Thursday, November 16, 2017

Alma 5:7-8 -- On Heart Changing

"Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.
And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not."
Alma 5:7-8

Speaking of good things happening to bad people, these verses are amazing.  We're all bad people on some level at some time, right?  Sinners.  And to return to God, we have to be pure and clean and holy, and free of sin... but we're sort of bad, and we *wanted* to sin.  ... That's why we did it.  Part of repentance is not just changing our actions, but changing our thoughts and our *desires* ... our very natures sometimes.  And that is tough.  Because, yeah... the natural man *is* born that way sometimes.  We do want things that are contrary to God's plan.  And this verse gives us hope that we can find our way out of that cycle.  How?  God can *change* our hearts.  ... Not by force, of course.  That would invalidate everything that he stands for.  But he can change us, if we ask him to, and if want to be with him more than we want our sins... our souvenirs of Hell. :)

God offers us not only freedom from death and pain and suffering, but freedom from our own inborn limitations and sinful proclivities.  We don't have to just accept the bad parts of ourselves.  We can continue to learn and grow and eventually overcome them... whatever is getting in between us and God can be overcome, with his help.  And really, not just the sinful ones, but any limitations.  Maybe we aren't good at math.  God can change that too.  ... But whatever it is, obsession or mental block or lack, we have to work at it, and want our relationship with God more than we want it.  That's one reason that God is always asking him to put him first... because that's what it takes to get rid of the bad stuff.  If we want the sin more than we want God's help in overcoming it, he's not going to violate our free agency and force us.

Today, let's follow God's path as so many before us in the scriptures have done.  Let's pray to God and ask him to change our hearts.  Let's do our part and work to change our actions and our minds, and trust that God will help with our hearts as we put him first and want to change.

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