Alma 30 was an interesting chapter for me because I realised why I felt so strongly why I needed to let C make his own choices regarding religion... no matter how hard it was for me.
"Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve."
We must all choose for ourselves. Hard to watch loved ones choose something that isn't the gospel.
"...if he did not believe in him there was no law to punish him."
It is hard to not want to levy punishments for not going to church. I am realising more and more that there is more power in an invitaion and allowing a choice to happen. Rules still need to exist, but "men should be judged according to their crimes." Lack of faith is not a crime... though it is a tradgity.
The story of Korihor is tragic. It is so familiar. It hurts.
How can people miss that God is real? All things prove that He is. The earth. The beauty on the earth. Animals. People. Scripture. Sad too many miss it.
The devil does not support his children. He uses all kinds of tactics and techniques to get us to follow him, and yet the only thing he can deliver is pain, sorrow and hell. Harsh words, but true.
I found it interesting, in verse 53, the pattern that was used by the adversary to ensnare Korihor.
He came to Korihor in an appealing way.
He disregarded truth and replaced it with lies that please the carnal mind.
He instructed Korihor to repeat those words until...
Korihor grew to believe them himself.
This verse tells me that Korihor didn't believe what the devilish "angel" told him up front, but it was appealing to him, so he followed it and taught it to the point he actually believed it himself.
There is a term in psychology called cognitive dissonance. It is the unsettled feeling we have when our actions do not align with our beliefs. To get rid of that feeling one of two things must happen:
We change our behavior to match our beliefs or
We change our beliefs to match our behavior.
Korihor chose option two. That is actually not uncommon. That's why many fall away from the church. They commit sin, big or small, and rather than changing the behavior (repentance) they change their beliefs to match/justify the behavior- ie, it can't be a sin if there is no God saying it's wrong, etc.
Korihor was too evil, too stubborn, too wicked- and too late.
Option one is the more difficult of the two- but it is the only way (in a gospel sense) to obtain Salvation. Anything less might make the immediate unsettled feeling disappear, because may have successfully (in our minds) justified our behavior by changing what we believe- but it does nothing for our eternal salvation.
Interesting chapter. Sad- but one that makes me think.
What did you think/learn today?