Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reverence for LIFE

We're heading into the war chapters.  Hallelujah!  Before we do, I discovered a contrasting thought in the chapters written by Alma to his son Corianton.  So that's what we covered today.  I'm dragging my feet through Alma, I know.  I'm supposed to be in Helaman by now, but we'll be there in a week or so.  Patience.

Okay, I have a story.  Brace yourself.  A little kid asked me once, "Sister Wright, if I bought a goldfish from the pet store, then swallowed the fish alive, would there be anything wrong with that?"  YES!  There is something wrong with that!  He continued, "But why?  I bought the fish with my own money.  It belongs to me.  I can do whatever I want with it, right?"   Agghhh!!!  After I recovered from my shock, I talked to this little guy about the sanctity of LIFE, and reverence for all living things.  Even a goldfish deserves some respect!  I tucked that bizarre episode in the back of my mind and was reminded of it when I prepared my lesson for today. 

Maybe no one else noticed this contrast but me, but here it goes....  In Alma 39-42, Alma speaks to Corianton about a serious sin he has commited; that of sexual immorality.  He tells him in Alma 39:5: "Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?" Our class defined the word "abomination" in the scriptures as being anything that is greatly disliked or abhorred by the Lord. So basically,the opposite of anything that is an abomination to the Lord would be considered sacred.  The three sins mentioned by Alma are:
*Denying the Holy Ghost
*Shedding Innocent Blood
*Sexual Immorality
All three of these sins have to do with the disregard for the sacredness of LIFE.  Although Corianton was the son of the prophet and was probably taught right from wrong, he had somewhat of a "disconnect" between his actions and what he knew to be right.

Alma teaches us that denying the Holy Ghost is unpardonable (vs. 6).  This is the destroying of the spiritual LIFE of an individual. Those in this state lose the power to regenerate as they live in darkness.   No light.  The shedding of innocent blood is the taking of LIFE from an individual, which we cannot temporally make restitution for.  Sexual immorality is the tampering with the LIFE-GIVING process outside the bounds set by the Lord.  It is the misdirecting of the power of creation, which is in complete disruption with the Plan of Happiness/Salvation.

The contrast I noticed was that these chapters are the preface to the war chapters in Alma, where individuals in the scriptures will be defending their LIVES for what they believe.  We're going to see Captain Moroni defend all that is sacred to God.  He'll defend the Nephites' religion and freedom, their peace, their families, and the sanctity of LIFE.  He will fight a defensive war, as opposed to an offensive war.  He will offer the Lamanites LIFE in exchange for peace and harmony.  We're going to see the disregard for LIFE exhibited by the Lamanites led by apostate Nephites.  This is another juxtaposition orchestrated by Mormon in the placement of these chapters.

I'm soooooo looking forward to teaching about this giant of a hero in the next several seminary lessons.  Captain Moroni: Defender of all that is right and good.  I'm sure he would have defended the right to LIFE of that poor little pet store goldfish as well.

1 comment:

  1. I ALMOST feel like going to seminary next week! I love Captain Moroni and I love all the great lessons that are taught in the "War Chapters"!