19 February 2013

"Desirous," Mosiah 28:1-9

Mosiah 28:1-9

These verses cause me to consider in greater earnest "the virtue of the word of God." (see Alma 31:5)

The sons of Mosiah set a precedence in the history of missionary work upon their successful completion of their ministry among the Nephites. It strikes me that as these missionaries had observed the power of the word of God amongst the Nephites, there was born within the sons of Mosiah a desire to extend its influence to the Lamanite people also. But perhaps there's a slightly different reason for their motivation.

No one had ever taken the word of God this far before with the hope to convert an enemy nation to the ways of God.This zealous pioneering spirit was born of out of the desire "that salvation should be declared unto every create." (verse 3) I find in the sons of Mosiah's desire the manifestation of the Spirit of Christ, or in other words, that pure love which motivates one to do good.

Consequently, the sons of Mosiah sought their father's permission and blessing to take their labors to the Lamanites. After "many days" of pleading, King Mosiah took the issue before the Lord in prayer. I am positive that it was not lost upon the king the seriousness of the request, or great peril that awaited his sons in entering enemy territory. He was after all king of the Nephite nation and had probably set in place checks and securities of some sort or fashion to protect his people from the Lamanites.

When the answer came from the Lord, it was succinct and hopeful. "Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life;" and then knowing that there was an inherent paternal concern (and quite possibly also, even greater maternal reservations) the Lord then promises, "and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites." (verse 7)

06 February 2013

"Zealously Striving to Repair," Mosiah 27:32-37

Mosiah 27:32-37

This captures my attention immediately, that from the point of their conversion onward --or that from the moment that they had put into practice in their own lives the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ-- they began to teach it unto others.

A line at the end of verse 32 says that they were "greatly persecuted by those who were unbelievers." I've often times feared the unbelievers because of their anger and hatred towards those that do believe. However, as I read it this morning, it strikes me that the conversion that Alma and the sons of Mosiah underwent caused them to face the unbelievers with love and faith, perhaps even with the hope that they too would convert to the Gospel of Christ. It is that it was so present in the minds of their minds (Alma and the Sons of Mosiah) their prior state of darkness that they understood all too well the hatred, confusion, and guilt that those that don't beleive are feeling.  Understanding the cause of their persecution, must have at least given them strength to endure the persecutions, if not to also courage to face it altogether.

There is another important principle that is illustrated in these verses and also goes to explain, at least, in part why these "repairers" of the Kingdom of God went about doing what they did. Verse 33 says that Alma and the Sons of Mosiah went about consoling the Church and encouraging them to keep the commandments. But then in verse 35 it explains that they went about "zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church." It was for them a necessary part of the repentance process that they sought to re-establish the kingdom of God which they had previously worked to destroy.

Part of me would say that it is hard to find that same level of motivation, because it appears that they felt it their obligation as a part of their repentance process or as a necessary element to secure forgiveness that they diligently preach and establish the word of God.

However, I am discovering that for us it is not much different. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27) It is that unspotted part that captures my attention. How are we to keep ourselves clean?  "Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you." (Doctrine and Covenants 62:3) For me to keep myself unspotted from the world, I must do the same things as were done by Alma and the Sons of Mosiah. That is, I must preach the word of God, publish peace, bear testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel, and I will remain unspotted from the world. So is the doctrine of Christ.