(September 24, 2015)
Time and again, I find myself viewing the scriptures through the prism of my experiences. Today I was struck by the way that the people were treated. Alma and Amulek, prophets of God, held the power to reach out their hands and save these people from the destruction that was being brought upon them by the deceit of others. Yet despite the fact that the could be saved (and, arguably by worldly standards of justice, should be saved) the Lord did not instruct Alma and Amulek to save them.
In the eternal scheme of things, the people who died would be blessed. In the temporal scheme of things, the people who died suffered intense agony from enemies not only of them but of God.
I face, in my own small way, a similar situation. Having been condemned by dishonest attacks from those who seek my destruction, I can be saved by a prophet reaching out his hand. He clearly can do it, and arguably (by worldly standards of justice) should do it, yet it is still entirely possible that he may not do it, and it may be that he does not do it because the Lord will instruct him not to.
Left in that situation, I will need to pass through my own fire, deal with my own suffering, but I can likewise hope that I will receive a similar reward to those who died in the fire in this chapter. I still have hope that this may be avoided, but regardless of whether it is or is not, my obligation is to follow the Lord and trust in His perfect Plan.
The other thought that I had was on the actions of wicked lawyers and judges. Having condemned the innocents to death, and having made Alma and Amulek watch, you would think that would be enough for them. But no, they next needed to smite them on the cheek after the people were burned.
Once again, it is easy enough to compare this to my situation but instead the harder (and more productive) road is to recognize the ways I am doing this in my life. Do I, out of a misguided feeling of justice or vengeance, find joy in the suffering of others (or, worse, add to that suffering)? Regardless of my circumstances, or how I arrived at them, this is something that I must not and cannot do.