Tuesday, June 27, 2000

Alma 12:9-11 -- On the Chains of Hell

"And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell."
Alma 12:9-11

I think this is interesting... that we know more or less depending on how well we listen to God.  And that we actually lose knowledge, forget things, based on our disobedience.  It actually makes a lot of sense, when you think about the Spirit's role in bringing things to our remembrance.  So, if we don't have the Spirit, we start losing things from our accessible memory.  Scary thought.  It's like Korihor (the anti-Christ) saying that every man prospers according to his genius, and conquers according to his strength.  We believe that way too often.  In the end, all things depend on God.  The air we breathe, the food we eat... the friends we are fortunate enough to have.  God has given us everything... every ability and talent we have, every beautiful sight that we can see... the ability to learn, to remember... to be smart or strong or funny.  And there is so much more in store. :)
From my experience, this scripture is absolutely true.  My memory is affected directly and significantly by how close I am to God.  We sometimes wonder how people who have had amazing miraculous experiences can fall away from the gospel, and I think it is because of this.  Our free agency gives us so much power to do good or bad, to ourselves and the people around us.  It even lets us hide from the memories of good so as to allow us to live with ourselves... at least until death and judgment.  Today, let's not believe that we can get by without God.  That is the first mistake. :)

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