Sunday, July 27, 2014

What Does it Mean to Be Like Moroni?

It has been a long and interesting week.  I was under the weather almost this entire week and so am just now finding the strength and time to write my thoughts down.  This week I read Alma 42 - 51 which is the start of the war chapters and our introduction to Captain Moroni, Lehi and Teancum.  The Three Amigos of the book of Alma if you will.  These three men almost single-handedly save the Nephites from destruction at the hands of Amalickiah and later his brother Ammoron.  They are men who take the defense of their people very, very seriously and are not to be trifled with.  They are men that will do anything to defend their people, including put to death those who would try and destroy them from the inside out.

I often wonder what people mean when they say they want to marry a man like Captain Moroni.  Are they just agreeing with Mormon who said that if all men would be like Captain Moroni that it would cause the powers of darkness to shake?  Or have they really thought it through?  Maybe they mean they want a warrior, or a no nonsense man of action?  Or someone with a testimony.  Maybe I will ask my wife tomorrow what she thinks it means.  To me it means that they want a man who is not afraid to cut anything that is impure out of his life.  If he has friends that are not uplifting, they will not be his friends long.  If he sees a piece of media that is filthy, he walks away and shuts it off.  He teaches his children to abhor sin and to embrace righteousness in all its forms.  He helps those in need and considers it a privilege to serve God.  That is what I think of when I think of Mormon's famous lines that we need to be like Moroni.  That is what I strive for, what I desire to be.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Alma Teaches Corianton

Today I read Alma 39 - 41 which is where Alma talks to his son, Corianton.  I know most people tend to focus on Corianton's mistake, his breaking of the Law of Chastity while on his mission, but that is really unfair.  That is judging the poor man by the worst, I hope, mistake of his life.  One that if the scriptures are to be believed, he repented of and never made again!  That's the part we should be focusing on.  Much like his father, Alma the Younger, he repented of his youthful ways and never turned back to them.  He later goes on to serve more missions and faithfully teaches the Gospel to many men and women.  He is a man I can relate with, after all, I'm not perfect.  I'm certainly no Alma.  I am trying to be though.

The other lessons I learn about Corianton is he is a young man anxiously striving to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and getting frustrated because it is not making sense to him.  Alma takes the time to read the scriptures with his son and to help him understand, like a good father should.  I too have wrestled with questions before and spent long hours, days sometimes, pondering a question about the Gospel.  The fact that Corianton feels comfortable speaking with his father about it is a good thing to my mind.  A lot of children, youth are not comfortable speaking to their leaders or parents and so go to other sources for information, which we adults know will not always be reliable.  As far as rebukes go this is a very gentle one too.  I can feel the love Alma has for his son and how he is begging him to repent and to search the scriptures more diligently.  If all men, and women, had fathers like Alma the Younger, this would would be amazing and scriptorians to boot!  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How Do You Make Sure You Are Spending Enough Time With Each of Your Children?

Today I read Alma 34 - 38.  It is interesting to see what things Alma shares with his sons and how he does not share the same things with each one.  For example Shiblon gets the least amount of counsel as any of them.  Is this because he had the strongest testimony?  Or perhaps because he would not have as much responsibility as Helaman would have in the future.  I can tell you that in life if you are doing ok you might get overlooked by those in authority as they strive to help those that need more assistance.  I have experienced this at home, school, church and even work.  I have even been guilty of this myself at work in the past.  It is easy to forget about those employees that just quietly do what they are supposed to do because they are already doing what is needed.  But it is important to make sure that they get the needed face to face time that each of us crave. 

One of the things my Dad did to try and make sure he spent time with each of us is he would hold personal interviews with us as well as take us out on Daddy dates once a month.  Each of us would have some alone time with our Dad and in general we could do what we wanted to do.  Of course we could not spend a lot of money but if it was inexpensive we could choose the activity.  I remember those times very fondly even though I can only remember a few of them since they kind of tapered off as we got older.  It is something I want to continue doing with my children to ensure I spend at least some alone time with each of them from time to time.  It is easy right now since I only have one daughter but as we have more children I know I will need to make a more concentrated effort to make them each feel special.  But it is very worth it for sure.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

You Can Pray Anywhere at Anytime

Today I read Alma 32 – 33 and I have always liked Alma and Amulek’s sermon on prayer to the Zoramites.  Prayer is our way of communicating to our Heavenly Father.  The way I look at it is if we have a way to speak to a being who is all powerful and can help us no matter what our situation is, why wouldn’t we?  The great news is we do in fact have that ability and our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to hear from us.  The Zoramites who were poor did not understand that they could pray anywhere they were and it would be heard by our Heavenly Father.  To me, because I grew up knowing this, it seems so obvious, but I look around me and see evidence of this same way of thinking today in our world.  It is sad really.  I feel so blessed that I have a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that I know I can reach Him no matter where I am or what I am doing.  It is an important lesson to know.  One I hope I am teaching my daughter through my actions as well as my words.  That is my greatest responsibility, to teach my daughter and make sure she knows the truth and who she can rely on for her salvation.  Until tomorrow.

I am Left to Mourn Because of Their Ignorance

I have not been feeling well this week and have missed a few days.  However I have kept up with my reading and have read Alma 25 - 31 in the past few days.  It's hard to pick out what is most enjoyable about so many good chapters, but I suppose if I am being honest with myself the thing that has been weighing most heavily on my mind lately has to be Korihor and those like him.

It just blows my mind when people will reject hundreds, thousands of eye witnesses.  And yet will find the one exception to the rule and cling mercilessly to it as the reason why those thousands of people are in fact wrong.  Part of me is so impressed by their stalwart, foolish defense of their position.  It's almost like a person a sinking boat arguing that they are not sinking as the water covers up their mouth and stops them from talking.  Of course they are welcome to their own thoughts and opinions, but myself I try and keep an open mind.  If you can argue your cause well enough and have the facts to back it up, I can be persuaded that I am wrong.  The problem I find with most people is they do not have the facts to back it up and are just arguing a certain way because that is how they feel.  And they have every right to feel that way, but don't expect me to jump on board because you feel a certain way and have no facts or eternal truth to back it up.  That is why I cannot be turned from the Gospel.  I have been presented with mountains of facts and have a personal witness from one of the Members of the Godhead Himself that has testified of its truthfulness to me.  And the really sad thing to me, is everyone has that same opportunity if they will just ask.  But they won't so they remain in ignorance and I am left to mourn as did Nephi of old.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Triggers for Becoming Converted

Today I read Alma 22 - 24 where the king of the entire Lamanites is converted to the Lord.  I love how willing he is to learn about the Gospel.  He was truly touched by the Spirit when he met Ammon.  I wonder if everyone has a trigger like this to where they would hunger and thirst after righteousness?  I suspect that they do.  This is why some people are more prepared than others I think.  They have had their trigger and so they are now ready to hear the Gospel.

I have always wondered why the Lamanites got so mad at the Anti-Nephi-Lehi people.  I mean trying to put it in terms of today's world.  It is kind of like an entire congregation of another church joining the LDS church and then other congregations of the original church then going on a murder spree among the Latter-day Saints.  Just because they chose a different religion they get filled with murderous rage?  There are religions like that in today's world of course.  But why would someone want to be a part of that?  Why would you want to follow a religion which advocates murder?  In most cases for no reason other than the idea that they are not part of your religion.  No thank you.  I would much rather join one that advocates love for everyone, no matter if they agree with you or not.  That is what will make this world a much better place.  Even if I did not know this was the true Gospel of Jesus Christ that would just make sense to me.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

King Lamoni's Preparation

Today I read Alma 17 - 21 which is the first half of the mission of Ammon and his brethren to the Lamanites.  I have often wondered why it was that Ammon administered to his brethren instead of Aaron.  Aaron was the eldest son of King Mosiah, per Mosiah 29, so why didn't he minister to the rest?  I have always thought that it was due to Ammon being the most spiritual of the bunch.  That is what I still believe although I have no evidence to support it really. 

Chapter 18 always makes me wonder what had happened in King Lamoni's life to prepare him for Ammon.  I mean did he often allow Nephites to come into his land and attempt to marry off his daughters to them?  I doubt it.  So what why did he do that to Ammon?  Could he sense the Spirit inside of Ammon and understood that he was special?  It might be that, but I think it also partly has to do with the fact that he was Spiritually prepared to accept Ammon and what he had to teach.  Having served a mission myself I am generally in awe of Ammon and his brethren and what they had to suffer in order to accomplish their mission.  I cannot even imagine going through what they did to serve a mission.  They really were converted to the Lord in order to no longer view their enemies as enemies, but as lost souls who needed help.  I hope I can be converted like that some day.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sacrifice for the the Gospel

Today I read Alma 15 – 16.  I have always liked the conversion story of Zeezrom.  It reminds me a lot of Alma the Younger’s conversion.  Like Alma, Zeezrom led many of the people to do wickedness and he did it for his own gain.  And yet, when confronted with the truth, Zeezrom recognized the truth and allowed the Spirit into his heart and it changed him.  He was converted and became a champion of righteousness.  He even joins the mission later on to the Zoramites to preach the Gospel.  He had a complete change of heart.  I wonder if Alma recognized his own conversion in Zeezrom?  I will wager that he did.

I also really respect  Amulek.  We find out in chapter 15 that the Gospel cost him his family, his friends and his fortune.  I can’t even imagine giving up everything like that for the Gospel.  I remember when I was leaving for my mission it was really hard.  I knew that nothing would ever be the same and I was giving up my friends for the Lord.  I can’t imagine doing that and giving up my family also.  My family kept me going and kept me motivated on my mission.  Poor Amulek was turned out by his father at the very least from what the scriptures say.  We don’t know if his wife and children left him too, we’re not told.  I like to think that they at least supported him, but we don’t know.  The Gospel is indeed worth everything we are required to give, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to do.  Until tomorrow.