Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 39: Alma 7-9

Hello my dear friends!

Can I just tell you how productive I was today?  My day went by soooo slow!  My son, who does online homeschool, has gone to work with my husband all week and it has been sooooo quiet!  I vacuumed rooms, made beds, did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, read my scriptures, cleaned rooms, made beds, organized closets, organized cupboards all before 12:00 in the afternoon!  I really missed my kids today.  I was kind of lonely.  I've never in my entire time of being a mom, had 3 days home without a child home.  It was kind of strange.  At one point, I was listening to the radio and a commercial came on and a child said "Mom!" and I answered back…… "Yes??"  I thought it was one of my kids for a minute.  LOL!

I really enjoyed today's readings!  I am so amazed by Alma's faithfulness.  Yesterday he preached to the people of Zarahemla and in today's chapters he has a sweet experience with the people in the land of Gideon.  Then he meets Amulek!  Love the story of Alma and Amulek because there is so much we can learn from them.

Here are some of my favorite scriptures in chapter 7.  I love learning more about my Savior, Jesus Christ.

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions and btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.

    Alma 7:11–12. Our Pains, Afflictions, Temptations, Sicknesses, and Infirmities

  • Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote of the Savior’s familiarity with the afflictions of mortality and with our individual transgressions: “He knows by actual, personal experience, because not only did He suffer pains, afflictions, and temptations of every kind during His second estate, but He took upon Himself our sins as well as our pains, sicknesses, and infirmities. (See Alma 7:11–12.) Thus He knew, not in abstraction but in actuality, ‘according to the flesh,’ the whole of human suffering. He bore our infirmities before we bore them. He knows perfectly well how to succor us. We can tell Him nothing of pain, temptation, or affliction; He learned ‘according to the flesh,’ and His triumph was complete!” 

Here is a great video I found on the Mormon Channel on Youtube.  This woman's story is of faith, strength, and hope.  We all have different challenges and trials we face while on this earth but we can overcome them through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

The following verses really touched me.  How can we be born again?  It is all layer out for us in these verses.

Alma 7:14-16
 14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.
 15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.
 16 And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me.
I love in verse 15 where Alma says to "lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you…"  I know in my life I have a lot to work on but some of my sins seem to come easier than others.  How can we lay aside these sins which come easily to us?  Here are a few of my thoughts on that…

#1 - Pray daily for help with these sins!  We can do all things through our Savior!  I know that almost EVERY night I pray for patience with one or more children OR I just pray that I can be a better mother the next day.  Raising a family is hard work and I know I am not perfect BUT I also know that I cannot do it without HIM by my side.

#2 - Change our environment.  For example, if we are having problems with watching or listening to TV or music that we can tell are not good for us, watch or listen to something else.  I have an entire playlist of uplifting songs that I have downloaded over the years.  I find that as I am listening to good music, my thoughts are turned to serving others and not negative thoughts.

#3 - Make new friends.  If you notice that being around certain friends does not uplift or edify you, then start reaching out and making new friends.  We tell our children to surround themselves with good friends their entire lives, we should do the same.

#4 - Serve others!  I know that whenever I am thinking of myself only, I start to feel greedy, prideful, envious, etc.  When I get out of myself and look for ways to help someone else it is amazing how my attitude changes.  "When we're helping we're happy!"

#5 - Have a thankful heart.  When we have a thankful heart we are recognizing our blessings daily and looking for the good in our lives.

#6- Forgive others!  It is so easy for us to see all the many things our neighbors, family, and friends do wrong but don't realize that we are the ones with the bigger sin by judging them.  We are asked to forgive others if we expect our Heavenly Father to forgive us of our sins.

Thought I would share this beautiful piece sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I encourage you to sit, close your eyes, and feel of the Spirit as you listen to the music and words.  The lyrics are under the video.

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, 
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; 
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
Call for songs of loudest praise. 
Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
Sung by flaming tongues above. 
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
Mount of Thy redeeming love. 

2. Sorrowing I shall be in spirit, 
Till released from flesh and sin, 
Yet from what I do inherit, 
Here Thy praises I'll begin; 
Here I raise my Ebenezer; 
Here by Thy great help I've come; 
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, 
Safely to arrive at home. 

3. Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
Wandering from the fold of God; 
He, to rescue me from danger, 
Interposed His precious blood; 
How His kindness yet pursues me 
Mortal tongue can never tell, 
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me 
I cannot proclaim it well. 

4. O to grace how great a debtor 
Daily I'm constrained to be! 
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, 
Bind my wandering heart to Thee. 
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
Prone to leave the God I love; 
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
Seal it for Thy courts above. 

I just love how Alma takes his time to teach the people of Gideon the words the Lord has prepared for them.  He uses this time to teach them instead of calling them to repentance.  The following verses are also some of my favorite.

Alma 7:23-24

23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
 24 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.
I wanted to share a video on Charity with you all.  Get your tissues out.  The most amazing thing is that I am surrounded daily by good people like this in my church and my community who would give you the coats off their backs.  I've witnessed it.  Yes, there is a lot of bad in the world but there is much more good in the world.  I know that these things are absolutely TRUE!  

I need to close for the night but want to encourage you to really ponder as you are reading chapters 8 and 9 as well as 7.  I LOVE the story of Alma and how he met Amulek.  I am amazed when I think of Alma's story and how he was an unbeliever who went about to destroy the Lord's church.  Do you remember what happened?  He was struck dumb by an angel of the Lord!  He then, from that time forward, went about preaching the word of God and is now the High Priest in the land.  He gave up his judgement seat to share the gospel.  Right before he met Amulek he was visited by that same angel who called him to repentance.  What the story of Alma the Younger says to me is that it's never too late for ANYONE!!  We all are sinners and through the atonement of Jesus Christ can be made whole again.  We can change and turn our lives around.  I know that people can change as I was one of them.  I hope you all know that I have a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation, the Book of Mormon, and of our Heavenly Father's love for each of us.  These these things are real.  The Book of Mormon is not just a book of great stories but it is a "journal" of what happened to real people like you and me!  Isn't that amazing?  If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me.  I love you all and am thankful that you are taking the time to read with me.  

Big hugs!

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