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Sunday, February 3, 2013

142: HOW QUICKLY WE CAN FALL

We read in the first part of the book of Alma about his experiences in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  After baptizing thousands into the church...there was peace and harmony. No contentions, nor wars around the city of Zarahelma. The Church was established more fully, and many joined and were baptized. In fact 3,500 souls united and were baptized over the following year. They all enjoyed continual peace for a season.

However....
ONE YEAR LATER...

The people of the church began to wax proud. But they had every reason to be... they were members of the true church. They had been baptized by the hand of Alma,  the High Priest.   Notwithstanding, The people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and set their hearts upon the riches and upon the vain things of the world.  They turned their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry.
Those who could see what was happening, beheld it with great sorrow.

How unfortunate for the people of Alma. They should have known better. Didn't they read their scriptures and remember that this happens over and over again? Couldn't they get it right?... Didn't someone tell them that there are three things we can not avoid in this life.. taxes, death, and avoiding the pride cycle?.
.......


Isn't it great that we have finally gotten it right? We have the restored Church, we have living prophet who can't lead us astray. This could never happen to us in the Latter Day Church. :)


.........

Personal Sidenote:

Both of these photos were taken around 4:00 PM yesterday above the Salt Lake Valley. In a previous post I mentioned the pollutions and hazardous air quality in Salt Lake City. The only escape is to ascend to higher ground. For those living in the city, it is difficult to see the type of air you are breathing until you rise above it. In fact from in the Salt Lake valley, the air is so thick it is almost impossible to see the mountains and the majestic peaks covered with white snow. The sun can barely penetrate through the dark polluted air. The sun can only be seen in higher elevations.



On a quick hike above the city yesterday, the scriptures opened to the 5th chapter of Alma.

 "O ye workers of iniquity;
ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world,
ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness
nevertheless have gone astray,
as sheep having no shepherd notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you
and is still calling after you,
but ye will not hearken unto his voice!"
Alma 5: 37


But the next verse gives us hope:

"Behold, I say unto you,
that the good shepherd doth call you;
yea, and in his own name he doth call you,
which is the name of Christ;
and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd,
to the name by which ye are called,
behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.

...................

 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men,
for the arms of mercy are extended towards them,
and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.

Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life;
yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely.
.................

What a blessing and gift the Book of Mormon is to us.