Why We Ask Questions

Why We Ask Questions
We can ask questions because we can have sure answers

Monday, October 27, 2014

What Is Most Important?

Hello fellow readers of my blog!

Last time we met, we had just gotten an introduction to Alma. Later on he has a son who he also names Alma and so to avoid confusion of the Alma's, we will refer to this Alma as Alma the Elder. Alma the Elder is the one who heard the words of Abinadi and he believed them.

Have you ever come to find out something was true, and it completely changed your life?

What did you do with that knowledge?

Imagine that you are Alma the Elder. Most of your life you have lived in the King's palace and you have had every luxury you could ever want. All of your time is spent fulfilling your own wants and desires. I think that falls under the "lazy and idolatrous people" category.
Now all the sudden some old man is coming in and saying that you are wrong, you are sinning, and most importantly, you need to repent. He says he is a prophet and God told him to come and to call all you and your friends and associates to repentance.

Well, you could be angry and defensive, or you can be humble and repent.
Alma chooses the latter.

When Alma heard Abinadi preaching God's word, it touched something inside of him. So he repented, changed his ways and lived happily ever after.

Except that their were some trials before he got to the happily ever after point. After he hears this message, he just wants to share it with everyone:

"And now, it came to pass that Alma, who had fled from the servants of king Noah, repented of his sins and iniquities, and went about privately among the people, and began to teach the words of Abinadi, Yea, concerning that which was to come, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the redemption of the people, which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven."- Mosiah 18:1-2

Alma doesn't just take what he learned to benefit himself. He takes it and he tries to tell the whole world. He has to do it in secret, because King Noah, the one who put Abinadi to death is watching and he does not want people to be hearing the word of God from anyone. Alma was taking a big risk, but he knew it was the right thing to do.
He begins to gather the people and teach the things that Abinadi taught. He teaches so many people, that he begins to attract a rather large crowd, and they all want that knowledge that he has. 

"And it came to pass after many days there were a goodly number gathered together at the place of Mormon, to hear the words of Alma. Yea, all were gathered together that believed on his word, to hear him. And he did teach them, and did preach unto them repentance, and redemption, and faith on the Lord."-Mosiah 1:7

These people Alma was teaching were hungry for the gospel. They were not content with the lives they were leading, they knew they needed God. They knew that they needed to become humbled and they responded with the desire of their hearts.

These are the questions that Alma asks them to find out where their hearts truly are, we should ask ourselves the same questions and see how what the desires of our hearts are, and if we need to be a little more humble. 

"....And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life. Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?"-Mosiah 1:8-10

This is how the people answered:

"And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts."-Mosiah 1:11

What a wonderful example of how we should feel. 

I don't know all that is in store when we reach the other side, but I do know that we don't qualify for heaven by how expensive our car is, or how much work we put in at a law firm. These things don't matter so much in the long run of things. What will matter will be our desire to follow God. Did we try to help others? Did we lift others burdens? Did we love God and try to follow his commandants?

Alma had the best of everything, and he gave it all up to follow God. Remember Jesus Christ's apostles gave up their livelihoods to follow the Savior.

This world is about learning and growing. We want to become like Jesus Christ. We want to live with God again. We must look at our desires and see where we are, and where we need to be. God has high expectations of us, because He loves us and knows the potential we have to become like Him. I know that as we give up our worldly cares and focus on the eternal perspective of things, our lives will change for the better and we will see things how God does. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Repenting of inactive blogging...

My fellow readers of my blog, I am terribly sorry! I have been off for quite a while. I have got slightly inactive on my blog....however, we believe in forgiveness and trying again right!:)

In thinking about what to blog about since it has been such a long time, I found myself thinking about those who go through trials and the attitudes they have as they go through them. Now of course this is namely all of us. Which is the point, there is really not one of us that can escape life unscathed. However to quote one of my favorite Disney movies:

   "You can either run from it, or learn from it."- The Lion King

I prefer the learn from it option:)

So as I was thinking about people in the Book of Mormon and the trials and attitudes they had, so many people came to mind. I mean there are many people in the Book of Mormon who had it pretty rough. However two people in particular really stuck out to me, and its not really because of their trials, but their attitudes towards them.

Drum roll please!

...............Abinadi and Alma the Elder!

Oh Abinadi. He is a prophet. He is sent to preach to people because they have turned away from God, and they have become as is described in the Book of Mormon, a "lazy and idolatrous people." They no longer loved one another,and there was so much wickedness in the land. Well we know when that happens, our Heavenly Father, merciful God that he is, allows us chances. He sends us prophets to teach us the gospel and help us repent. We know from previous experiences that living the gospel is what makes us happier and God knows that so he tries to help the people out. So God sends them Abinadi.

Now, do you think they are happy and appreciate Abinadi?

"And it came to pass that there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi; and he went forth among them, and began to prophesy, saying: Behold, thus saith the Lord, and thus hath he commanded me, saying, Go forth, and say unto this people, thus saith the Lord—Wo be unto this people, for I have seen their abominations, and their wickedness, and their whoredoms; and except they repent I will visit them in mine anger. And except they repent and turn to the Lord their God, behold, I will deliver them into the hands of their enemies; yea, and they shall be brought into bondage; and they shall be afflicted by the hand of their enemies."- Mosiah 11: 20-21

This is how the people felt...

"Now it came to pass that when Abinadi had spoken these words unto them they were wroth with him, and sought to take away his life"- Mosiah 11:26

So needless to say they weren't really thrilled at the prospect of repenting. As well as they really weren't jumping for joy every time that Abinadi came around. They sort of well, sought his life and stuff.

Now to be fair, I am not always really excited to repent either. I would say for the most part many of us are not. However we can be. Our attitude towards repentance can be different and if we ask God, he can show us how repentance truly makes us happier, even when its hard.

I remember a time in my own personal life, where I knew for 100% sure that I was not living the gospel like I was supposed to. I was doing bad things, and I really didn't care. I am sure that I had my own personal Abinadi who came and told me to straighten up. I am also sure I probably was not very kind to that person. I thought to myself, "it is my life, so why does it matter?"

That is the first attitude we can have.
The next attitude is the best one we can have.

Introducing....Alma, the Elder

Alma was actually one of these wicked people. Abinadi was brought before the king and basically ridiculed and tortured. While he was there though, he preached the gospel, and while many were angry, one was changed.

Cue Alma.

"And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king commanded that the priests should take him and cause that he should be put to death." -Mosiah 17:1

Because remember they had that first attitude of "its my life and I'll do what I want."

Then there is Alma:

"But there was one among them whose name was Alma, he also being a descendant of Nephi. And he was a young man, and he believed the words which Abinadi had spoken, for he knew concerning the iniquity which Abinadi had testified against them; therefore he began to plead with the king that he would not be angry with Abinadi, but suffer that he might depart in peace. But the king was more wroth, and caused that Alma should be cast out from among them, and sent his servants after him that they might slay him. But he fled from before them and hid himself that they found him not. And he being concealed for many days did write all the words which Abinadi had spoken." -Mosiah 17: 2-4

That is the second attitude, and the best one to have when it comes trials and repentance. Alma knew that what he and the others had done was wrong, he knew it was. He could have chosen to become upset and to be angry with Abinadi for preaching what was hard to hear. Instead he humbled himself before God and he realized what he had done wrong. Then he acted and went and did something about it.

Now granted not all of all our situations are as drastic as either Abinadi or Alma, but we all have opportunities to repent, and we have them often. I know that as we seek the Lord's will for us, even if it does not seem like the easy road or even the fun road, it will bring us eternal happiness.

Tune in next time to find out what happens to Alma next...