Sunday, August 31, 2014

Alma 32:17-20 -- On Signs and Responsibility

"Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.
Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it.
And now, how much more cursed is he that knoweth the will of God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath cause to believe, and falleth into transgression?
Now of this thing ye must judge. Behold, I say unto you, that it is on the one hand even as it is on the other; and it shall be unto every man according to his work."
Alma 32:17-20

It is so interesting how we want things to be certain, but then when things *are* certain, we back away slowly.  I think that it is because we are always looking for the easy way out.  We think that asking for a sign relieves us of responsibility... we've supposedly put the ball squarely in God's court, and if he doesn't show us something obvious, then we're off the hook, right?  ... Wrong, actually.  Alma 32 is a great one for learning about the gospel and how to really tell.  Alma compares the word to a seed, and tells us to plant the seed and to try the experiment and see if it will grow. :)  *Trying* God's gospel and seeing if it works in our lives and makes us happy is the way to tell.  Not asking for a sign.
Alma points out another danger of asking for a sign: what if we get it?  Knowledge carries responsibility, and if God does reassure us in the way that we are asking him to, then we have a lot to live up to.  And, if we were asking for a sign in the first place, we might not have the spiritual maturity to handle it... which is why Alma leaves it to us to judge.  Would we rather try the experiment, and trust... work on our faith and take it step by step, or do we *really* want what we are asking for, a big sign, and a sure knowledge all at once that all of the parts of it are true, knowing that it comes with the associated responsibility to live by it, since we *know*?
Today, let's do good works, and let's plant the seed of faith and see if it grows and improves our lives. :)  Let's listen to God and let him teach us at our individual pace, rather than demanding more than we can handle.

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