Friday, July 18, 2014

Mosiah 18:8-10 -- On Committment and Joy

"And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?"
Mosiah 18:8-10

Alma is preaching to the people here, even though he was hiding from the king and he knew his life was in jeopardy if he was caught.  All of that is going on, and yet his message and attitude is compassionate and joyful.  You can tell that believing and then defending Abinadi is the most important thing he has ever done, even though he had to run for his life afterward.  And now he is preaching what Abinadi taught him, and the people sneak down to listen to him, and they are also filled with that same joy... even though they are risking their lives even being there.  It reminds me of Robin Hood, except Alma as Robin Hood is starting a church instead of a band of thieves. :)
With all of these people risking their lives to listen to the word of God, doesn't it kind of make us laugh at those times in our lives when we've been reluctant to go to church, or thought that the Saturday conference sessions didn't really fit into our schedules?  I read the words and I think ... wow, yeah, that is what the gospel is about.  Bearing one another's burdens.  Mourning and comforting and supporting each other... standing up for Christ.  I believe in those things.  I want that.  And I think that, even if we have overcomplicated our lives by a lot, that we can return to this feeling that Alma captures.  The moment when we understand what the gospel is about in a remarkably simple way, and commit to living it forever.  Because it *is* this simple, and this clear.  If this is the desire of our hearts, then let's either be baptized if we haven't been, or let's renew that commitment in ourselves.  Let's take that step so that God can pour out his spirit more abundantly, and so that we can all be happier.  It's a win-win-win-win... etc. :)  That's what building Zion means... supporting, helping, loving.  And maybe it is the same feeling that it talks about in Alma 5:26: "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"  ... Today, let's try to recapture the joy of dedicating ourselves to God and serving others. :)

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