Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Helaman - Chapter 6

37 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.
I think this is one of the most remarkable scriptures in the entire Book of Mormon.  The Lamanites destroyed the Gadianton Band not with weapons of war and strategy of battle.  They preached the word of God to them and did so with such power that even the more wicked among the Gadiantons were converted and abandoned their wicked ways.

If we were to actually, trustingly liken this scriptures unto ourselves, who would we teach the gospel to?  Who would we cease to judge unworthy of God's precious gifts?  I spoke to a youth group the other day.  The Spirit was there in abundance.  During my testimony I felt to promise those young people that in their lifetimes they would witness miracles the like of which the world has never seen.  Now, I've never felt I had the spirit of prophecy, but looking back on that statement, I have no doubt that it will come to pass.  Since that occasion I've come to wonder what those miracles might be.

Could we see the Muslim nations embrace the gospel?  Could we see Temples in Riyadh, or Kabul, Jakarta?
Can we expect to find Wards and Stakes across the breadth of China?  I don't have any idea what marvelous things might transpire in our lives.  This much I do know.  The miracles and blessings that will most please the Lord will not transpire as a result of military conquest, or because of shifts in economic or political boundaries.  Those miracles will come because of the powerful preaching of God's word among his children, even the more wicked part of them.

Earlier in the chapter mention is made of the Lamanites preaching to the Nephites with power.  Too often, our preaching lacks power.  I personally think that part of that power comes of the authority of experience.  The testimony of God's grace, goodness and redeeming love becomes powerful as we share our own very real and poignant experience with those things.  So it was with Alma.  Also, Amulek.

If we are trying to persuade folks to seek the blessing of being born again, might it not seem pretty hollow if, in fact, we have not yet been born again ourselves?  Can you see how speaking of that, or another principle of the Gospel gains power when taught and testified of from our own personal experience?  Can you see how the Spirit might lend greater strength to such a testimony too?  We need to prepare ourselves to teach with such power.

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