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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

...I Would That Ye Should Remember...

Sorry for the late post. I am going to try to get these up every night, but last night we had unexpected guests. I'll repent and do better!

In Alma 9, Alma and Amulek begin their missionary companionship. As has been mentioned, this is perhaps the greatest pairing in missionary history. We're headed into some great chapters here!

*What are some of the stumbling blocks Alma faces as he preaches to the Ammonihahites? What are their excuses for not listening to his message? Why is this significant?

*Alma talks a lot about remembering in this sermon. Why do we need to remember our ancestors? What about our posterity?

*What are your thoughts about verse 23?

*How do we personally "prepare...the way of the Lord...." (vs. 28)?

*Any other inspiration?


Monica said...

Vs 23 is one of the ones that definitely stands out to me in this chapter. I think it is a great warning to us of the standard that we are upheld to and that we cannot go against the things we have been taught without severe consequences.

Someone who I know when they went inactive they said to me, "Monica, there are things I want to do and I am going to do them regardless of the Church" and it was such a shock to hear that from someone who had gone through the Temple, but of course there were choices that had been made at that point that lead them to their inactivity.

Anyway, what my point is is that we cannot procrastinate the day of our repentance. Heavenly Father doesn't say "OK you know all these things and now you can go do whatever you want, against the teachings you've learned and then when you're about to die you can then decide to repent and just jump in line to the Celestial Kingdom" Once we are taught the truths of the Gospel we are upheld to a new standard and a new level with our Heavenly Father to follow the teachings of the prophets.

I truly love this missionary companionship because they are so strong and teach us so much. I love their faith as they go to preach and I think about how our missionaries today have no fear and so much faith as they go out to find people to teach.

Amanda D said...

I highlighted verse 23 as well. I think that it is a good reminder to all of us to stay on the straight and narrow.

Another verse that stuck out to me was verse 20, where it talked about the nation being highly favored all others. We are that nation, and we need to do things that we know are right.

Janelle said...

I saw many themes in this Chapter.

Theme 1: Remember. Alma wants them to remember. But how easily we forget! I have rheumatoid arthritis and I have been prescribed a medication that totally works! I'm a new woman, I feel awesome and can do everything I want to. Hooray! But, after 3 months of feeling so good what did I do? FORGET TO TAKE MY MEDICATION! Can you believe it? I immediately started feeling yucky. I liken this experience to the gospel. There is a prescription for happiness given to us by the Lord. To stop feeling yucky we get on track and pray and fast and read scriptures, but when we're doing great we forget to pray, repent, read our scriptures etc. Basically, we forget to take our prescription. Alma's just trying to remind them that the side effects of being a natural man is that you are an enemy to God.

Theme 2: Knowledge = Blessings
Knowledge = Gifts of the Spirit
Knowledge = Tons of great stuff
but Knowledge = Accountability.

Theme 3: Traditions. Righteous traditions save generations. Unrighteous traditions heaps tons of sins on the fathers.

Theme 4: Characteristic of a prophet. They say what's unpopular out of love.

My favorite vs was verse 30. And now my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren, and ye ought to be beloved, and ye ought to bring forth works meet for repentance....

The call to repentance is an act of love.

Monica, my heart has broken over a friends, siblings, and YW whose attitude were just as you described. In every case I have witnessed unrepentant sin lead to inactivity. If I didn't care about these people, it would be less hard. But because I love them I want them to repent. I imagine the prophet feels that way about everyone.

Julie said...

Amen to your comments. Amanda-- thanks for pointing out verse 20. I had sort of passed that one by, but you are so right -- we are that nation and we have that responsibility.
Janelle -- I love your knowledge equals equation. Really really good. The accountability factor was so striking to me in this chapter. It just hasn't occured to me before, at least in this way, that we are expected to act on the lessons learned from the past. Putting it that way it sounds like a no-brainer, but really, we are responsible for the past experiences of our forebears and what we do as a result.
Verse 23 also made me realize how important it is that I be a righteous example for my posterity so they'll have a good person to "remember."

I liked all your thoughts about verse 23. I also got thinking that it's not just apostasy that Alma is warning about here -- living up to the light and knowledge we have means progressing. We have to keep moving forward, becoming more righteous, more Christ-like, or else we are transgressing contrary to the light and knowledge we have.

verse 28 is the other verse that stuck out to me. I love the logic of the verse: ye shall reap what ye sow...just like in my garden. I think this shows how important our actions really are -- they show our devotion, our love, and our testimony.
I'm even thinking right now of my own relationships -- how do I show my love? DO I show my love? What have I sown? What will I reap?
And I am still thinking about that phrase "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." I just haven't figured out what exactly that means. Any thoughts?

Cheryl said...

Monica and Janelle-
Verse 23 made me think about my MIL. She chose to be excommunicated about 10 years ago in order to be with the man she loved. For years I assumed she had immense integrity because of it and I even admired her ability to not be a hypocrite; I mean, she left the church knowingly because she knew what she was doing was wrong. That's integrity, right? Well, when I read verse 23 just now, I realized that she is not to be admired for that choice --at all. She had the light, the truth, and she chose to "fall into transgression" and leave all the light and knowledge she had attained. And now, I'm really sad for her. Really, really sad. :(

Julie, your question about "Prepare ye the way of the Lord" makes me think of John the Baptist, and how he prepared the people. I think Alma and Amulek are preparing the people simply by teaching them the principles of the Gospel. When we learn of Christ, of the Plan of Salvation; of repentence, etc. I think that means we are being prepared, or preparing the way for the Lord to enter our hearts and minds, and therefore, we are prepared for his Physical arrival. I'm not sure if I'm making perfect sense, but I think you'll know what I mean. Knowing of Christ and repenting and trying hard to have the Spirit with us always is a way to prepare, you know?

Janelle said...

Hmm. Prepare ye the way of the Lord...

There are certain revelations that must come to pass before the Second Coming like spreading the gospel to all the world and let it sound in every ear, building the New Jerusalem, rebuilding the old, we need to seal ourselves to all our dead - that will continue into the millenium, become a zion people, and sanctify ourselves in preparation to meet Him face to face like the parable of the 10 virgins.

So to prepare the way members of the church must do missionary work, temple work, law of consecration work, and personal preparations to prepare the way. Undoubtedly our slothfulness in doing our charges prolongs the day as well as the wickedness hastens it.

I am more than happy to be long gone, but I feel an urgency to create righteous traditions to prepare my posterity. I imagine that is part of the duty to prepare the way of the Lord.

Julie said...

Great thoughts about preparing the way of the Lord. I was sort of wondering about how much my personal efforts and righteousness affect the timing of His return and it sounds like you sort of feel the same way. It gives new meaning to being obedient, doesn't it?

TaLaisa said...

I've had to read and re-read this chapter a few times now.

I am touched by Alma's faith. He is standing in the face of those who wish to do him harm and telling them very difficult things to hear. He speaks out of love and they hear ridicule? judgment? and untruths?

verse23 was and still is so hard for me to read. I've had a few great friends decide recently to pull their records from the church. I've shed a lot of tears and asked a million prayers and still the answer comes, there is nothing I can change for them. I can stand as an example, keep my friendship with them a priority and be worthy and quick to act on promptings that come.

I personally feel like preparing the way of the Lord has been a constant. Each generation is required to do certain things to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. In conference the theme that seems for most in my mind, are that of missionary work in our daily lives, being loving not just tolerant toward those who are different from us, do just a little better in following the commandments, temple work, temple work, temple work and last of all (that I can recall right this minute) become the parents God knew we could be when he trusted us with these amazing strong spirits our children possess.

Julie said...

TaLaisa -- thank you especially for that last paragraph. It was so touching to me. Thank you.