Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mormon 1:15-17 -- On Preaching

"And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.
And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity.
But I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach unto them, because of the hardness of their hearts; and because of the hardness of their hearts the land was cursed for their sake."
Mormon 1:15-17

This is Mormon talking about his childhood after Ammaron had asked him to take up the plates of Nephi, but before he was old enough to do so.  What intrigued me about this selection was the fact that the Lord forbade him from preaching.  And that made me wonder... do we realize how big a blessing preaching is in our lives?  Alma 31:5 talks a little bit about how powerful preaching was to the people.  It says, in part, "it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them."  And hopefully most of us have experienced the power of attending church... and at least part of the power of that attendance is the power of preaching the word of God.  We go to church partly for that, and that is part of what renews us, and helps us to feel the spirit.  Listening to the words of God, and letting them seep into our souls and inspire us to do better and to be better.
In our society being "preachy" has a negative connotation.  We don't like people telling us what to do or how to behave or trying to convert us into little mindless sheep.  ... Oh, but wait.  Is that what preaching really is?  Only when used badly... as a sledgehammer rather than a life vest.  When we tell people about the hope in our lives and our belief in God, it doesn't have to be about force or coercion or condemnation.  And it definitely doesn't have to be mindless. :)  God likes us to think about what we are doing, and understand it. :)  Preaching is powerful... it is just talking about the word of God.  It can be a blog post, an email, or a quiet chat.  It doesn't have to be scary, or antagonistic. :)  Today, let's try to be less resistant to preaching... which is a good thing.  As we learn above, it is something God allows us to receive because our hearts are still a little bit open, so there is still hope for us.  Let's listen with thankfulness and work on learning from the word of God, wherever we encounter it.  And on the other side, let's also not use our preaching as a club with which to maim others or prove that they are doomed.  If they really were, we would be forbidden to preach to them anyway, as above.  Let's always assume the best, and use preaching only to bring joy, and hope.  Let's carry God's message of happiness in order to save all of us and bring us closer to Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews