Monday, October 13, 2014

Alma 37

(October 13, 2014)
                I had a number of thoughts as I read through this chapter today.  The first was on the Plan of Salvation.  I have always looked at the plan as something perfect and inalterable – that every possible contingency has been prepared in advance and the end is inevitable from the beginning.  The Lord understands our agency and our personalities and can thus place us in position to respond in such a way that His work is accomplished.

                This is what I envisioned when Alma spoke of small and simple means bringing about great things.  There is the idea that the flapping of a butterfly wing in Mexico 7,000 years ago can set into motion a series of events that leads to a hurricane in Thailand in our modern day, and I suppose that was my understanding of the Plan – all of these small things have been perfectly taken into account and the end result is therefore assured unto the Lord.

                But that took a hit today, as I read Alma’s counsel to Helaman concerning what would happen if he were to disobey the Lord.  In the past when I had seen statements like these, it made me think that the Lord had already planned for everything, but if Helaman made one choice it would affect him one way (the Plan moving forward) or another choice would affect him a different way (again, the Plan moving forward).

                But I noted this time that Alma chooses to preface his statement here with the language that he is making the fact that Helaman could lose the plates plain by the spirit of prophecy.  A prophet, who had accomplished what he had accomplished, was speaking expressly by the spirit of prophecy.  There is no other reason for that language there other than Alma clearly indicating that the Plan could change.

                I don’t know that I understand all the implications of this, but it will dramatically affect my worldview.

                The other thoughts that I had were on First Amendment issues and following the Lord.  Regarding the First Amendment, there is the theory that the solution to bad speech is not censorship but rather more speech.  But Alma clearly shows that this principle is untrue.  I think that I have seen this very same conclusion before (maybe in this very chapter).  Regarding obedience, Alma states that it is easy to give heed to the words of the Lord.  I must be guilty, because I take that truth to be hard.  I feel at times to be desperately looking for the words of Christ so that I can know what I am to do and how I am to serve.  Then, when I find them, they are often anything but easy to heed.  I suppose that says something about me, but at the same time I can take some confidence in that the longer I pursue the Lord, the easier it has become to both find his words and heed them.

No comments:

Post a Comment