Friday, October 24, 2014

Alma 49

(October 24, 2014)
                One weakness that I think many people of faith suffer from is an inability to understand evil.  We accept and understand that everyone is inherently good, because were it any different they would not have kept their first estate.  But one of the blessings of this Earth life is its capacity to enact rapid and dramatic change upon each of us – for the better and for the worse.  This was why we volunteered so readily to come to this mortal experience.

                As such, our understanding of the basic goodness of our fellow men is something that must be tempered with an understanding of the potential dramatic consequences of the fall.  I cannot imagine becoming so evil that I would curse God and Moroni and swear to drink Moroni’s blood.  After all, if I am cursing God doesn’t that by definition mean that I believe in God?  Of course, he believed in God – he had just arrived at a point in his life where he hated Him.  This level of evil exists in this world, and it is often hidden from our view.

                But, of course, we are not to judge each other – even when the actions a person takes is evil.  So what are we to do?  It is wrong to naively believe that all mankind is good and it is wrong to judge our fellow men as evil.  This, of course, leads us to the only choice that we have – trust in God.  We evaluate the situation as best as we can, and we come to the decision that we believe to be the best decision we can make.  Then, having made this decision, we take it to the Lord and ask for Him to confirm.  Then, barring a negative response, we act on our decision.  Not with malice nor with permanent condemnation, but rather with hope for the change and repentance of the person that we are acting against (if such a circumstance arises).  We must never believe someone beyond the reach of the Savior and we must never act against someone without taking the matter first to the Lord – but we must also not be unwilling to stand against evil (even when that evil is found in our brothers and sisters).

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