They did Prosper in the Land

Sep 24
They did prosper in the land

What does it mean to prosper in the land?

Twenty-one times in the Book of Mormon, the phrase “prosper in the land” is used. Nowhere else in scripture is that exact phrase found.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary┬ádefines prosper as: To carry to or toward, to favor, to render successful.

This can mean a number of things and the scriptures reflect this in their varied use of the term.

Let’s see if our study prospers us

In a Scripture Notes search pane, do a search for: prosper*

We discover 172 results are present in the scriptures.

What I like to do on a big list is quickly scan down and see if there are any words that don’t belong here so I can exclude them from the search (using the minus sign operator – search cheat sheet here). Press ctrl-F (cmd+F on Mac) to do a find on the page, and type “prosper”. Make sure highlight all is selected if your browser has a button for that, then scan down the list.

In this instance I don’t see anything so I’m going to move these results into a collection note by clicking the “Create CN” button at the top. Then expand the collection note to see the basic notes for the verses and get a bigger master note area at the top.

Now your task is to go down the list and analyze the results. Read carefully and look for the unique ways that you can see how both we will prosper in the land as a people, and how you will prosper in the land as an individual. Everything is contingent upon righteousness of course, but the surprising thing you will find is how many ways the Lord prospers us that have nothing to do with money.

A prosperous example

For example, in the beginning of the Book of Mormon, the Lord told Nephi, “And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.” (1 Nephi 2:20)

Reading this verse indicates that one definition of prosper is to be led to a land of promise. What is a “land of promise”? Another search opportunity! :) A land of promise might be a choice area you live in during mortality such as being near a temple, or having greater freedoms given to you. However, even if you don’t obtain a mortal land of promise, the overarching macro-view of Nephi’s journey leaving Jerusalem and crossing the ocean to get to his land of promise, is what the scriptures call a “type” or “shadow”. It’s a symbolic representation that when we obey the commandments and are willing to leave our comfort zone and let the Lord guide us through the wilderness of life, he will eventually bring us into a choice eternal land of promise (ie. the celestial kingdom) if we allow him.

Prosperity Awaits

There are many treasures awaiting you as you study this topic. Take a few days to read these verses carefully. Make notes about them in the basic notes when you see something about that verse, but create a list in the master note area of all the ways these verses define how the Lord prospers us and put a reference back to the verse where you found a unique definition. If the same definition is used in multiple places, just pick the best one to use for that definition and move on.

Share your favorite prosperous “a-ha” moment below in the comments. The verse that really got me started on this topic was Helaman 12:2. That’s a great list of items. There are still plenty of other gems to find though. You will also find other verses as you read the scriptures (which don’t have the word prosper in them) that can be brought into this topic which show examples of the Lord prospering the people. Here’s a couple you can add to your collection:

-Alma 44:9 where the Lord taught them how to defend themselves
-Alma 48:20 “they were free from wars and contentions among themselves”

They did Prosper in the Land They did Prosper in the Land

    About the Author

    Oak Norton - Sometimes inspired, sometimes perspired.

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