Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Tender

Intro to the Book of Mormon

The line found in the second paragraph of the title page of the Book of Mormon always catches my eye...

"Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers."  My mind can't help but become caught up in the idea of these great things.  I have often thought that I would love to keep a list of the great things contained in the Book of Mormon ––to remind myself to watch for them in every chapter.

In the first page of the introduction there is another line that intrigues me...

"The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his salvation..." My favorite characteristic of Christ is how personal his ministry is.  He loves the one.  He reaches out to the individual.

Several months ago I became intrigued with the names of the Savior.  Sometimes we refer to Him as the Deliverer of the Old Testament and the Redeemer of the New Testament.  I often find myself wondering what His title would be in the Book of Mormon.  It was while I was studying this topic that I came across these two sentences in the introduction.  The great things the Lord had done...His personal ministry.

I decided that He could be referred to as the Ministerer of the Book of Mormon.

--but it doesn't take long to realize that ministerer isn't a real word.

In an effort to try to find another word that was synonymous for ministerer, I began to study the thesaurus.  I searched to find a synonym for the phrase, "to minister."

What I found left an imprint on my heart that I will never forget.

To minister  means to tend to.

My mind couldn't help but jump to one of my most favorite gospel phrases, tender mercies.

To tend to.

Is it the personal ministering of His mercy that makes those moments so tender?

I think so.

He is the Tender behind the mercy.  He ministers.

Have you ever noticed that there are two bookends in the Book of Mormon that teach this principle?  One in the very first chapter, and one in the very last chapter.

In the first chapter..."But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them might even unto the power of deliverance."  (1 Nephi 1:20)

In the last chapter..."Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things...that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts."  (Moroni 10:3)

I will show unto you the tender mercies...I would that ye would remember and ponder it in your hearts.

I am going to take that challenge this time as I read the Book of Mormon.  I am going to watch for the mercies, remember the mercies, and ponder them in my heart.

In every chapter.

The great things. The personal ministering. The tender mercies.

Emily Freeman