Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Alma 21:5-6 -- On Questions and Answers from God

"Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people?
Thou also sayest, except we repent we shall perish. How knowest thou the thought and intent of our hearts? How knowest thou that we have cause to repent? How knowest thou that we are not a righteous people? Behold, we have built sanctuaries, and we do assemble ourselves together to worship God. We do believe that God will save all men."
Alma 21:5-6

This is an interesting one, and I think maybe a hard one because it sounds so rational.  It gets us because we know that there are inequities in the world, and we don't want to add to them, and we really don't know what is in other people's hearts.  We don't know how righteous other people are, and we know that there are people with some seriously sincere belief and love for God that aren't in our own church.  So, it's good to take questions like this seriously.  But let's also take a step back and look at the core of what this guy is saying.  He's questioning that angels exist, because he hasn't seen one, and trying to pass that off as some sort of Godly discrimination.  He's claiming that maybe they don't need to repent, when God has made it clear that we *all* need repentance.  He's saying that going to church makes you righteous, when it clearly takes more effort than that (although, definitely a good sign), and he says that God will save everyone... which kind of negates free will.  God can only save us if we are willing to be saved and we do the things that it takes.  And, overall, he is claiming that missionaries and prophets aren't needed because they don't know anything... even though we know that they are in communication with God, and that God helps them to do as he asks them to.
Today, let's not be distracted by the little twists and lies and justifications of the devil.  Let's never deviate from the truth just because something sounds convincing.  Let's make sure we're doing God's will, and carrying the spirit with us so that we can't be led astray by even the most compelling of false arguments.  Let's listen to God, and let him help us find the answers when we run into hard questions.

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