Presentation on theme: "Alma 36-38. Chiasmus: It is sometimes called inverted parallelism. It is a Hebrew literary form where words or ideas are arranged in a certain order and."— Presentation transcript:
Chiasmus: It is sometimes called inverted parallelism. It is a Hebrew literary form where words or ideas are arranged in a certain order and then repeated in reverse order. This repetition emphasizes important ideas and words. In addition, the writer’s main idea is often located at the center of the chiasmus. Alma 36 is a good example of chiasmus. v. 1 & 30 v. 4 & 5 with v. 26 v. 3 & 27 v. 16 & 17 with 22
Alma 36-37 Given to Helaman. The central message of the chiasmus focuses on the time in Alma’s life when he experienced great pain and sorrow and turned to Jesus Christ for relief (Alma 36:17-18) Alma 36:3 Hear my words and learn of me, and if you do you will be supported in your trials and afflictions and eventually lifted up! Alma 36:11-19 Godlike Sorrow! Conviction brought sorrow to repentance through torment-racking memory. His sins were exquisite and bitter. Alma had convinced himself (Miracle of Forgiveness, 157-58).(Alma 38:8)
“There can be no forgiveness without real and total repentance, and there can be no repentance without punishment. This is as eternal as is the soul….’It is so easy to let our sympathies carry us out of proportion; and when a man has committed sin, he must suffer. It is an absolute requirement” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1975, 78).
“We must remember that repentance is more than just saying, ‘I am sorry.’ It is more than tears in one’s eyes. It is more than half a dozen prayers. Repentance means suffering. If a person hasn’t suffered, he hasn’t repented…He has got to go through a change in his system whereby he suffers” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings, 99).
Elder Richard G. Scott explained one of the reasons for godly sorrow: “The painful consequences of sin were purposely put in His plan of happiness by a compassionate Father in Heaven so that you need not follow that tragic path in life. A sinner will not only suffer in this life, but sins that have not been forgiven through true repentance will cause anguish beyond the veil (C.R., Oct. 2002, 94).
Alma 36:12 What are the meanings of “harrowed up” and “racked”? The prophet chose very graphic words. Racked means “tortured.” Anciently a rack was a framework on which the victim was laid with each ankle and wrist tied to a spindle which could then be turned to cause unbearable pain. A harrow is a frame with spikes through it. When pulled across the ground, it rips and tears into the soil (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 2001, 23).
How do you know if you’ve really been forgiven? (Mosiah 4:3) “Repentance involves not just a change of actions, but a change of heart” (President Benson, “A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 2). Alma 36:24 Taste the fruit of the tree! A central theme of the Book of Mormon.
Alma 37:6-7Small and simple! “To do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 285). Alma 37:8-9Power of the Word
While faith is not a perfect knowledge, it brings a deep trust in God, whose knowledge is perfect! Otherwise, one’s small database of personal experience permits so few useful generalizations! But by searching the holy scriptures, we access a vast, divine data bank, a reservoir of remembrance. In this way, the scriptures can, as the Book of Mormon says, enlarge the memory (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1991, 89- 90). Just as the capacity to defer gratification is a sign of real maturity, likewise the willingness to wait for deferred explanation is a sign of real faith and of trust spread over time (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1985, 71).
Alma 37:8-9Power of the Word or 4 things the scriptures can do for us… 1.v.8 Enlarge the memory of the people and convince the people of the error of their ways. 2.v.8 Bring us to the knowledge of their God unto salvation. 3.v.9 Convince people of the incorrect tradition of their fathers. 4.v.9 Bring many unto repentance.
Alma 37:23 “Gazelem” means God’s servant. The word appears to have its roots in Gaz --- a stone, and Aleim, a name of God as a revelator, or the interposer in the affairs of men. If this suggestion is correct, its roots admirably agree with its apparent meaning --- a seer” (George Reynolds and Jane M. Sjodahl, Commentary of the Book of Mormon, 4:162). William W. Phelps said it meant “light of the Lord.” It was a code name for Joseph Smith in D&C 78.
“ Gazelem ” “Like the sun in his meridian splendor, Joseph Smith showed (sic) a full man, at home, among his friends, in the fields, on the bench, or before the world; a pattern parent; a worthy friend; a model general; a righteous judge, and the wisest man of the age, sustained by truth, and “God was his right hand man.” Surely, as one of the holy ones commissioned by his father among the royal seventy, when the high council of heaven set them apart to come down and “multiply and replenish this earth,” he was the “last,” and who knows but the “greatest,” for he declared – we –knew not who he was! So, I may say, as the last is to be the first, and the first last in eternal rotation, that Joseph Smith, who was Gazelem in the spirit world, was, and is, and will be in the endless progress of Eternity: -- the Prince of Light” (The Joseph/Hyrum Smith Funeral Sermon by Richard Van Wagoner and Steven C. Walker Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 23 (1983),.)
Alma 37:21, 27-29, 32 “Not Reveal Secret Works of Darkness” President Packer explained that teaching about sin in too much detail may stir one’s curiosity to experiment with sin: “I am convinced that two of the major mistakes are to teach too much about the subject and to teach it at the wrong time…. I know of more than one instance in which a young person has been led to experiment in gross and perverted immorality because of a suggestion that originated with his bishop in an interview.
“Those who teach, and I refer to leaders, to teachers, and to parents, should keep in mind this message. Picture a father and mother leaving home for a period of time. Just as they go out the door they say to their little children who are left untended during their absence, ‘Now children, be good. Whatever you do while we are gone, do not take the footstool into the pantry, and do not climb to the fourth shelf and move the cracker box and reach back and get the sack of beans and take a bean and put it up your nose, will you?’ “Some of us are just that foolish. The humor of the illustration is wry humor when you think of the first thing that happens after the parents are gone. Surely we can be wiser than that. Young people should know from the very beginning that chastity is a sacred subject (Teach Ye Diligently , 256-57).
Alma 37:33-37 Seven Suggestions 1. Cry unto the Lord for all thy support. 2. Let all thy doings be unto the Lord. 3. Let all thy thoughts be unto the Lord. 4. Let thy affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. 5. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings. 6. When thou liest down at night, liest down unto the Lord. 7. When thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God. Why do these things? Ye shall be lifted up at the last day!
President Benson described the power that comes from learning to keep the commandments early in life while still young: “Give me a young man who has kept himself morally clean and has faithfully attended his Church meetings. Give me a young man who has magnified his priesthood and has earned the Duty to God Award and is an Eagle Scout. Give me a young man who is a seminary graduate and has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me such a young man and I will give you a young man who can perform miracles for the Lord in the mission field and throughout his life” (C.R., Apr. 1986, 59).
Alma 37:37 What blessings come from praying each morning and night? “I have little or no fear for the boy or the girl, the young man or the young woman, who honestly and conscientiously supplicate God twice a day for the guidance of His Spirit. I am sure that when temptation comes they will have the strength to overcome it by the inspiration that shall be given them. Supplicating the Lord for the guidance of His Spirit places around us a safeguard, and if we… honestly seek the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, I can assure you that we will receive it” (Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, 26).
“We all go through periods of dryness in our prayers, don’t we? I doubt whether they are necessarily a bad symptom. I sometimes suspect that what we feel to be our best prayers are really our worst: that what we enjoying is the satisfaction of apparent success, as in executing a dance or reciting a poem. Do our prayers sometimes go wrong because we insist on trying to talk to God when He wants to talk to us (The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis – Vol. 3, (2007), 930).
D&C 68:25-30 Eight things to teach your children: 1. Faith in Jesus Christ 2. Repentance - Atonement 3. Baptism by Immersion - Authority 4. Holy Ghost - Remission of Sins 5. To work 6. To be honest 7. To keep the Sabbath Day Holy 8. To Pray
Alma 37:38 This is the first time “Liahona” is mentioned by name. What is the meaning of Liahona? “L is a Hebrew preposition meaning ‘to,’…lah is a Hebrew abbreviated form of ‘Jehovah,’ … On is the Hebrew name of the Egyptian ‘City of the Sun,’ L’iah-on means therefore, literally, ‘To God is Light’; or, ‘of God is Light.’ That is to say, God gives light” (George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary of the Book of Mormon, 1:229).
Alma 37:44-47“The Liahona” Compares the principles on which the Liahona worked to our own faith in Christ. Elder W. Rolfe Kerr of the Seventy compared the words of Christ to the Liahona. President Thomas S. Monson compared the Liahona to an individual’s patriarchal blessing. President Spencer W. Kimball compared the Liahona to the light Christ, or our conscience. Elder David R. Bednar compared it to the gift of the Holy Ghost. What would you compare it to?
Alma 38:12 “How do we bridle all of our passions? To kill, to diminish, or even to limit the spirit and power of the steed? Never….We are given our bodies and our emotions not to destroy but to ride” (Truman G. Madsen, Four Essays on Love, 36).
Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy and his wife Marie explained that a bridle was meant to direct, not destroy, desires and passions: “Is self-denial wise because something is wrong with our passions, or because something is right with our passions? Alma taught his son to bridle all of his passions so he could be filled with love. He did not say to eliminate or even suppress his passions, but bridle them --- harness, channel, and focus them. Why? Because discipline makes possible a richer, deeper love” (The Belonging Heart, 1994, 302).