Monday, September 28, 2015

Alma 16

(September 26, 2015)
                There is an important lesson to be learned in this chapter.  Zoram had a goal, and it was a righteous one.  He wanted to rescue people who had been taken captive by the Lamanites.  But rather than pursuing the goal according to his own desires (or even according to his own judgment), he went through the Lord’s hierarchy and to the Lord for information on how to seek out accomplishing this goal.

                This can be applied to our lives in many ways.  For example, many of our brothers and sisters have been spiritually captured, and are right now being led captive out of the Church.  We may desire greatly the capacity to rescue them, to bring them back to activity, and to free them from the suffering and bondage they are currently facing.

                This, of course, is one of the reasons why I post these thoughts on scripture reading online and one of the reasons I try to stay active in online apologetics.  But it is desperately important that we follow the two lessons we learn in this chapter.

                First, we don’t get ahead of the formal Church in what we are writing.  For example, some with good intentions have demanded that what they write stay up even when Church leaders have asked (for reasons I do not know, and therefore cannot judge to be good or bad) that they be taken down.  This is inappropriate save direct revelation from the Lord to the contrary.  I cannot imagine the Church having any issue with what I post here, but if I got word from my Bishop or Stake President or anyone up the line they wanted my blog taken down (or any piece thereof), then that would be what I would need to do.  I cannot help rescue my brothers and sisters from the “Lamanites” if I am unwilling to follow my Alma.

                Second, we must listen to the Lord and go where He directs us to go.  We may want to post about a certain topic or a certain thought, but whenever we feel prompted by the Lord we need to listen to that (rather than our own personal judgment).  We cannot know or understand the reception our words will get from any individual (no matter how well we might know them), so anticipating the response of a mass of people to an online posting is an absurd piece of conceit.  Yes, we should use our best judgment but Divine direction is mandatory.

                The good news, of course, is that this chapter demonstrates that if our desires are good and if we follow the Church and the Lord, we can receive those desires and perhaps help some few (or, God-willing, many) of our brothers and sisters to escape their captivity and return to us.

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