In the last post, we discussed how Alma taught his people that they must sufficiently remember all the Lord has done for them and their people in the past to be able to trust Him more fully in the present and future.
Now, Alma gives the people of the church a list of questions to evaluate how they are doing spiritually. It’s a list we can use to check where we are on the spiritual ladder as well. A list to help us be humble and repentant, so we can come closer to Christ.
Let’s get started with Alma’s questions:
I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change of heart?”Alma 5:14
Those are deep questions. They aren’t ones that can be answered without a lot of thought and reflection.
What does it mean to be spiritually born of God?
What does someone have to do to have their heart changed by Christ?
What does someone have to think and be to actually reflect Christ’s light to others through their countenances?
Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ
Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?Alma 5:15
How do you exercise faith in redemption?
Repentance is one of the biggest fruits of faith in Jesus Christ. When we turn to the Lord in repentance, we exercise faith that He will redeem us, that He is a perfect Judge and that someday we WILL stand before Him for that very purpose.
Imagine the future
Alma asks if they can imagine standing before God. What do they imagine their Savior’s reaction will be to them? Will Christ tell us we have done good and to come unto Him to have rest? (16) Or will we shrink before Him because we will feel guilty for having rebelled against Him in this life, or guilt for having given Him hardly any or no thought? (17-18)
At the judgment day, we will have a “perfect remembrance” of all our guilt OR a “perfect remembrance” of our faith in Jesus Christ that will enable us to “look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? (19)
Looking up suggests confidence. Spiritual confidence comes from utilizing the Atonement of Christ in our life, through repentance.
Our prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, gave a statement yesterday that is pertinent to our time, with all these contentions happening around the world. He reminded us about who we are and what we must become.
We join with many throughout this nation and around the world who are deeply saddened at recent evidences of racism and a blatant disregard for human life. We abhor the reality that some would deny others respect and the most basic of freedoms because of the color of his or her skin.
We are also saddened when these assaults on human dignity lead to escalating violence and unrest.
The Creator of us all calls on each of us to abandon attitudes of prejudice against any group of God’s children. Any of us who has prejudice toward another race needs to repent!
During the Savior’s earthly mission, He constantly ministered to those who were excluded, marginalized, judged, overlooked, abused, and discounted. As His followers, can we do anything less? The answer is no! We believe in freedom, kindness, and fairness for all of God’s children!
Let us be clear. We are brothers and sisters, each of us the child of a loving Father in Heaven. His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, invites all to come unto Him—“black and white, bond and free, male and female,” (2 Nephi 26:33). It behooves each of us to do whatever we can in our spheres of influence to preserve the dignity and respect every son and daughter of God deserves.
Any nation can only be as great as its people. That requires citizens to cultivate a moral compass that helps them distinguish between right and wrong.
Illegal acts such as looting, defacing, or destroying public or private property cannot be tolerated. Never has one wrong been corrected by a second wrong. Evil has never been resolved by more evil.
We need to foster our faith in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
We need to foster a fundamental respect for the human dignity of every human soul, regardless of their color, creed, or cause.
And we need to work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation.
I plead with us to work together for peace, for mutual respect, and for an outpouring of love for all of God’s childrenRussell M. Nelson
That is a call from a righteous leader of God. Will I heed his counsel by treating all my fellowmen with love and equality? Will I see everyone I come in contact with as children of God (because they ARE)? Who will I listen to here on earth? God or man.
Alma tells his people that if they “yielded [themselves]” to become subjects to the devil, they will be miserable and not be able to lift their heads at the Judgment bar of God.
…No man [can] be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.”Alma 5:21
I love this spiritual checklist. It brings me hope when I read it. It gives me a map to follow in this crazy world, to help stay on the path that leads back to God, not one that leads down to confusion, hate, bitterness, or despair.
I cannot fully express how thankful I am for the Book of Mormon in my life, for its wisdom, teachings, light, truth, and comfort. I thank God daily for restoring His gospel and truth to the earth in our day, and for the gift of this precious book. It is indeed a treasure to help the whole world know who Jesus Christ is and how to come unto Him in our day. Thank Thee, Lord, for Thy tender mercies!