Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mosiah - Chapter 23

During this week's lesson at the Detention Center a friend posed and interesting question.  "What is your first impulse when you see someone broken down at the side of the road?"  "What is your second thought?"  We all agreed that initially we thought to stop and help, which was immediately followed by a string of thought giving us rationale as to why we shouldn't.  He, rightly, suggested that the first impulse is direction from the Spirit.  We all agreed with that observation as well.

When Alma was initially confronted by the lost Lamanites and Amulonites, I suppose his first impulse was to help as well.  I can imagine he had lots of second thoughts about the dangers of helping his enemies.  Still, and of course, there was also the threat, he chose to assist them, or do the right thing, regardless of the consequences.  I'm going to be thinking about this story next time I try to talk myself out of being helpful by imagining some danger or casting some judgment.  When we say we want to do the right thing, it ought to be regardless of the consequences.  The right thing is simply the right thing.
21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. 
I'm not going to pose any conjecture as to why the Lord saw fit to chasten Alma and his people; that is God's business.  Still, I think this is an important thing to consider.  Essentially, they seem to have been making right choices and striving to be obedient.  Certainly, they we following their prophet and were making appropriate sacrifices in their lives.  Chastening and punishment are not necessarily the same thing.  I love that the account makes the distinction between faith and patience.  I've currently been inadequately employed, if at all, for over six months.  The patience part is a big deal after all this time.  I've applied faith in this process, but I haven't been all that patient.  I'm glad to have had that pointed out to me.

I hope and even trust that, for me the outcome can be quite similar to that described in the balance of this chapter.  I may not be delivered at once, but I might expect my burdens to be lightened.  I might even be able to think on what I have to learn to more fully serve the Lord, rather than dwelling on suppositions as to why the Lord would deal with me thus.
  18 Therefore they did watch over their people, and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.
I would be remiss if I didn't not thank you, D1Warbler, you di, and you, Love Life and Learning, for nourishing me with your wonderful, powerful observations and insights, especially those of late, which have deeply touched my heart.  Your thoughts are most certainly things pertaining to righteosness.  Thank you each so very much.

1 comment:

di said...

22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.

‘the last day’ that might seem like a long time to wait, but that is the blessing from the obedience to the principle, putting my trust in him.

Candleman, I love the idea of our first impulse being the spirit. I am going to think about this some more...