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

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Alma 34

Updated 7/23, 7:45 pm -- We will continue studying Alma 34 tomorrow (July 24th). Friday will conclude with Alma 35. Have a terrific Pioneer Day and please feel free to comment on any back posts if you feel so inclined. You can subscribe to comments (meaning they'll be sent to your inbox). Just follow the instructions on the comment page.

True confession: I haven't even looked at Alma 34 yet today. But it's a good one. Since I'm off to a doctor's appointment and have just spent my time in other ways this morning, please pick up the slack (as you typically do in the comments anyway!) and share your thoughts on this chapter.


Janelle said...

Hooray for Amulek!

Aparently you could be a Christian way before Christ was born. In this set of scriptures we learn about Grace and Works and Turning the Other Cheek and Prayer and Faith and Charity and several of the Beattitudes and I loved it!

But here are some of my favorite passages:

vs. 15 This being the intent of the last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowerehth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentence.

All other doctrines hang on this one principle that Jesus Christ suffered and died that we may repent! Without the atonement faith, works, charity - nothing matters. A great and infinite atonement was needed to make the plan work and He did it!

Now vs. 16 And thus mercy can satsisfy the demands of justice and encircle them in the arms of saftey (too beautiful) while he that excercises no faith unto repentance is EXPOSED to the whole law of the demands of justice.

Does anyone like the feeling of being exposed?

But not all we need to have faith unto repentance, to pray continually and then ACT accordingly. vs. 28 for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance if ye have to those who stand in need - I say unto you if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is in vain and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.

Then Amulek warns us some more that we need to get on the stick and repent in verses 32 and 33 For behold this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perfom their labors...I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

I am reading the Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer Kimball right now and apparently I have ample need for repentance and I need to do it NOW!

And if I do, Amulek promises in vs. 31 that if I will repent and harden not my heart IMMEDIATELY shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto me.

Then the last 5 verses all are great, they taught me to 1. work out my own salvation in fear (it helps to read Miracle of Forgiveness to put a little fear in you) 2. Live in thanksgiving daily 3.Be watchful in prayer daily 4.Do not revile against those who treat me poorly (turn the other cheek) 5. Hope for a rest of all my afflictions.

Holy Cow the Book of Mormon is full of the doctrines of Salvation!

Sorry for being such an eager beaver commenter. This comment is really long and out of control.

Julie said...

The long comments are nice, Janelle.

Wow -- my red pencil is dulling so quickly in these chapters. A few notes from me:

vs. 2 -- "I think that it is impossible that ye should be ignorant of the things which have been spoken concerning the coming of Christ...yea, I knowthat these things were taught unto you bountifully before your dissension from among us."
I am sure the same will apply to me at the judgement day -- I will have no excuse for my lack of faith (read: slothfulness, sin, etc.) -- I know of Jesus Christ. He is the central point of the Gospel -- He is who we preach of, talk of, rejoice in. I know Him and I know He has sacrificed for me. I will absolutely not be allowed to plead ignorance.

vs.7-8 -- I love the confidence with which Amulek shares his testimony -- you've heard it from the dead prophets, now hear it from me. I know of myself these things are true. It re-illustrates the extreme power of personal testimony.

All of these incredible verses about the Atonement -- what it means for it to be "infinite." Why an infinite sacrifice is even necessary...all so good. No explanation needed.

vs. 17-29 -- Again the exhortation to pray. I am being taught again that prayer is not just a nice little gift to be used when I feel like it -- it is an essential part of repentance and faith. It is as essential as all the other saving principles.

To me, verse 30 is the central invitation of the Book of Mormon.

"And now, my brethren, I would that, after ye have received so many witnesses, seeing that the holy scriptures testify of these things, ye come forth and bring fruit unto repentance."

Janelle, I too liked the promise of "immediate" redemption when faith and repentance are exercised.

vs. 33 -- Again, ye have had so many witnesses. It's the truth. Do we have any excuses after what we've been taught, whether over the pulpit, in our classrooms, or in our moments of personal revelation? We have received many witnesses.

Finally, verses 38-41 give a great plan for "enduring to the end," don't you think?

I do love that command in vs. 38 -- "contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but ... receive it."

Amanda D said...

I'm still behind but I am working on getting caught up. I loved reading this chapter this afternoon.

I loved how in verses 21-27, we are given a gentle reminder of how and what to pray for.

I love the reference to the "refiner" in verse 29. It makes me think of a story I read a few years ago about The Refiner's Fire. It is too long to post here, so I posted it on my blog. You're welcome to click over and read it. I love it.

Also, I was struck by verse 40 and the reminder that we need to have patience and hope. I really need to work on both. :)

Julie said...

Amanda, I loved verse 41 for the same reason -- patience and hope.