26 September 2012

"No Longer... By the Name of Their Fathers," Mosiah 25:1-13

Mosiah 25:1-13

Upon the arrival of the people of Alma to the land of Zarahemla, king Mosiah caused that the records that had been kept by the people of  Zeniff, and also the account of Alma, should be read among all the people of Zarahemla, which at this point in time now consisted of Nephites, Mulekites, and the newly joined people of Limhi and Alma (though they too were also descendants of Nephi).

As I've contemplated the purposes for which king Mosiah would cause to read this history, there are a couple of thoughts that impress me about this. I am reminded also of President Hinckley's emphasis on our own pioneer history. Strategically, here king Mosiah had received a notable influx of new citizens among their own, the natural human tendency, without understanding of where they were coming from and what hardships they had endured, would probably have given way to gossiping and other forms of potentially harmful misunderstandings. To completely eradicate such a tendency, and to create a bond among the existing citizens and these new comers, very wisely king Mosiah decided to publish their history among his own people.

There were other benefits to be had, as well. Perhaps the more notable benefit was the testimony of Abinadi which was found at the heart of this story. The spiritual significance and testimony of the Savior was universally applicable and as beneficial to the people at Zarahemla as it was to Alma and those who followed him.

As mentioned earlier, having heard the account of the people of Zeniff and Alma prepared the people of Zarahemla to completely accept and embrace the these new comers. That there is no account of contention or difficulties among the church at this time is also evident of the wisdom of king Mosiah's proactive decision to make available this account among the people.

It also strikes me as important that having heard this account may have become a converting point of testimony among the people of Zarahemla. While not on the same level as conversion as what the people of Alma had experienced in testing their faith, by any means, it was still a spring board for faith. In this regard, I see the Savior in these verses just as one would in any history of spiritual pioneers.

The presentation of this record among the people caused great reactions of sympathy and joy. (vs. 8 and 9) What is most interesting however is the revelatory nature of the experience that caused the children of Amulon to completely forsake their fathers. This final point is one of profound implication. Because of their wickedness, Amulon and his associates lost their posterity, or suffer a separation from their families. The implication of such were both immediate and eternal.

12 September 2012

"I Will Go with Thee," Mosiah 24:17

Mosiah 24:17

See also Exodus 3:12 and Alma 38:4

As the Lord is explaining how He will deliver the people of Alma, He says "I will go with thee." One of the footnotes on the word "with" in that statement is from Exodus. There the Lord reminds Moses to serve God in the mountain upon your deliverance. This is a reminder to not forget the temple.

In Alma, it reads:
For I know that thou wast in bonds; yea, and I also know that... thou didst bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee.
 There is a great deal of personal significance in these verses this morning, which any good scripture study should have. I do not go into details here though, except to point out that the Lord does from time to time require His saints to endure hardships and trials beyond what would appear to be normal and acceptable.

11 September 2012

"They Poured Out Their Thanks to God," Mosiah 24:16-25

Mosiah 24:16-25

After a period of oppression under the rule of Amulon, the people of Alma hear the voice of the Lord say to them: "Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage." (vs.16) Subsequently, they work through the night to prepare for a morning departure. In the morning, their oppressors are asleep. Without conflict, the people of Alma are delivered from bondage. 

After having traveled a substantial distance, they arrive at a certain valley where the people of Alma pause to give thanks. Every member of their company, both adult and child -- anyone that could speak -- raised up their voices in praise of their God. They knew that God had delivered them.