29 February 2012

"One Among Them Whose Name Was Alma," Mosiah 17:1-4

Mosiah 17:1-4

There is something about the final words of a man's life that serves as a sealing witness or testimony of eternal truth. For some, there is remorse for a lifetime spent in trivial and vain pursuits. For others, fear and uncertainty of what comes next and a failure to prepare for it. And then there are those who have acquired a testimony of the world beyond this one, who have spent their lives in sacrifice and service to others, and in a very real sense, are ready to move on to the next great chapter. Such seems to be the courage and testimony of Abinadi in this final chapter.

Verse 2 introduces a very compelling and new dynamic to the story of Abinadi, for at this point in time we see the turning of just one of the priests of King Noah. Singular as he is, that Alma had been converted by the sacrifice and preaching of Abinadi, this shifts my understanding and reasoning for why Abinadi was compelled by the Spirit of the Lord to do as he had done. Not only did Abinadi give his life so that one soul more could be saved in the kingdom of heaven, but this dynamic witness was the preparation for one of the most dynamic families of leaders in the Church of Christ to follow immediately there after.

This is huge, for what would the church have been without Alma or his son Alma the Younger? Theirs was a missionary spirit and zeal born out of true conversion to Christ. Both were the means of bringing many souls unto Christ, and without Abinadi's testimony, sealed with his own blood, that converted  Alma directly, and all those that followed him indirectly, this would not have been so.

Through Abinadi, the Lord was not only condemning a king, He was preparing a prophet. In fact, I think that if Noah hadn't knowingly defile the commandments of the Lord which came from his own father, and if there was a prophet in the making in their presence, I rather suspect that Lord, in his mercy, might have left king Noah to his own demise.

In verse 4, Alma, to preserver his own life, had to hide himself from the armies of the King for many days. In that setting, the Spirit of the Lord surely was working upon Alma. He wrote everything that he had heard and witnessed from Abinadi. This must have been both a period of preparation and repentance.

08 February 2012

"A Light that Is Endless," Mosiah 16

Mosiah 16

The joy that swells inside of me as I read about Jesus Christ this morning is beautiful. Phrases like "He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death." (vs 9)

Some additional thoughts that have come into my mind, in no particular order, as I've contemplated Christ as the author of life and light and salvation, the Eternal Father.
  • There is so much to learn, the acquisition of knowledge is becoming more like Christ.
  • Creation is divine, the creation of life is holy.
  • Endless light, there is nothing that can diminish its influence. 
I am particularly fascinated by the light. Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which can never be darkened, a light that continues to grow and become stronger and stronger. 
And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:11-13)
"It was said that at one time the sun never set on the British Empire. That empire has now been diminished. But it is true that the sun never sets on this work of the Lord as it is touching the lives of people across the earth." ("The State of the Church,"Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2003 General Conference)

Then back to Abinadi who said "The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just." (vs. 1)

Yet at the same time, with the spread of the light there is a personal responsibility to conduct myself according to the laws of righteousness. I can, if I choose to walk in the light.