19 JAN 15
Alma remembers the Savior. (Alma 36:17-18)
I have found chiasmus interesting interesting to learn about in the past. I always find it fun to see people’s eyes light up when I tell them about this poetic form in the scriptures. In this case the center of the chiasmus is remembering the Redeemer. I like this Chiasmus in particular because we should also remember to keep the Savior in the center of our lives.
Alma forgiven of sins (Alma 36:19-20)
It’s a good reminder that people can turn their lives around any day of the week. Sometimes people have the mistaken belief that they are too far gone. The examples of Alma, Saul/Paul and a few others are good reminders that the hand of the Lord is extended to us all. In the Lords eyes we all need to be saved through accepting the Savior and showing this through repentance and baptism. Church isn’t just a place for people who don’t really need it.
20 JAN 15
By small and simple things are great things brought to pass (Alma 37:6)
It’s the small things that we do every day that build who we are, what we represent and what we accomplish. It’s rarely just one big thing.
It still seems like a strange word to me “omniscient” but I can’t think of a better way to describe how the Lord foresees the needs of us. In (Alma 37:9) we are told of how Ammon used the words in the brass plates to convince thousands of Lamanites of their incorrect traditions. So if we step back a bit we realize that this had been part of the Lord’s plan for a little over 500 years. The Lord had sent Nephi back for the brass records and then had had Nephi keep two records of the events after that.
Then later Alma entrusts the records to Helaman to “preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.” (Alma 37:14) Those future generations of course are referring to those in our time. How many millions of souls have accepted the Gospel since the restoration and these records were part of that. A plan that started over 2,500 years ago. It’s amazing to see how the Lords plan has come to pass over this time.
21 JAN 15
Secret oaths and covenants of Jaredites kept out of scriptures. (Alma 37:27)
I think the avoiding of details was to avoid accidentally romanticizing the subject by having more details to draw on. I figure the actual signs and symbols would be similar to the gang signs, colors, ect. we see today. We can even look at modern secret combinations as an example of what they may have been trying to avoid. If you do a quick Google search of “best gangster movies” you will run across multiple lists of movies that make crime look glamorous and interesting. All of these movies are based on modern crime and what could be called secret combinations of people who make oaths to rob and murder. Now imagine if there were more details on the Gadianton robbers or other secret groups. Would their stories have morphed and drew people in to them? I think that may have been the potential worry.
Corianton chased after the harlot Isabel. (Alma 39:3)
This is some daytime soap opera material here. So Corianton (the prophets son) is sent on a mission but he fails because he goes after a harlot so infamous that even the prophet knows of her. The church’s reputation is so ruined by Corianton that they are unable to teach there. I can’t imagine a prophet’s son doing that now days but then again I have seen many Bishop’s sons and daughters that have been huge trouble makers. I guess it’s a bit of the pride cycle where the church leader was blessed and the children became prideful and rebellious and fell away. Now that I think about it more the harlot story is familiar in a way. A woman’s home in my mission was banned from contact after she kept trying to get missionaries in bed. I had a single mother try to sit down close to me when we were teaching her nine year old daughter. She had changed into a nice dress before we stopped by which I thought was odd. When she sat down close to me my immediate reaction was to move over a cushion on the couch. My companion (Elder Burns – my trainer) got a good laugh about that later. He said he was proud of his “greenie”. Maybe Corianton should have noticed the temptation and moved over or do whatever he needed to do to avoid that temptation.
22 JAN 15
In (Alma 40:23) we are told that the “soul shall be restored to the body” and that “every limb and joint” will be restored to the body. I often wonder how that will appear for people that I know that have lost limbs. I imagine that will be a joyful experience for them. It goes on to say that “all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame”. (Emphasis mine.) I have often wondered what the perfect frame will look like. If we looked to the world for the example of what that would look like, I think we would have a vision of people mostly in impossible proportions and looking like they have been photoshopped heavily. I also wonder at what age people will appear. Really the details don’t matter. I’m just glad for the gift of restoring limbs, eyesight and removing malady’s from body’s in the resurrection. I can imagine that when I am older I will be glad for the removal of just the pains of regular aging. I talked about this with another student in class and he described how he would love to sit down with a genetic engineer to iron out the details. Which brought up another thought of how many of those details will matter to us? It’s all really insignificant in the eternities. Maybe we will have different concepts of beauty then. Maybe our current bodies in good health will good enough or maybe we will all look like super models… who knows. Copy/Pasting some of those conversations here because I will keep this journal but those conversations disappear at the end of the semester.
23 JAN 15
Restored from good to good and evil to evil. (Alma 41:4-5)
There is a certain symmetry to the principle described in this scripture. Evil cannot be restored to good if it was not good in the first place. The restoration isn’t a fresh start, it’s restoring us each to the same way we were before death.
Wickedness never was happiness. (Alma 41:10)
This ends up being a continuation of the scripture I was speaking of before. We cannot be restored to a different state than what we were previously. It would both upset the bounds of justice and not be the best thing for us. I like to describe to people the judgment. as us being the worst judges of ourselves. We will know the state of our souls and like a guilty child we will either be able to be in the presence of our Father without shame or we will not.
Atonement had to be made for mercy to appease justice. (Alma 42:15)
This is another scripture of symmetry and balance. To balance the scales of justice someone had to pay and there is only one person capable of that. I am grateful for the savior and his sacrifice.
Who is Paul Darr?
Paul Darr has lived in California, Oregon, Colorado, and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. Paul is also an Army Veteran, who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the political spectrum Paul is a Libertarian that advocates fiscal responsibility and social tolerance. Paul is currently employed as a Systems Administrator and is a father of a handsome boy and beautiful daughter. In his free time Paul enjoys reading, using and modifying open source software, gaming, and several other geeky pursuits.