Sunday, June 3, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 41

I love the first verse! I think most people misunderstand verse 1. Many assumed it means that some have “rested” the scriptures- as in not reading them. I looked it up and I am reminded that wresting means to forcefully extract or twist the meaning from. That makes total sense to me now.


There are many who take the scriptures and wring them and contort them around their philosophies. They change the meanings to fit their purposes. They wrest the scriptures, and go astray. However, what if wrest meant you work hard to gain better understanding? What if it meant you were squeezing every drop of principle out of the scriptures looking for better understanding from our Father in Heaven?

I like that meaning better.

There is a warning in Alma 13:20, that if you wrest the scriptures, it will be unto your own destruction. Those are strong words. In 2 Peter 1:20 it states that no prophecy of the scriptures should be changed by the will (or interpretation) of man. That’s pretty serious stuff.

That shows me the importance of studying the scriptures in the correct light, through prayer and faith. That way the meaning that is faithfully extracted is correct and in the right spirit.

I am intrigued by the “according to their desires” bit. Although it is very important that our deeds be righteous, our thoughts and attitudes are especially important in helping us to remain good and clean. Then the Holy Ghost will aid us in our every day.

I love in this chapter the emphasis that is put on thoughts and works. They go hand in hand. We will be judged on both. If our desires are good, and our works aren’t, then our desires weren’t actually good in the first place. I’m not talking weaknesses and imperfections- I’m talking blatant bad works.

There is a video on LDS.org that portrays the Savior talking to Nicodemus about this, how our deeds will be made manifest. It is a beautiful video worth watching.

What did you think/learn today?

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