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Showing posts from April, 2014

"By the Testimony of His Word," Alma 7:15-21

Alma 7:15-21

I find in verses 15 and 16 a recap of the gospel: faith, repentance, baptism unto the remission of sins, endurance until the end. His testimony of these principles is confirmed to him according to the witness of the Holy Spirit.

Our fears are what bind us to destruction. Our faith is what causes us to live lives of extraordinary capacity and interest.  There are sins which bind us down and commandments that liberate and free us. Commandments are not only those written in stone by Moses thousands of years ago, but also include the whisperings of the Spirit and "every word which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God." (Doctrine and Covenants 84:44)

It is also by the manifestation of the Spirit that Alma received a witness of the faith of those at Gideon (see vs. 17). This thought has been impressed upon me recently as to how this work is guided by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Obedience to that Spirit is requisite to be a true servant of the Lord. Alma pla…

"The Son of God Suffereth According to the Flesh," Alma 7:10-14

Alma 7:10-14

I have for many years taken for granted that when the scriptures talk about Mary as a virgin, that this was just a given. I simply assumed that was just who she was. When in reality this is who she chose to be. It was a deliberate choice to keep herself clean and pure, that then qualified her for the role that she was blessed to receive.

The same realization must be made of our Savior. When the scriptures talk of his "suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind," what we must see is that, indeed,  He chose to "take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people." (vs. 11)

Another thought, that I find to be almost as paradoxical as it is true (and it is this way with most everything in the Gospel of Christ), is that we are to try to comprehend the infinite Atonement of Christ, when our minds are limited to the finite. The reality is that we will never be able to fully understand it in our present mortal state. We cannot comprehend it…

"Repent Ye, and Prepare the Way of the Lord," Alma 7:7-9

Alma 7:7-9

This particular injunction resonates with me, probably because of my personal circumstances at the moment. Yet it seems that the personal and individualized instruction tends to be the most universally compelling at the same time.

Alma states that the Spirit had said unto him to tell the people of Gideon:
Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. (vs. 9)In chapter 9, a different account is found where Alma is among the people of Ammonihah. This time it is the voice of an angel that had instructed Alma:
 And now for this cause, that ye may not be destroyed, the Lord has sent his angel to visit many of his people, declaring unto them that they must go forth and cry mightily unto this people, saying: Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand; And not many days hence the Son of God shall come …

"Ye Do Worship the True and Living God," Alma 7:6

In verse 6, the people of Gideon are found not in a state of unbelief. Rather they did believe in and follow the teachings of the true and living God. I want to say that they did worship, but I don't know if I understand or hold in reverence what it truly means to worship God.
Yea, I trust that you do not worship idols, but that ye do worship the true and the living God... What is the difference between worshiping idols and worshiping the true and living God? Idol worship requires no changes to the inner, carnal man. It allows man to continue as he was in his sins. To worship the true and living God requires a change of heart, and a perpetual, continue effort to turn more towards God.

...but that ye do worship the true and the living God, and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins, with an everlasting faith, which is to come. When I worship, I am not just giving reverence and blind patronage to some Being who hold his all powerful staff over me to hold me in subjectio…