Saturday, April 25, 2015

Alma 15:3-4 -- On Admitting We're Wrong

"And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat.
Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him."
Alma 15:3-4

Some extreme fast-forward background on these verses: Alma and Amulek preach to the people in the city.  One of the people harassing them and arguing with them is Zeezrom.  Zeezrom is a smart guy, and he probably thinks that he can catch these obvious frauds in a lie.  And when they answer everything he asks, and they turn out not to be frauds, he is kind of speechless.  Then, he finds out that the people he was supporting are crazy enough to want to kill the people that believe.  Zeezrom tries to stop it, but he just gets driven out of town, and after they are gone, the people in the city round up the copies of scripture, as well as anyone who believes among the wives and the children of those they kicked out, and they burn them all.
I think we all get wrapped up in things that we later regret, but this was some pretty serious regret for Zeezrom, and the guilt, as it were, was killing him.  So when he finds out that Alma and Amulek are still alive, he has a little bit of hope, and he asks to see them.  What strikes me about this whole story is that Zeezrom was brave enough to admit that he was wrong, and to stand up for these men of God, and then was humble enough to later ask for their help, even though he had been on the other side and fighting them to begin with.  That's a really hard thing, and I think sometimes in our own lives we don't turn around and proclaim the truth even when we realize it because our pride gets in the way and we don't want to say we were wrong.  But the story of Zeezrom offers hope, because it shows all of us that we can turn our lives around and be part of the good guys if we want to be.  If we realize that we're on the wrong side, it isn't ever too late to repent and change.  It's hard... definitely hard, but he shows us that it *is* possible.  Today, let's work on being as bold and as humble as Zeezrom was.  Let's be brave enough to admit when we are wrong, and strong enough to seek the truth despite mockery or rejection.

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