak with surety for the vision of the star within them gives them insight and vision beyond what others may know.vs 16 raise himself to be a great man- Great men do not raise themselve up. Great men allow the truths of what they teach, say and do raise them up. Great men have spirits of truth that resonate in all of their being. Great men teach by their actions that are selfless and pure.
Vs 16 Chosen of God, and a prophet - Great men are chosen of God. It is men who are not close to God that can not see this. Great men are lead by God as I believe Columbus was. Great men allow God to lead their actions. Great men understand that the star within them is lit by their faith in a being greater than themselves.vs 17 we will detect this man - how do you detect the truth when you know not the truth? How does an unrighteous man judge a righteous man? How do you detect the spirit of a man? Ask a child. They will not only know they will be truthful about it.
vs 19 they did rebuke and confound - the 5 who had been astonished stood up for the new truth they found. Would they have done this if they themselves had not been accused? What happens to us when we stand on trial for what we know to be truth? We learn to value truth with a greater passion. These men spoke with passion in defense for Nephi. What changed their perspective? The spirit. The spirit of truth that gave witness not to their physical senses but to their spiritual beings.vs 19 question him in divers ways - Why is that those who stand for truth must endure this ritual of trial? It is so that the truth may stand strong, bright, and pure before the world. And the world will know the brightness of truth within themselves. Truth must be purified by the accusations of those who do not know it. Truth must be tried before it can be set free. For truth is a powerful force for good and those who know it must value its power so that they hold onto and never let it go. For to let go of truth is to lose ones soul.
vs 20 thou are confederate - look and see how they bribe Nephi. I had a friend who shared with me how we need to be careful what we say for our words act as mirrors to our souls. They tell what we think, how we feel, and what we plan to do. These men's words mirrored their souls and how they would have behaved. They had no conception of Nephi's pure actions.
v 22 except ye repent - we repent so that we may know, understand and feel the power of truth in our lives.
vs 23 I did know of the wickedness and abominations - Prophets must be strong and capable of bearing the truth of all things. Prophets must understand the power of truth and the burden it is to bear. Prophets know goodness and seek after it, but to know goodness is to understand wickedness for the stark contrast is blazing. The reason most of us cannot see the contrast is because we live somewhere in between. We walk the fence and hope it will be okay. When we get down from the fence and stand on one side only, then the contrast becomes defined and definite.
vs 24 because I showed you this sign ye are angry with me- signs do not bid well for the sign bearer. It's like don't shoot the messenger. We don't always like what the signs show us. Why? Because truth acts like a mirror on our soul, a mirror that reflects both the heat of sin and the glory of goodness.