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

Friday, June 20, 2008

,,,He That Will Not Harden His Heart, to Him is Given the Greater Portion of the Word...

Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter this morning! There was just SO much great news in Alma's follow-up to Amulek's testimony.

*vs. 1-8 suggest that Zeezrom is beginning to experience a change of heart. What was it about Amulek's words that caused this? What can we learn from that?
*vs. 9-10 -- what do you think about these? I have some thoughts, but want to hear what you think about it.
*vs. 12-118 -- Janelle, this is similar to what you said in the last post, don't you think? What can we do to avoid the circumstances Alma describes? Why did Alma have to use such language with this people?
*vs. 20 - From this verse, I think you're right, Janelle, these people must have been like the Jews in Christ's time who were well versed in the scriptures, but knew nothing of the doctrine. What significance does this have for us as members of the Church? What does Alma want us to learn?
*vs. 23-27 - probably the greatest sermon on the Fall there is, don't you think? What are your insights from these verses?
*vs. 28-29 - what do these verses reveal about God's love for His children?
*vs. 37 - Are we part of this group Alma describes? What can we do if we are?

There was just so much to talk about in this chapter -- I know Friday is a busy day for everyone and I'll be heading out of town this afternoon myself, but I hope we'll take the time to study this chapter -- it's sort of the culmination of the things we've studied this week! It's answered some of my questions from earlier chapters and has really enriched my day already!

And now we have a weekend to catch up! Isn't it nice to feel prepared for Sunday?


Janelle said...

vs. 9, 10. Many? How many know the mysteries of God in full? Seriously.... many!?! Not me! There are several times in scripture where prophets were required not to write all that happened because it was not for all to know. Again knowledge = accountablilty. These also remind me of Christ who grew grace for grace until His knowlege was full. I don't think I have a hard heart but maybe I can reinspect.

vs. 12 - 18 are direct. So direct!Our words will condemn us, our works will condemn us, our thoughts will condemn us. "And in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence." I think Alma is speaking from experience here from when the Angel first visited him and he was wracked with torment from guilt. Anyways I hope my words, works, and thoughts condemn me for good.

23-27 "A space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state a time to prepare to meet God." The obvious question is how am I preparing to meet God. Temple ordinances come to mind. But then you've also got those words, works and thoughts to take care of.

vs. 18 Then I say unto you they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God's justice; and they cannot die seeing there is no more corruption.

Christ has paid for all sins. ALL. But, if you are knowledgeable and unrepentant it is as if no redeption has been made. Meaning: if you choose not to repent you get to pay for your sins yourself. I had a religion teacher that called this "Hotel Hell" you stay as long as your sin requires in payment for justice.

vs. 37 "Let us repent, and harden not our hearts, that we provoke not the Lord our God to pull down his wrath upon us in these SECOND commandments which he has given unto us." What were the first commandments? What are the second commandments?

Also, why would Adam and Eve be forever miserable having no prepatory state by partaking of the tree of life vs 26

I tell you if there is one thing that leaves me confused it is the fall, and I don't even understand what I don't understand enough to ask intelligent questions.

Julie said...

Janelle, I went back and was re-reading verses 26-27 -- I think he means here that if they had partaken of the tree of life at that point (after already partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil), they would have been forever miserable because they would have lived forever in that state of sin, without hope for repentance because they would already be in a sort of "resurrected" state (as in they couldn't die). The preparatory state before physical death was God's great blessing to his children whom he knew would sin and transgress. He made a time for us to learn, make mistakes, and repent so we could be ready to live with Him again through the Atonement. If Adam and Eve would have partaken of the tree of life, they would not have had this preparatory state and would have lived forever in their sins. Misery.
At least I think that's what this means?

And verse 37 -- the second commandments have reference to vs. 31, I think. The first commandment was to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil -- the second commandments are explained from verse 32 to 37.

And Stanton and I were talking about the bright recollection of guilt from the last chapter and then 12-18 here -- I like your ideas so much! We decided that like Alma, even if we repent, the recollection of the sin is still poignant. God will remember them no more, but we will and it will make us even more grateful for the Atonement and the forgiveness it provides. That bright recollection will probably cause us to love Jesus even more in that moment because we know we have been forgiven.

Great thoughts in this chapter. I like when we start talking about thing that we don't particularly understand -- it seems like we can learn even more when we get discussing these things. So, thanks.

Janelle said...

"A space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state a time to prepare to meet God."

I thought more about this and I remembered how Christ after raising his own body up in the very first resurrection was very concious that he present himself absolutely perfectly to His Father. When He said to Mary "Touch me not, as I have not yet ascended to my Father." reminds me of when I clean my house up for a party and then let no one touch it until the guests arrive. The Lord took especial care to tie up all loose ends and then come in full preparation to His Father. I guess that is the standard to live by. We need to be able to meet our Father unspotted and clean washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ. When the Lord says, Be ye therefore perfect, even as I am, He's not kidding.