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Book of Mormon Study - Ether 14

I read this chapter and am filled with sadness. We hear a lot that we have become desensitized to violence because of video games, movies and television and the world around us, but how often do we read of the wars and deaths in the scriptures in just a quick scan to get our reading in, without ever really thinking about it?

In this chapter thousands of people are murdered. Women and children are killed then left for the animals to feed on. When I sit and really visualize (not a fun task) what that must have been like for them: the terror of seeing Shiz and his blood-thirsty army coming, knowing I couldn't protect my little ones, dying a painful death by the sword or other sharp instrument I think, "how terrifying!"

That might be bad, but think beyond their terrible deaths to the terrible awakening on the other side. The moment they realize the life they could have led if they had but followed the Lord. The blessings they could have had; the prosperity and the joy that could have accompanied their mortal lives, if they would have been a covenant people. That pain from regret must supersede any physical pain they had in mortality.

Guilt and regret eats at the soul. That is what hell must really be like.

I know that is what Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father want for me- so much so that they have given me everything (not most things- but everything) I need to accomplish it: The Savior's Atonement, Knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His organized Church, the Priesthood to act in His name, Prophets, Scriptures, personal revelation, the Holy Ghost and so on.

The only way I can fail is the same as those who went before me: break the covenants I have made; let greed, selfishness and pride take priority over selflessness, humility and obedience; turn my back to the Lord.

This chapter motivates me to make changes in my life that would expel guilt and regret; to strengthen my commitment to follow the Lord, to partake in and be grateful for, all of His blessings; to live my life to its fullest, in obedience and joy; to have no guilt; to have no regret.

I know I won't be perfect, and it will be a challenge, but I also know that I am not in it alone, and that through the power of the Atonement I can achieve the righteous desires of my heart.

What part of today's chapter got into you?


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