Monday, June 4, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Alma 42

I love how Alma explains the Fall, and the need for a plan to redeem mankind. Here he uses the terms "plan of salvation", "plan of happiness" and '"the plan of redemption" to describe that plan. He lays out the precarious state of man after expelled from the garden, and makes me see the need for such a plan.

Then, in verse 15 he teaches the plan cannot happen unless there is an atonement made. It makes sense.

I absolutely love the path of logic Alma takes in verses 16 - 24. Makes me wonder if Alma could have been a lawyer in another life. But then I think, “na...” I don’t really like lawyers much… and I like Alma!

By verse 29 I wrote "Let your sin trouble you to repentance."

By verse 30 I wrote "Do not excuse your sins by denying justice." That reasoning is so prevalent today. Many deny God, or say that God should love everyone no matter what they do. He does love us all regardless of our choices. But, He cannot take away the demands of justice. Hence the need for a Savior.

I look at it this way… and old fashion SCALE. One side represents sins that we commit. Justice requires that there is a punishment for our sins. Mercy cannot rob justice…the sins must be balanced out. We have two options…we can either repent and the atonement of Christ answers the justice…or we can pay for the punishment ourselves if we don’t repent.

Dallin H. Oaks said: “Justice has many meanings. One is balance. People generally feel that justice has been done when an offender receives what he deserves—when the punishment fits the crime. The idea of justice as what one deserves is the fundamental premise of all scriptures that speak of men’s being judged according to their works. The justice of God holds each of us responsible for our own transgressions and automatically imposes the penalty. Justice will also see that we receive what we deserve, and that is an outcome I fear. I cannot achieve my eternal goals on the basis of what I deserve. Though I try with all my might, I am still what King Benjamin called an unprofitable servant. To achieve my eternal goals, I need more than I deserve. I need more than justice. In its relationship to justice and mercy, the Atonement is the means by which justice is served and mercy is extended. In combination, justice and mercy and the Atonement constitute the glorious eternal wholeness of the justice and mercy of God.”

President Kimball said: “If a person hasn’t suffered, he hasn’t repented. He has got to go through a change in his system whereby he suffers and then forgiveness is a possibility.”

Elder Oaks also said: “The person who repents does not need to suffer even as the Savior suffered for that sin. Sinners who are repenting will experience some suffering, but, because of their repentance and because of the Atonement, they will not experience the full exquisite extent of eternal torment the Savior suffered for that sin. The repentant sinner who comes to Christ with a broken heart and a contrite spirit has been through a process of personal pain and suffering for sin. He understands the meaning of Alma’s statement that none but the truly penitent are saved.”

Also…“Just as we will be accountable for our evil desires, we will also be rewarded for our righteous ones. Our Father in Heaven will receive a truly righteous desire as a substitute for actions that are genuinely impossible. My father-in-law was fond of expressing his version of this principle. When someone wanted to do something for him but was prevented by circumstances, he would say: '‘Thank you. I will take the good will for the deed.’ This is the principle that blessed Abraham for his willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Lord stopped him at the last instant, but his willingness to follow the Lord’s command was accounted until him for righteousness. This principle means that when he have done all that we can, our desires will carry us the rest of the way. It also means that if our desires are right, we can be forgiven for the unintended errors or mistakes we will inevitably make as we try to carry those desires into effect. What a comfort for our feelings of inadequacy!”

Also, I love how the Gospel is called the Good News - because that's what it is. I love that fact that even though Corianton messed up, his father continued to teach him in patience and love. And, at the end of chapter 42, Corianton receives another call, another chance, to serve. The fact that we can repent for our mistakes and continue to grow is truly good news.

What did you learn?

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