Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Connecting Then to Now

It's apparent that the Book of Mormon was written for us.  There are situations in the Book of Mormon that reflect our society today.  What I love about teaching seminary is helping our class make the connection between what's in this book and how it sooooooo relates to them!  We have living prophets today whose counsel is consistent with the teachings of Book of Mormon times.

One topic that is mentioned repeatedly in the book of Mosiah is "bondage". As we read about the people of Limhi, we learn how to get out and stay out of bondage, how to avoid bondage, how the Lord will deliver us from bondage, the cause of falling into bondage, and the result of bondage.   What is happening temporally to them is a result of their spiritual commitment to the Lord, or the lack thereof.

In class today, we talked about ways we could fall into bondage in today's world (Satan's way of grabbing  hold of us). Peer pressure, monetary debt, and addictions were some of the things that were brought up. In the dictionary, bondage is described as "Involuntary Servitude", in other words when you give up your agency and begin serving someone/something other than the Lord.   Bondage comes when the worldly and physical take over the spiritual.

Elder Robert D. Hales counsels from his General Conference talk in April 2009"In seeking to overcome debt and addictive behaviors, we should remember that addiction is the craving of the natural man, and it can never be satisfied. It is an insatiable appetite. When we are addicted, we seek those worldly possessions or physical pleasures that seem to entice us......Our success is never measured by how strongly we are tempted but by how faithfully we respond. We must ask for help from our Heavenly Father and seek strength through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ."

In Mosiah 7, the people of Limhi are in bondage to, and being controlled by, the Lamanites in the city of Lehi-Nephi. They have been put in this position by former leaders who have made bad choices in the past, "were slow to remember the Lord", and who were manipulated and deceived. Now the consequences for bad choices are being felt by the people of Limhi. They have given up their agency and they serve the enemy.  King Limhi, knowing what would get them out of their bondage teaches in verse 33, "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." 

Turning whole-heartedly to the Lord, applying the Atonement, asking for His help and trusting Him, is the key to avoid falling into spiritual bondage.  It applied then as it applies now.

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