Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2012, August 14

“Book of Mormon (Alma 40; Alma 39-42): How Alma’s Talk to Corianton about ‘Not Knowing’ Shows How Those with Faith Seek Revelation and Continue in Faith versus Those Who Use or Allow Doubts to Excuse Unfaithfulness and Sinful Behavior” by grego

Book of Mormon (Alma 40; Alma 39, Alma 41, Alma 42): How Alma’s Talk to Corianton about ‘Not Knowing’ Shows How Those with Faith Seek Revelation and Continue in Faith versus Those Who Use or Allow Doubts to Excuse Unfaithfulness and Sinful Behavior

grego
(c ) 2012

A major part of Corianton’s problem seems to be that he lets his lack of gospel understanding/ testimony interfere with his faithfulness.

First, here are some verses that show his lack of understanding/ testimony:
Alma 39:17 And now I will ease your mind somewhat on this subject. Behold, you marvel why these things should be known so long beforehand. Behold, I say unto you, is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming?
Alma 40:1 NOW my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead.
Alma 41:1 AND now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the restoration of which has been spoken; for behold, some have wrested the scriptures, and have gone far astray because of this thing. And I perceive that thy mind has been worried also concerning this thing. But behold, I will explain it unto thee.
Alma 42:1 AND now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more which doth worry your mind, which ye cannot understand–which is concerning the justice of God in the punishment of the sinner; for ye do try to suppose that it is injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery.
Alma 42:29 And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.

Here are some verses that show how he used this lack of understanding/ testimony as an excuse to sin:
Alma 41:9 And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.
Alma 41:10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
Alma 42:29 And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.
Alma 42:30 O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility.

On the contrary, in this same talk to his Corianton, Alma shares the following:

Alma 40:3 …Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know–that is concerning the resurrection.
Alma 40:4 Behold, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead. Now when this time cometh no one knows; but God knoweth the time which is appointed.
Alma 40:5 Now, whether there shall be one time, or a second time, or a third time, that men shall come forth from the dead, it mattereth not; for God knoweth all these things; and it sufficeth me to know that this is the case–that there is a time appointed that all shall rise from the dead.
Alma 40:8 Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.

Alma 40:6 Now there must needs be a space betwixt the time of death and the time of the resurrection.
Alma 40:7 And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men from this time of death to the time appointed for the resurrection?
Alma 40:9 Therefore, there is a time appointed unto men that they shall rise from the dead; and there is a space between the time of death and the resurrection. And now, concerning this space of time, what becometh of the souls of men is the thing which I have inquired diligently of the Lord to know; and this is the thing of which I do know.

Alma 40:10 And when the time cometh when all shall rise, then shall they know that God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man.

Alma 40:11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection–Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel… (and Alma goes on to explain what happens.)

Alma 40:15 Now, there are some that have understood that this state of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection, the raising of the spirit or the soul and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken.
Alma 40:16 And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a first resurrection, a resurrection of all those who have been, or who are, or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Alma 40:17 Now, we do not suppose that this first resurrection, which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls and their consignation to happiness or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth.
Alma 40:18 Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but it meaneth the reuniting of the soul with the body, of those from the days of Adam down to the resurrection of Christ.

Alma 40:19 Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ.
Alma 40:20 Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven.
Alma 40:21 But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say;
but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.

Points Corianton could learn from Alma:

*there are many things we don’t know, but God knows all things.

*if you don’t know, ask God. This is a message found all throughout the Book of Mormon, from Nephi:
1 Nephi 2:16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.
1 Nephi 15:11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?–If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.
all the way to Moroni:
Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

*opinions are not the same as revelations, and you don’t build testimonies on them.

*sometimes it’s almost impossible to even have an opinion (not that it stops some people).

*God reveals what we need to know, now. Alma asked, and God answered–not all, but what was needed, especially to help this situation.

*it’s ok to not know something. Even for prophets.

*many people, including church members, have opinions. Many of those opinions are wrong/ misleading/ have been wrested from the scriptures.

*not knowing is not an excuse for sinful behavior.

*some things–like our faith and faithfulness–are much more important than knowing everything.

*also, some things–like what we do affects our salvation, an important part of the gospel and life–are much more important to know than other things less important to our salvation, like philosophical ponderings (“How is it possible to apply the Atonement to our lives when it hasn’t happened yet?”)

*in the end, you’ll know God knows, and you can’t be other than satisfied with all His.

*there are many things we DO or CAN know if we are diligent and humble and apply ourselves to learning, and we should remember and hold on to them much more than think about the things we DON’T know (yet).

Unfortunately, humility wasn’t one of Corianton’s strengths:
Alma 39:2 For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom.
Alma 39:7 And now, my son, I would to God that ye had not been guilty of so great a crime. I would not dwell upon your crimes, to harrow up your soul, if it were not for your good.
Alma 39:10 And I command you to take it upon you to counsel with your elder brothers in your undertakings; for behold, thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers. And give heed to their counsel.
Alma 42:29 And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.
Alma 42:30 O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility.
Alma 42:31 And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words. Amen.

which dad prophet Alma foils nicely with his humility in Alma 40.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: