Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Alma 14

(September 24, 2014)
                One thing that seems consistent over time is that the truth is content to be the truth – it doesn’t need to be proven.  Only when we work to lie to ourselves does the demonstration and acceptance of this ‘truth’ become important to us.  It is enough for us to merely know the truth, so long as it is the truth.  When what we believe is not the truth, however, it suddenly becomes important that those around us accept our version of ‘truth’ – for them to do otherwise runs the risk of us discovering the ways we have deceived ourselves.

                We see this behavior in this chapter.  Alma, preaching to the people of Ammonihah, realize just how hard-hearted they were.  They would not accept the truth, and so he chose to move on to teaching other people (because the truth was the truth regardless of what the people of Ammonihah thought about it).

                Now he turned back when an angel told him to, and he started to preach again to the people.  And he had some success.  Now the shoe was on the other foot.  The leaders of the city of Ammonihah were now confronted with people who disagreed with their version of ‘truth.’  What did they do?  They slaughtered the women and children and burned the records.  But Alma and Amulek, they spared.

                They had to spare Alma and Amulek, because their lie was at risk for self-discovery.  They needed Alma and Amulek to reinforce what they had told themselves.  The truth is strong enough to stand on its own without any other support, but a self-generated ‘truth’ needs confirmation and validation.  So they tormented Alma and Amulek, hoping they could bring the pair of prophets to agree with them (and thus solidify their ‘truth’).  Of course, that never happened.

                The lesson that I take from this is an important one in knowing how to judge myself and what I believe.  If it is important to me that someone else come around to my way of thinking, chances are I am lying to myself.  If, on the other hand, I have accepted a genuine truth then I find myself unconcerned whether others believe me or not.  The truth stands boldly, nobly, and independent.  

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