Monday, January 18, 2010

Mosiah - Chapter 28

It seems pretty clear that a primary sign of solid conversion is a manifest determination to share the blessing of the gospel.  These five brethren came out of their conversion with a real change of heart.  Let's contrast the Sons of Mosiah with Zeniff and his people.  They both wanted to return to the Land of Nephi.  Zeniff's group, though good righteous people, were doing so to satisfy their own personal desires and motivations.  Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni, however, sought to go there for the sake and benefit of the Lamanites and not themselves.  This depth of conversion obviously involves a remarkable change of heart.  They are not just believers, they are fundamentally different in their attitudes, motivations and willingness.

Such a change of heart is what we call "being born again."  We Latter-day Saints tend to get a little queasy at the mention of being born again.  Maybe it's because we tend to feel oppositionally positioned compared with the born again Christian tradition.  It's time we got over that and earnestly moved in that direction.  From yesterday's reading:
Mosiah 27:25 - And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;

  26 And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Addiction recovery required this.  Addicts don't just quit; they must become transformed.  A dear friend of mine, a Landmark Baptist minister, lives here in Utah among us.  He's been here for about 15 years.  He's made a practice of asking every Mormon he meets if they have been born again.  Last year, when he asked me, I humbly replied that I had.  He looked shocked and said, "You are the first, out of hundreds of Mormons I've asked, who answered in the affirmative!"  That to me is very sad.  I have no reason to boast, most of my life of active membership in the church, I too would have answered no.  Being born again is nothing to brag about, it is a gift.  It is a great gift, reflecting the merits of Christ, no my own.


di said...

3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not abear that any human bsoul should cperish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure dendless torment did cause them to quake and etremble.

I love the idea of having this much love and compassion for all mankind. Their sure knowledge of God and heaven contributed, I’m sure, but even so, they even loved their enemies that much.

D1Warbler said...

I think the reason that so many Mormons shy away from the "born again" idea is that they reject the idea that many evangelicals put forth that says that once you say you have been born again, your job is finished.

We do reject that notion, but we should not reject the idea that we do need to be born again in Christ -- accept his gift to us, and then go forward to be the best people we can be, serve others and endure to the end. Being born again is only the beginning of the journey -- it is not the end of it.