Thursday, July 14, 2016

Alma 42:9-10 -- On Life as a Time of Preparation

"Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.
Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state."
Alma 42:9-10

This is part of a series of chapters where Alma explains the gospel to his son. There are some great highlights in this selection.  One of them is that spiritual death equates to being separated from the Lord.  That's an interesting idea, as physical death is a separation of the soul and body.  All of it seems so permanent in this life, but separation is so different than the way we so often think of death... as a disintegration or negation, or disappearance into nothing.  It's never that.

The other idea I really love here is that life is a time of preparation.  We talk about it as a test sometimes, but today I was thinking about this, and maybe it is more like taking prerequisite general education classes before we can start the core courses for our major in college.  We have to learn the basics, like self-awareness, managing our emotions and passions, learning to love and respect other people, how to overcome our mistakes, move on, and improve ourselves, how to communicate with the teachers and follow instructions, how to do research for ourselves, and basically all the things that we're going to need later.  And if we don't learn them, we have to retake the same class the next semester while we're also trying to learn more stuff.  Eventually, we have to meet with our advisor and see if we're ready to move on.  ... Unfortunately, we're usually skipping classes, ignoring the teacher, goofing off instead of studying, and so much more.

Today, let's remember that this life is a time of preparation... it isn't the end, and we need to be ready for what comes next.  God is getting us ready, but in order to know what to do, we have to listen to him. :)  Let's try a little harder to do that.

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