24 September 2008

Doing Something

I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning where Alma the Younger is telling his son Helaman about his conversion. I had an interesting thought as I read and compared this experience to that of Paul in the New Testament and to my own life. I ofter hear in Sunday School classes people wonder at why someone so wicked would have the experience of seeing an angel while other more righteous people did not get that chance. I think the question though not stated is, "Why can't I see an angel. I am more righteous than Paul was."

My thoughts don't generally come to me in a linear format so it is hard to write them out in such a way, but I will do my best. The specific verse that triggered my thoughts was Alma 36:5, the end of which states, "but God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known unto me, not of any worthiness of myself." The first thing to note is that Alma recognizes that he did nothing to deserve his salvation. He received his salvation through the grace of Christ. I noted here that I receive salvation the same way. This means, that no matter how good or bad we are, we all receive salvation through the grace of Christ, and not by "any worthiness of [ourselves]."

This idea that we are all "unworthy creatures" put me on level ground with Saul and Alma before their conversion. This led me to wonder what it was that made both of these men such worthy candidates for direct correction. I think the main strength of these men was their diligence in doing what they thought was right. Their course was wrong but they went full force down the path they deemed appropriate. Paul even went to the extreme of rounding up the christian heretics so they could be executed.

These men were primed to do the work of God. They were very active in their governments and communities. They were very good and organizing and leading people. They were great at teaching and persuasion. They had every thing they needed except the truth and little direction. God was able to then very easily give that to them.

Many people of their day had the truth already, but they did very little with it. They were energized to get up and do something. I suspect that God had lots of reasons for choosing these great men to lead in His church, but perhaps on of them is that they were already leading. Perhaps it is easier to get an misguided but energized person to change course than it is to get a correctly focused slothful person to become energized.

This has made me think a lot recently about where I stand. I recall the words that John wrote to the Laodiceans, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." It seams that the Lord would have us be "anxiously engaged." I have had to think a lot recently about what I am engaged in. There is a lot going on in the world right now. There is no shortage of good causes in which to help. I guess it is time to stop thinking and time to start doing.

No comments: