Saturday, May 27, 2017

Alma 34:33 -- On the Night of Darkness

"And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."
Alma 34:33

This is an important warning for us.  We often forget, because of the nature of this world, that things are very different for us now than they were before we came.  Our bodies are one of those primary things that we have now that we didn't have before.  They are the source of a lot of our challenges in life, but also a lot of joy and accomplishment.  We mostly take them for granted in this life, forgetting that we will lose them again, at least until resurrection and judgment.  That's why the verse talks about a night of darkness where we cannot perform labor.

Can you imagine not having a body?  Even though we spend so much of our lives adjusting to and learning to control our bodies, it's hard to imagine being without them again, or not being able to interact with people or do the things that we are used to doing.  Are we going to get to the spirit world and keep reaching for our non-existent cell phones? :)  On a more serious note, what will we leave undone here?

The whole "procrastinate the day of your repentance" doesn't seem very scary when we aren't thinking actively about death... and really, we usually don't since that's sort of morbid... but it's a sincerely serious issue that God is trying to warn us about.  Now is the time that we have to choose, to do... to become.  This life is our moment of choice and opportunity for action.  Things after this are going to be different, not only with the body thing, which is huge by itself, but remember the veil?  We're going to have our memories back.  We're going to *know* God.  No more faith necessary, presumably.  It's all going to be apparent.

This is super cool, of course, but also it means that here is the only space that we have to learn and develop faith, to overcome doubt, to repent and change in a situation where we could realistically choose either way, and act on it.  We can't overcome addictions without a body, or truly repent of our actions because we won't have the same temptation to stand up to or the opportunity we have here to choose to walk away from bad habits.

Today, now... let's take this warning seriously.  Let's take action while we can, and learn the things that we can only learn here.  Let's choose to change, and prepare for eternity.

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