Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Mighty Change of Heart: Alma 5
Alma 5 discusses having a Mighty Change of Heart.

And who better to teach it than Alma the Younger who had one the mightiest changes of heart in The Book of Mormon.  He went from being the "vilest" of a mighty prophet of God. 

What IS a mighty change of heart?

A mighty change of heart is one of the levels of repentance.  It is a deeper level, requiring deeper commitment.  This time a person is not just repenting...meaning stopping their sinful behavior....but their hearts change and they never again return  to this  behavior.

If someone has a mighty change of heart, they leave their sins and their past life with those sins...and begin a new life, being a new person. They don't look back.  They only look at where they are going, not where they have been.  And definitely not ever longing to go back.  Think of Lot's wife.  She was turned to salt not because she looked, but because in her heart she wanted to "go back". 

A mighty change of heart is a miracle.  Listen to what Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke from his talk {Miracles}
" of the greatest miracles is a mighty change of heart by a son or daughter of God (see Mosiah 5:2). A change of heart, including new attitudes, priorities, and desires, is greater and more important than any miracle involving the body. I repeat, the body will be resurrected in any event, but a change affecting what the scripture calls the “heart” of a spirit son or daughter of God is a change whose effect is eternal. If of the right kind, this change opens the door to the process of repentance that cleanses us to dwell in the presence of God. It introduces the perspective and priorities that lead us to make the choices that qualify us for eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7)."
Have miracles ceased? see {Moroni 7:29}  Does God  save, rescue, and deliver?  see {this}

Why Do We Want a Mighty Change of Heart ?

Those going through the process of receiving a mighty change of heart, might feel overwhelmed, and  want to go back to what they know best, the easier more comfortable life. Remember the children of Israel who at times wanted to go back to their life as slaves in Egypt than go through the learning process of  the wilderness.  God was with them and delivered them. He will also deliver us.  It is a process that requires patience.

Alma 5 also refers to those people who persist in their sins.  Alma warned of that outcome.  An outcome, he no doubt, came very close to himself.  Alma 5:52:

52 And again I say unto you, the Spirit saith: Behold, the aax is laid at the root of the tree; therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be bhewn down and cast into the fire, yea, a fire which cannot be consumed, even an unquenchable fire. Behold, and remember, the Holy One hath spoken it.

What is required of Us? 
  • Putting our trust in "the true and living God" (Alma 5: 13)
  • Having His image in our countenances, (Alma 5:14)and having the light in our eyes.  When people are living the gospel, they don't have to tell others, it shows in their faces.  See Elaine Dalton's talk    {It Shows in your Face}
  • Faith in God
  • Being clean through the Atonement of Christ

Now What?

Alma the Younger set the perfect example of what to do after you have received a mighty change of heart. 

He never ceased to remember.  Over and over again in The Book of Mormon he refers to the Lord delivering his father, Alma and their people. (there was 2 deliveries there) and of his own delivery from spiritual destruction.  Remember, remember, remember.   Remembering reminds us of God's hand in our lives and that it was by HIM that we were delivered.  Alma 5:6

6 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in aremembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?
 Now for the final thought...vs. 7

7 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the abands of death, and the bchains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them.
 8 And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not.

We have such a perfect, merciful, loving Father in Heaven who waits with open arms to deliver us, rescue us, and receive us.