Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Alma 12:3-5 -- On Thoughts, Lies, and Enemies

"Now Zeezrom, seeing that thou hast been taken in thy lying and craftiness, for thou hast not lied unto men only but thou hast lied unto God; for behold, he knows all thy thoughts, and thou seest that thy thoughts are made known unto us by his Spirit;
And thou seest that we know that thy plan was a very subtle plan, as to the subtlety of the devil, for to lie and to deceive this people that thou mightest set them against us, to revile us and to cast us out—
Now this was a plan of thine adversary, and he hath exercised his power in thee. Now I would that ye should remember that what I say unto thee I say unto all."
Alma 12:3-5

This is part of the story of Zeezrom, who goes from being a bad guy to a good guy.  Awesome story.  These verses have some interesting points:
  • Lying to others seems to equate to lying to God.  This kind of makes sense if we think of the scriptures that explain "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40) and "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me" (Matthew 25:45).  Our interactions with each other are specifically called out as being equivalent to treating the Lord that way.
  • God knows our thoughts.  This is throughout the scriptures, but it's a good reminder.  God knows what we want and need before we express it, and there is no way to lie to him even when we are lying to ourselves, which we do a lot and should probably be wary of. :)  Being absolutely honest with God is a prerequisite to sincere prayer and a stronger relationship with God.
  • Lying and deceiving are provinces of the Devil.  When we do those things, we are following *his* plan, not the Lord's plan.
  • The Devil is our enemy, even when we allow him to use us.  Doing Satan's will is always going to result in our misery.  That is the ultimate end of serving him, just as joy is the ultimate end of serving God.  God is our friend, Satan is our enemy.  We need to sear that into our brains somehow, because way too often we follow Satan like a kid blindly trusting the kidnapper offering them some candy.  Let's recognize that Satan is trying to poison and kill us, and *stop* listening to him.
This lesson for Zeezrom is for all of us, so that we, like Zeezrom, can learn to be good guys, no matter how bad we have been in the past.  Today, let's listen to and learn from the Spirit, and do as God asks.

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