Monday, April 16, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 12

Wow- this chapter covers judgment, works, probationary time, the Plan of Redemption, Agency, Commandments, Repentance, The Fall. AMAZING CHAPTER!!!!!!!!

Alma's purpose here is was two-fold: to establish the words of Amulek and to explain the scriptures further. Amulek got Zeezrom's attention, now Alma could go in a preach further.

The first part of this chapter reminds me that our thoughts can be made known to another by the Spirit. This discernment is a gift of the Spirit. Though Heavenly Father knows our thoughts, He respects our privacy and does not frequently reveal them to others. However, He does allow those who live in tune with the Spirit to be prompted in various ways to help others.

In verse 5 Alma tells Zeezrom something that is real- and very frightening. He says that t he devil "hath exercised his power in thee." It is a scary reality. I think we get so caught up in our own lives, saying that we can do what we want, because it's our life. But, what we forget it that God can work through us in our decisions, and so can the Adversary.

It's never just us alone. All of our choices and actions benefit ever God or the devil. Whose side do you want to be on?

It also strikes me that God is not the only one with a plan. Satan has a plan too! Check out verse 4-6. “… a very subtle plans to the subtlety of the devil… that he might bring you into subjection unto him, that he might encircle you about with his chains, that he might chain you down according to everlasting destruction.”

Hmmm… If he has a plan we had all better watch out!

This chapter gives a beautiful glimpse into the purpose of this life. God's plan is so important that since the beginning of time he sent angels to teach men of His plan.

We are so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much. He has given us the Plan of Salvation, and His Son. I read this chapter and I feel so blessed.

Thankfully, God reveals to us His plan. Sometimes we see revelation as the mysteries of God, something that is difficult to understand. But, mysteries of God means truths that are withheld from the world but given to the faithful through revelation (see Alma 26:22).

What must I do to learn the mysteries of God? (Alma 12:10–11) I harden my heart I receive “the lesser portion of the word” and if I soften my heart I will receive “the greater portion of the word.”

The Spirit will guide us as we diligently study the gospel and heed the truths we learn. The Savior set a perfect example for us in applying the gospel to our lives.

So much of who we are and how we live starts with what we think.

Elder Boyd K. Packer: “If you can control your thoughts, you can overcome habits—even degrading, personal habits. If you can learn to master them, you will have a happy life. I would teach you this. Choose from among the sacred music of the Church a favorite hymn, one with words that are uplifting and music that is reverent, one that makes you feel something akin to inspiration. . . Now, use this hymn as the place for your thoughts to go. Make it your emergency channel. . . As the music begins and as the words form in your mind, the unworthy thoughts will slip shamefully away” (Teach Ye Diligently [1975], 46–47).

President Packer: “The course of our mortal life, from birth to death, conforms to eternal law and follows a plan described in the revelations as the great plan of happiness. The one idea, the one truth I would inject into your minds, is this: There are three parts to the plan. You are in the second or the middle part, the one in which you will be tested by temptation, by trials, perhaps by tragedy. Understand that and you will be better able to make sense of life and to resist the disease of doubt and despair and depression” (The Play and the Plan, 1–2).

The basics of The Plan are spelled out nicely in this chapter:

Although the veil prevents us from remembering our premortal life, we lived before we came to earth and we will live after we die.

Because of the Fall of Adam, all mankind is lost and fallen.

Death was a result of the Fall of Adam and is a necessary part of the plan.

Earth life is a probation and a time to prepare to meet God.

If there were no plan of redemption, there would be no Resurrection.

All people will die and be judged.
God teaches the plan to His children according to their faith, repentance, and holy works.

God gave commandments after He taught the plan of redemption.

The Atonement of the Only Begotten Son is central to the plan of redemption. The Redeemer made the plan of redemption possible. The definition of redeem: “to buy back; recover; free from captivity by paying a ransom; rescue; restore; repair.”

President Packer: “Some are born with so little and others with so much. Some are born in poverty, with handicaps, with pain, with suffering. Some experience premature death, even innocent children. There are the brutal, unforgiving forces of nature and the brutality of man to man. We have seen a lot of that recently. Do not suppose that God willfully causes that which, for his own purposes, he permits. When you know the plan and purpose of it all, even these things will manifest a loving Father in Heaven” (The Play and the Plan, 2).

What did you think/learn today?

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