I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Thursday, June 26, 2008

...Believest Thou in the Power in the Power of Christ Unto Salvation?...

Alma 15: Alma and Amulek are commanded to leave Ammonihah and go to Sidom. There they meet the believers who had survived and escaped the wickedness of the Ammonihahites. Among them is Zeezrom, who has become very ill. His fever is caused by his feelings of guilt and sorrow for his sins and the consequences they have brought upon others.

In verse 4, Zeezrom discovers Alma and Amulek are in Sidom and sends for them. The verses that follow tell much of Zeezrom's level of conversion.

*Vs. 4-12 -- what does Zeezrom's conversion teach us about repentance? What sort of feelings should we have when we repent? How can we know we are forgiven? What must we do to retain that forgiveness?

*Vs. 13-15 -- what caused this "flocking" to the Church from all the land round about? What can we learn from terrible acts of wickedness all around us?

*Vs. 16 -- I had never noticed this before -- Amulek's family were among the wicked. What do we learn about true conversion from this?

*Vs. 17 -- I love the phrase "seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts." How do we do this? What causes it?

*Vs. 18 -- Tender mercies of the Lord?


Monica said...

I wanted to let you know I am still reading I just have had a busy couple of weeks so that is why I haven't posted but i will again soon!
Hope everyone is enjoying their studies!

Janelle said...

vs. 16 Amulek - he bing rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his father and his kindred.
This happened to many converts I've met. Sometimes their family saw the change for good and accepted it, but a lot of times the change is what causes contention. Things that used to be stress releases become very contentious like "Just take a smoke break or coffee break with me. Why don't we go dancing tonight at the club? Wanna beer while we watch the game?" Converts really are modern day pioneers and they need support, just like the support Alma shows in vs. 18

I find it interesting that despite the miracles Alma performed in Amulek's house after Amulek obeyed the angel that they still rejected their son and friend. Alma 10:11 For behold he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me and my women, and my children and MY FATHER and my kinsfolk; yea even all my kindred hath he blessed and the bleesing of the Lord hath rested upon us according to the words which he spake.

Again it shows how miracles do not convert and how powerful the influence of the world is. Amulek's Father had been blessed by Alma's own hands, and then he disowned his son for following the truth.

Monica, aren't you a convert? Is anyone else? How did your friends and family react? Did a friend take you under their wing like Alma did for Amulek?

TaLaisa said...

I have been reading, just haven't had the peace in the evening necessary to feel the spirit while commenting. The boys have had late wild nights.

Anyhow. I have a few minutes right now. Yay, naptime.

I loved this chapter. It was so amazing to see such a literal change of heart in Zeezrom. He was completely changed by the call to repentance.

Repentance is so powerful. It is a pathway of walking from darkness into complete light.

For me, I personally remember feeling called to repent (on a particular occasion) and having a perfect recollection of every ugly detail. There was a physical push to keep me from doing the steps necessary to repent. I literally felt sick and small and insignificant. I remember thinking that the darkness surrounding me, the feeling of being suffocated and the weight I carried on my shoulders would be more than I could live with.

I quickly realized that the only way to stop feeling that way was to repent. Fully and completely turn away from the sins that were totally dragging my spirit down.

As quickly as I was able to turn to the right place for assistance, the darkness totally disappeared. I don't remember my feet touching the ground as I left the Bishop's office, that day. Everything was brighter and I had so much hope. I felt the burden lifted and the desire to do any wrong was not there. I wanted to tell everyone about the miracle of repentance and the way I felt about the Atonement and my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I think that kind of power in testimony, like Zeezrom's and Alma and Amulek's, can move mountains, why not move people looking for such a path to salvation? People are drawn to truth and light.

I am sure Amulek was sad to know his family would not believe as he did, but his testimony would not allow him to choose to stay where his family was, in the unbelievers.

My husband is a convert (he was 16) and only one cousin of his is a member. He had lots of LDS friends in Fiji, who were a great support to him. He served a mission and then came back to Fiji to serve as a seminary teacher. His testimony would not allow him to stay away from the church. His Grandmother, who he lived with, was the one who gave permission to be baptised and someday very soon I will be doing her temple work. I cannot wait, and I'll bet she can't either.

I think being checked as to the pride, means that there is an equal portion of humility. Enough small disasters to keep us reminded of where the blessings come from. I think having children does a great job of reminding me daily of what is pride and what is humility. I can spend 20 minutes getting ready and all it takes is 2 with a mischievous/messy/sick child to take that all away.

There are tender mercies everyday, I believe it is only a matter of having your eyes open to it. He is always always Always there extending a hand in trials of all kinds. Asking to be a part of the good and the not so good parts of our lives.

I just scrolled up and holy cow I wrote enough to make up for all 4 days I missed posting.

If you made it this far, email me and I'll send you a prize.

Janelle said...

TaLaisa, the prize was reading. I loved your repentance story.

Julie said...

Tay & Monica, fun to see you commenting again!

From verses 6-10, I am thinking that faith to be healed depends more upon faith in Christ and His power to save us from our sins than faith to be healed physically. Even that healing is of a spiritual nature.
verses 12 & 16 -- signs of true conversion: desire to share the Gospel and a willingness to forsake everything, including being accepted by family and former friends for the sake of the Gospel.
verse 17 - I love that phrase "seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts" -- I suppose that is how we are when we "watch and pray continually" -- we are watching our thoughts, words, and works and praying they are in line with Christ's will and doctrine.
verse 18- I feel like this is a tender mercy of the Lord to Amulek. After all he had forsaken and given for the Gospel, he is administered to IN his tribulations. The wording makes me feel like it wasn't necessarily that his tribulations were ended, but that he was given help and comfort in the midst of them.

TaLaisa said...

That is a great point Julie. I can't recall how many times I've been in the middle of a tribulation and prayed, hoping for it to end. I'm sure as many times the answer has come back not as an End, but strength and comfort to see it through to the end.

And so much more growing is done by enduring to the end rather than a quick trial.

Monica said...

Talaisa, I read all your comments, do I get a prize? hehehe I feel the same way when I write a ton of thoughts. I promise to contribute some quality thoughts soon!

Janelle, I am a convert and most of my friends who weren't members thought I was crazy and joined a cult and my family was already introduced to the Church because my brother had joined first. I went to the OSU Single's ward so I think I was fellowshiped a lot because there were all people the same age and same interests, etc so it was easy for me to be comfortable in the Church. I did make some really great friends there though that I still keep in touch with and feel they have blessed my life greatly too.