2Alma 5Alma 5 contains 42 question marks. There are only 410 questions in the entire Book of Mormon! What would be the purpose of so many questions? Where else in LDS culture do we experience a lot of questions all at once? Read silently through Alma 5:6-31, 39, 53 and hold a little personal worthiness interview. Which three questions are the most poignant to you?
3“’Mighty’ changing, however, is mighty hard work, a labor made more difficult by heeding the unflattering urges of the natural man. Too often our possibilities have been muted by the mundane” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Encircled in the Arms of His Love,” Ensign, Nov 2002, 16).
4Born of GodWould not the progress of the Church increase dramatically today with an increasing number of those who are spiritually reborn? Can you imagine what would happen in our homes? Can you imagine what would happen with an increasing number of copies of the Book of Mormon in the hands of an increasing number of missionaries who know how to use it and who have been born of God? When this happens, we will get the harvest President Kimball envisions. It was the “born of God” Alma who as a missionary was so able to impart the word that many others were also born of God. (See Alma 36:23–26.)The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.“Human nature can be changed, here and now,” said President McKay, and then he quoted the following:“ ‘You can change human nature. No man who has felt in him the Spirit of Christ even for half a minute can deny this truth. …“ ‘You do change human nature, your own human nature, if you surrender it to Christ. Human nature can be changed here and now. Human nature has been changed in the past. Human nature must be changed on an enormous scale in the future, unless the world is to be drowned in its own blood. And only Christ can change it.“ ‘Twelve men did quite a lot to change the world [nineteen hundred] years ago. Twelve simple men.’ ” (Quoting Beverly Nichols, in Stepping Stones to an Abundant Life, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971, pp. 23, 127.)Yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world.Men changed for Christ will be captained by Christ. Like Paul they will be asking, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6.) Peter stated, they will “follow his steps.” (1 Pet. 2:21.) John said they will “walk, even as he walked.” (1 Jn. 2:6.)Finally, men captained by Christ will be consumed in Christ. To paraphrase President Harold B. Lee, they set fire in others because they are on fire. (Stand Ye in Holy Places, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, p. 192.)Their will is swallowed up in His will. (See John 5:30.)They do always those things that please the Lord. (See John 8:29.)Not only would they die for the Lord, but more important they want to live for Him.Enter their homes, and the pictures on their walls, the books on their shelves, the music in the air, their words and acts reveal them as Christians.They stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. (See Mosiah 18:9.)They have Christ on their minds, as they look unto Him in every thought. (See D&C 6:36.)They have Christ in their hearts as their affections are placed on Him forever. (See Alma 37:36.)(Ezra Taft Benson, “Born of God,” Ensign, Nov 1985, 5)
5EngravenJust this January, Sister Burton and I were walking along a street in Rio de Janeiro, when I saw a man walk past us who appeared as though he would make a good Mormon. I thought to myself, “If I could only speak Portuguese, there would be a fine missionary contact.” He stopped ahead of us to look in a shop window and as he did so, he turned facing us. When he saw us he waited until we came up to him and then spoke to us in English. We returned his greeting and he asked us if we were Americans. We replied in the affirmative and he asked, “Are you perchance Mormons?” I replied, “Yes. What do you know about the Mormons?” He told us he was a Mormon also and we had a lovely visit with him. We learned he was a bishop’s counselor in one of the Rio Wards. We met him again in a conference session, along with other wonderful Latter-day Saints who lived in that beautiful city. How was it that we could recognize one another among the teeming thousands of people walking along that busy street?If we truly accept God in our lives and live in accordance with his commandments, God will work a mighty change in our appearance and we will begin to appear more like our Heavenly Father, in whose image we have been created. Could it be this appearance we recognize when we meet men and women who are trying to live close to the Lord? (Theodore M. Burton, “The Need for Total Commitment,” Ensign, Jan 1974, 114)
6Engraven—James E. Faust 5239, ,00.html.(James E. Faust, “The Light in Their Eyes,” Liahona, Nov 2005, 20–23)
7Alma 7:7-13“I testify that no one has or ever will experience any set of circumstances, be they disappointments, betrayal, pain, persecution, suffering, or whatever, that cannot and is not swallowed up in the Savior! You can feel no hurt, emotional or physical, that He has not already felt. There is no combination of human emotions or physical illness or suffering that cannot find refuge in the Savior’s sacrifice for us. He knows how to help us. He wants to help us. Let Him” (John H. Groberg, CES fireside for young adults, 1 May ).
8Alma 7:7-13“The Savior’s atonement is…the healing power not only for sin, but also for carelessness, inadequacy, and all mortal bitterness. The Atonement is not just for sinners” (Bruce C. Hafen, “Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ”, Ensign, 4/90, 7).
9Your part…What does the Lord, who has done so much for you, demand in return? (Alma 7:14-16)
10PathsHow can a path be straight and one eternal round at the same time? (Alma 7:19-20)
11PathsHow can God say that a path is straight and one eternal round at the same time? (7:19- 20) Because God knows Euclidean geometry!