Saturday, January 30, 2016

Alma 42-62 Aka the War Chapters of the Book of Mormon

So much to think about in these chapters. I am going to focus on one thing that is personal to me. When I was researching and starting this post I thought I was going to talk about the two thousand Sons of Helaman and the faith they possessed. I was going to talk about their parent and what they much have been like. I ever was going to reference the following scriptures: Alma 53:20 and Alma 56: 47-48.  I am not going to expand on all of that. I think you get where I am going with it.

I want to talk about something that is even more personal. War. I am the least political person. I won’t talk about politics. No news shows for me. When it comes to current events if I don’t happen to see it in my Facebook news feed it is not even in my realm of existence. I am like a bird with its head in the sand. I know there are wars in countries all over the world. I know awful things are going on everywhere. Children suffering, animals suffering, people dying, hurting being tortured. I know this I don’t need to see it read about it or immerse myself in the details of it.  These chapters teach us that the Lord wanted us to know that war would be a reality in our day and age. This book was preserved for us after all. 

I am not in a country where I have to pick up a sword or gun and fight to continue to be a Christian. I hope I never do. But I do have a war I fight. I have, like all of us been at war since before we even came to this earth. See Revelations 12:7-9. Satan is at war with the Children of God every day. He is battling with us. He knows our weakness and plants demons, self-doubt, and fear in our hearts. He whispers in our ears. He acts like a buddy; a friend and tries to convince us that one little transgression is no big deal. Maybe one isn’t, but I say it is. It is the gateway. Open the window a crack and you might be giving Satan the power to uproot the whole house and leave you fully exposed to all of his power of evil. Oh, it probably wont be quick or all at once. You might not even notice it happening. You might even find temporary joy and happiness in your transgression. But, you will start to lose the war. The one you fought to win before you were even born.

Except, we know we are not perfect. We will all sin. We will all transgress. So what now? Is there no hope? Should I let my “Mormon Guilt” take over and say, “Welp, I messed up might as well keep doing it.”  Let me tell you the answer is no! There is a way. There is hope. We can and will win this war that we are in. The Savior Jesus Christ provided the way for us to come back from the smallest to biggest sins or mistakes.  Pray daily. Study the word of God. Reach out to friend of family. Know that even in the worst most contentious, bloodiest wars and times of our lives we are not alone. Have faith and hope. Put on the armor of God. Start your day with a prayer.  Keep it in your heart all day.  I am so far from perfect. I am a sinner. I fall. I yell when a soft word would do a better job. I hurt people without even realizing it. I am a work in progress.  

I hope you find your strength and are inspired to help bring others to the Light. To help them win the war against their demons. To love others as Christ loved us. To not delight in the shedding of blood. To be like Captain Moroni. 
visit TheWarChapters for inspiring reading about this section of the Book of Mormon

Friday, January 15, 2016

Direct Line to the The Big Guy

I am back.

This weeks scripture block was Alma 30 -35.  What drew me in was about prayer.

My testimony of prayer has always been there. Even when I was at the lowest point in my life making choices and living a life I hope none of you reading this ever do or go through I knew God wanted to hear from me. I knew my Heavenly Father was there to hear me. At that point in my life I wasn't really in a place to let the Holy Ghost reside with me, but I knew that if I reached out Heavenly Father would hear my prayers.

In Alma chapter 33 Alma quotes a prophet of old, Zenos. He tell the people that you do not have to pray  in a specific place. You don't only worship one day a week or in one place. I love verse 7 where he says, "And when I did turn unto my closet, O Lord, and prayed unto thee, thou didst hear me."  I took this to literally mean closet for years. If the Book of Mormon prophets are advising the people it is ok to pray in the closest than I was sure Heavenly Father is ok with me praying in my car (where the world can think I am singing or talking on blue tooth.) I know to get answers I need to be in a quieter place, perhaps on my knees in my room alone. However, I know that He will listen where ever I pray.

In the following Chapter, Alma 34, Amulek covers thing that one can pray for. In class we went over verses 20-27 and read all of the things one is advised to pray for and talked about what those thing mean to us today. I loved this. Remember the Book of Mormon was preserved and save for us in these latter days, so we could learn and know the truth.

These 2 chapters teach us so much about prayer and our line to our Father in Heaven. Through the Savior and because of the atonement we will be able to return to Him. I know I knew my Father in Heaven before I came to this earth life. I know that I walk with Him. I talked with Him. I know he wants me to continue to do that now. I am also taking the time to listen. To wait for answers and offer quiet peaceful moments to be comforted by God.