Friday, January 27, 2017

Perfect change of heart

All have sinned and yet the story of Alma the younger is a most compelling testament, that through Christ we can, not only be forgiven but become a most powerful instrument in the Lord's hands. 

The question is, how does this happen and what must we do to have this change in our lives? Let's turn back to the account of Alma the younger to search out the answers to this question. We will start in Mosiah 27.

Alma went around, with the sons of king Mosiah, "lead[ing] astray the people of the Lord," trying to destroy the church. Eventually, an angel of the Lord appeared unto them. Alma fell and was as if he were dead for the space of "two days and two nights." He arose and declared:

24 For, said he, I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit. 

The last three words is the ultimate key to this great change, also known as a mighty change of heart. Alma helps us understand it better.

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.
28 Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.

In being born of the Spirit, we become Christ's sons and daughters and are now "new creatures." This is significant, because although still in the flesh they are not of the flesh. The Savior teaches us in John 17:14, "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." 

What does that mean for us today. If we were to be born of the Spirit, we would have repented of all of our sins and been forgiven of them as well. We would refrain from the wicked ways of the world and not partake of their sins. But above all, we would desire with all of our hearts to bring souls unto Christ and have them feel the redeeming power of the atonement for themselves. 

Alma stayed true and as this new creatures born of the Spirit was of great service unto God. We are all familiar with this great Scripture about Captain Moroni:

Alma 48:17-18
17 Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto aMoroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

Now, let's read the next verse:

18 Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God.

Amazing! I for one would love to have my name associated with such great men. Let's get to it and start living in, but not of the world, so that we too may have our hearts changed like Alma and bind Satan and be fruitful in bringing souls unto Christ.


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