Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Alma 9

(September 19, 2015)
                I have noticed, from discussions with people online, that when they resist the Gospel so much of their effort is spent on engaging the mechanism rather than the message.  In this chapter, we have an example of this (they won’t believe because there is only one witness).

                Recently I have been put into a position where I am struggling with something that was handled in a manner that seems clearly biased.  I disagree with the outcome, and I take a good portion of my disagreement in the outcome from the unreliable mechanism that undergirded the outcome.  Reading this chapter, though, and thinking things through I began to worry whether I was doing the same thing.

                But an understanding of proper mechanisms for the delivery of information is not an idle concern.  If it were, the Lord would not consider himself bound by the law of witnesses (for example).  I think the greater flaw in the people in this chapter was not that they didn’t believe Alma because he was but a single witness, but rather that this was merely an excuse for them to ignore the presentation of their sins.  When a second witness spoke, they didn’t suddenly reconsider their position – they found a new reason to disbelieve.

                In the end, I think that is the difference between my situation and theirs.  I have tried to get a fair and unbiased resolution of the matter I am dealing with – and if that unbiased handling of the matter were to occur (even if the result is the same), I am prepared to accept it.  While I believe both the procedure and result were deeply flawed, I am not using my problems with the procedure to justify ignoring the result.  Instead, I look at the flaws in the procedure and leading to a flawed result.  Were the proper procedures followed and the same result to come about, I would accept that result – and would consider it a blessing because it would give me direction and confidence in the result.  Therein is the difference.

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