Today I read Alma 37, the closing remarks to his son Helaman. Alma spends his time with his son giving instructions on what to do with the sacred writings and why we have them. He especially spends time talking to him about the record of the Jaredites and to keep the secret combination oaths away from the people.
The last half of the chapter is more about keeping the commandments of God and Alma ties in the Liahona and how just like Lehi and Nephi of old used it to find their way in the physical wilderness, so we too can use the scriptures to navigate through the spiritual wilderness we find ourselves in everyday.
Alma makes a statement in this chapter, he comments on how easy it is to keep the commandments of God. Many people would disagree with him and state just how difficult it is to live the commandment, but really, if you think about it, they really are easy. The problem is we get in the way and make it difficult on ourselves. I mean, honestly, who really wants to start smoking? But people do it because they want other people to like them. People start drinking because they are curious why so many people drink alcohol. And sex, well again it's the curiosity and the unwillingness to control ones own appetites.
That is how it all starts, and then once those vices have you in their clutches, it is extremely hard to get out of them. But really, if one just makes the decision to not indulge in those things, it is remarkably easy to stay away from them. However, I believe Alma is also referring to living the Gospel and using the scriptures to find truth and use them to enhance our lives.
Sadly, believe it or not, I find it a little difficult to apply the scriptures to my everyday life. Now, obviously I can relate them to me, hence the blog :), but in everyday settings, I don't consciously bring them to the forefront of my mind and how they can help me in my life. That is what I have always thought it would mean to liken the scriptures to my life. Now some might say I'm being silly because this blog is all about likening the scriptures to myself, in a way, but I feel I could be doing a much better job of it.
The thing that gives me comfort, is I feel that's how most people feel, including the prophets. Nephi wished he had better control over his emotions and could better live the commandments. I take comfort in that. One of my goals is to eventually have a biography of all the latter-day prophets. So far I have Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Howard W. Hunter and Gordon B. Hinkley. The one thing that stands out the most to me, especially with President Hunter and Hinkley, is that they were men, fallible, makes mistakes, men. I think most people idolize the prophets so much that we forget that, like us, they learn line upon line, precept upon precept. I mean, President Hunter got denied a temple recommend when he wanted to get married because he didn't pay a full tithe! I was glad that got included in his biography, it gives a regular joe like me hope.
Yes, giving heed to the word of God and living the commandments is easy. Very easy in fact. However, we let ourselves and our pride get in the way, as it does all too often with most things of the Spirit. Perhaps, like Nephi, I should actually be praying for more control over myself. One thing is for sure, I can be doing better, but then again, so could we all. Until tomorrow.