Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, August 2

“Book of Mormon | Alma 16:16 vs. Helaman 16:22: Both the Lord and Satan Prepare People–but for Different Results” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma 16:16 vs. Helaman 16:22: Both The Lord and Satan Prepare People–but for Different Results

grego
(c)2011

Take a look at these two verses:
Alma 16:16 And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—
17 That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.
18 Now those priests who did go forth among the people did preach against all [wickedness], crying that these things ought not so to be—
19 Holding forth things which must shortly come; yea, holding forth the coming of the Son of God, his sufferings and death, and also the resurrection of the dead.
20 And many of the people did inquire concerning the place where the Son of God should come; and they were taught that he would appear unto them after his resurrection; and this the people did hear with great joy and gladness.
21 And now after the church had been established throughout all the land—having got the victory over the devil, and the word of God being preached in its purity in all the land, and the Lord pouring out his blessings upon the people…

That was in 78 BC. In 2BC—76 years later—there were many similarities—but inverted:

Helaman 16:15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom, saying:
16 Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.
17 And they began to reason and to contend among themselves, saying:
18 That it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come…
20 But behold, we know that this is a wicked tradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing which should come to pass, but not among us, but in a land which is far distant, a land which we know not; therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we cannot witness with our own eyes that they are true.
21 And they will, by the cunning and the mysterious arts of the evil one, work some great mystery which we cannot understand, which will keep us down to be servants to their words, and also servants unto them, for we depend upon them to teach us the word; and thus will they keep us in ignorance if we will yield ourselves unto them, all the days of our lives.
22 And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for {Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come}.
23 And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wrought among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, {Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land}.

Here it’s clear to see that the Lord prepares people’s hearts to receive the word, repent, and enter into His rest, looking forward to the signs with faith; while Satan hardens people’s hearts so that they will refuse the current good and the coming good, and doubt the signs that come with it.

How does this work in your life? I’ve seen the same thing happen but for different reasons, and with different forces behind it.

I remember the story of a man who was deciding about getting baptized, then received anti-Mormon literature in the mail that day—this was his sign—from the Lord, he believed—he wasn’t supposed to get baptized.

Another young man thought Satan was trying to control his heart through the Book of Mormon, until asked if maybe it was the Holy Ghost. After a second of thought, he realized that was a possibility, and later had a clear and firm testimony of the Book of Mormon.

It’s necessary to be able to distinguish whether the Lord is trying to soften your heart or Satan is trying to harden it!

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