Sunday, June 29, 2014

Alma 46:24-27 -- On Standing Fast in Faith

"Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed. And he said—Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment.
Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son, because of that part of his seed which shall be taken unto God.
Now behold, this was the language of Jacob.
And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ."
Alma 46:24-27

I really like the part of this selection that says "even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ."  We read things like this sometimes and we instantly think of other people.  We say to ourselves, oh yeah, that sounds like Bob, or Joe, or Mary, or Jenny.  Those people are clear examples of what God is talking about here.  In 1 Nephi 19:23, Nephi says "I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning," which is a fantastic idea, and it is natural to think of our own life context as we learn the lessons of the gospel.  We need to apply them to modern times, so that we can find ways to apply the lessons to the context we live in.  It's important though to move past just thinking of other people as the central figures in our application, and make sure we apply the lessons directly to ourselves.  It's the same principle as the mote and the beam, or the disciples saying "is it I?" at the last supper.  If we are thinking that we are the exception to the rule, we will miss how the lesson applies to us, and perhaps take our own faith for granted.  That would be a mistake because it is so easy to get lazy with our faith... and faith can never just sit.  Maybe "standing fast" has a double meaning here... being ready to stand up quickly to do something rather than reclining, and *also* being firm and unshaken. :)  Our faith grows or shrinks, depending on how diligent we are at maintaining it, expanding it, and using it.  Today, let's stand fast in the faith of Christ.  Let's keep strengthening and maintaining it, by doing the things that God asks, and by continuing to communicate with and learn from him.  And let's remember to keep examining ourselves and our lives as we learn, rather than finding external examples that are easier to dismiss.

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