Friday, June 6, 2014

Helaman 5:40-42 -- On Escaping the Darkness

"And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?
And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.
And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed."
Helaman 5:40-42

This is an interesting story.  Nephi and Lehi (brothers, sons of Helaman) are thrown into prison, and after they had been there several days without food, they came to get them to put them to death... but God stopped them.  They looked like they were on fire, and there was also an earthquake, a cloud of darkness came up around them, and a voice spoke out of heaven.  They look over and see Nephi and Lehi speaking to something above them, and they are confused.  They can't run because of the darkness, and even if they could, they are frozen with fear.  But this guy Aminadab used to belong to the church, and he realizes what is going on, and he tells them that Nephi and Lehi are talking to angels.  Which is cool, and I am sure they were sufficiently impressed, but their real concern comes in these verses.  What can we do to escape the darkness that surrounds us?  And Aminadab tells them, and they are motivated... and they escape, and end up conversing with angels as well. :)
In our lives I think we often have a similar question.  What can we do to escape the darkness that surrounds us?  Sometimes it seems that it has come to stay forever, or that it isn't possible to escape.  But it is.  And the answer now is the same as it was then.  We need to repent, and pray... and if we don't have faith, we pray until we do.  As we practice, we'll observe and learn and realize the efficacy of communication with God.  Reading our scriptures could help as well, if this cloud of darkness has any relation to the mist of darkness from Lehi's dream (different Lehi).
Escaping the darkness isn't necessarily easy.  Praying until you have faith in something can be tough... we're remolding our hearts and minds here, and so often we think of those things as just what we are, immutable.  But what are all the scriptures about if not a record of people who *can* change, who can take action according to their beliefs, and accomplish something thereby?  We aren't trapped where we are, no matter how much of the cycle is our own self-sabotage.  God is here to help us with exactly these things... the ones that we can't do alone.  He is willing to save us every time, to pick us up, put us back on our feet, and give us another chance at better choices.  Today, let's take him at his word.  Let's believe in our ability to change, with God's help, and let's cry unto God until we have enough faith to escape the darkness.

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