Monday, June 14, 2021

Mosiah 17:1 -- On Avoiding Poor Choices Such as Murder

"And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king commanded that the priests should take him and cause that he should be put to death."
Mosiah 17:1

This is part of the story of King Noah and Abinadai... just a very small part, and not even the first time that the kind commanded his death, but it made me think of how dramatic we are. Someone disagrees with us or embarasses us, and we're ready to kill them. We let words compel us to action without stopping to consider the consequences. The king even considers letting him go at one point, worried about what he is doing, but he lets his priests goad him into following through on his command. In a general symbolic way, we're much too quick to shout "off with his head" when someone does something we don't like.

Part of the king's impulsivity, and probably of ours as well, was the influence of the people and society around him. On a more basic level though, isn't it the "natural man" part of ourselves? We know that part of ourselves is an "enemy to God" (Mosiah 3:19), but I think we often forget that and think that is the "true" part of ourselves and the spiritual part is foreign... we argue for the supremacy of the natural man quite a lot. Christ however, has shown us a better way, and God will help us as we work to bridle our passions... not giving up our needs and desires, but satisfying those valid physical and emotional in righteous ways.

Today, let's think about the parts of ourselves... not for the purpose of hating ourselves, but for putting things in perspective. Let's take some thought and prayer and start letting our spiritual side be in control more often, finding ways to learn to be whole and calm by finding positive outlets for our feelings and other needs. Let's not let the high drama of our society influence us more than God, and let's definitely remember King Noah as a bad example and not follow in his footsteps, not only in refraining from murder, but also in not letting criticism or personal embarrassment turn into rage and poor choices.

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