"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Matthew 6:21

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."   - Matthew 6:21
This is a journal of my thoughts and impressions while reading the scriptures. There is no particular format or order. Please feel free to comment.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Be strong and of a good courage

Amidst all the history and difficult to understand passages in the Old Testament, there are some very nice messages, some great pearls of wisdom and inspiration. Here is one of them that has inspired me and is applicable to all of life:

Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

- Joshua 1:6-9

I can't think of a better message for our journey here on earth than to remember that God is with us wherever we go.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Conversion of Zeezrom

If Zeezrom can do it, anyone can.

This is a great story of how a wicked man's heart was pierced and how he found his way to turn back to the Lord. To be as calloused and cold-hearted as the scriptures describe Zeezrom, and then be able to turn away from wickedness and promote the cause of good, shows the great power of repentance. It gives all of us hope that no matter our sins, we can return to God's favor.

Zeezrom, a lawyer representing the cause of the wicked people in the land of Ammonihah, was known to "stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that [he] might have more employ, that [he] might get money", and was described as "a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good". He was hired to accuse and convict Amulek and Alma who were preaching repentance among the people of Ammonihah.

In this effort, Zeezrom offered Amulek some money (six onties of silver) if he would deny the existence of a Supreme Being. Amulek refused to do so, and revealed Zeezrom's true intent saying "thou hadst it in thy heart to retain them from me; and it was only thy desire that I should deny the true and living God, that thou mightest have cause to destroy me."

Amulek then took the opportunity to explain and bear a powerful witness of the existence of God and the resurrection of all men. Zeezrom and others were astonished at his words, and then we begin to see a change in Zeezrom's heart.

Then Alma joined in with his witness and began "to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done." Alma told Zeezrom that they knew what he was doing, following the plan of the devil, in trying to deceive them.

At this, "Zeezrom began to tremble more exceedingly, for he was convinced more and more of the power of God...And Zeezrom began to inquire of them diligently, that he might know more concerning the kingdom of God."

His heart being pierced by the truth, Zeezrom acknowledged the "blindness of the minds, which he had caused among the people by his lying words; and his soul began to be harrowed up under a consciousness of his own guilt; yea, he began to be encircled about by the pains of hell."

Seeking restitution is not always easy as is shown in the case of Zeezrom: "He began to cry unto the people, saying: Behold, I am guilty, and these men are spotless before God. And he began to plead for them from that time forth; but they reviled him, saying: Art thou also possessed with the devil? And they spit upon him, and cast him out from among them, and also all those who believed in the words which had been spoken by Alma and Amulek; and they cast them out, and sent men to cast stones at them."

So great was his suffering from the pain of his sins that Zeezrom came down with a burning fever "for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat."

Alma and Amulek came to him upon his request, and he asked that they would heal him. And here we see the great healing power and miracle of repentance:

"Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?

And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.

Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed.

And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words.

And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.

And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom.

And Alma baptized Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began from that time forth to preach unto the people."

The repentance of Zeezrom shows us that no matter how hard or wicked we are, anyone can find peace in returning to the Lord. It shows that even after suffering great misery we can come to great joy and be restored to happiness in the Lord, if we are willing to pay the price.

Quotes taken from the Book of Alma, chapters 10-15