It's been way too long since I last updated this "segment" on my blog. I am way behind! Hopefully I can get caught up and it won't take me very long. Here are just a few thoughts that I've already managed to type up.
(66) Alma 34:4 “Yea, even that ye would have so much faith as even to plant the word in your hearts. That ye may try the experiment of its goodness.” Remember that another name for Christ is “the Word.” Therefore, it is Christ what we need to plant in our hearts. Is there anything in this world that has more goodness than the word of Christ?
(67) Alma 34:26 “But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.” Another definition of wilderness is a position of disfavor, so when things are seemingly not going in our favor, or when we have fallen out of favor with God, we should cry unto him in prayer.
(68) Alma 34:35 “For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.” I think this makes it pretty clear why “deathbed repentance” is such a bad idea. When you procrastinate repenting, you do lose the Lord’s Spirit, and so you will also lose the desire to repent and to make peace with God. Once that desire is fully gone, you will already belong to the devil.
(69) Alma 37:8 “And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.” Reading the scriptures and the word of God enlarges our capacity to remember many things.
(70-72) Alma 37:41-42 “Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey, therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.” Before now, I had never thought of not being faithful as being slothful. What does it mean to be slothful, anyway? Some dictionaries define it as being “disinclined to work,” which to me suggests that being faithful requires real work. So, when we cease to exercise faith and diligence, we are no longer able to grow and progress in our own journeys back to the Lord. Not only is our progression stunted when we become slothful, but our spirits are also afflicted with “hunger and thirst” when we transgress the laws of God.
(73) Alma 40:3 “Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know…” I’ve noticed something of a trend where people ask a lot of “speculative doctrinal questions” and I think it is just silly and a waste of time to ask and spend any time or energy about questions to which no one except God has the answers to. It is important to note that God has given us all the answers and information we need, pertaining to our salvation and bringing souls of others unto Christ, he has given us enough information that, if we were to spend all our times and energies understanding this information, this true doctrine, and implementing that knowledge and wisdom with action, then we would find immortality and eternal life right there before us, ours for the taking. We should therefore seek after those things which God has revealed and, when needful, ask for guidance in understanding those things which maybe haven’t personally revealed themselves in our hearts.