Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Something out of Nothing

Pepsi has a new drink out now called Pepsi Zero. I guess it has no calories, no sugar, no carbs, no nothing. What does it have? Bubbles and brown color. But, Pepsi-Cola markets this thing like its gold! You can have everything with Zero. Can that be true? Can something good come out of nothing? Is there a mystery ingredient that can do that? Well, perhaps not in soda, but in us it can.

Ammon was an amazing missionary. After his conversion (with Alma the younger), he, with his brothers Aaron, Omner and Himni, and Alma the younger first seek to repair the damage they caused among the Nephites. Then they are called to serve missions among the Lamanites (according to their desires). They each go their own ways and immediately Ammon was taken and bound by the Lamanites. Taken to the Lamanite King, Lamoni, becomes his servant, through the power of God earns his respect and trust, teaches Lamoni, who is converted, as are many of the Lamanites (becoming the people of Ammon). That is a packed mission!

About this time, Ammon meets up with his brothers. Kinda like a Zone Meeting. He is so excited for the changes and miracles he has seen among the Lamanites that he just goes on and on about what a great work has been done. His brother Aaron (probably the older bossy one) said, "Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry the away unto boasting." Aaron basically says, 'Hey, your bragging a bit, dontcha think?"

Ammon, rather than being angry with Aaron for his misperception, is quick to clarify: "I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God."

What Ammon says next is the answer to the question, 'Can something good come out of nothing?'He humbly says, "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things..."

I know that I am nothing, yet I can do all things.....in God. That is the mystery ingredient. He is the mystery ingredient.

It is a difficult balancing act, walking in humility or self-pity. The Adversary would have you believe that you are nothing because you are a terrible, weak and hopeless case, and there is no hope for redemption in this life or the life to come. This leads to pity, then sadness, and if we let ourselves believe it still, it can become crippling despair.

That is not our Father's plan for us. We are nothing, because we know that without God, without Jesus Christ, there truly would be no hope for redemption. BUT~ the miracle is that with them, that in them, not only do we receive redemption, but there is so much more! We can become their partners in the miracles of life.

We are nothing. We are weak. But, in the strength of God, we can do all things. Do you know what this means? That weakness you just hate~ you can overcome it. The trial you are in the middle of right now~ you will not only survive it, but become a better person! The sorrow that is engulfing you~ you will escape from it. The question you have~ you will get an answer for it.

The comforting words of an angel to a questioning Mary echoed this message: "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

In the strength of God you can do all things. And when you do have success, let yourself be joyous! Share it, write it, and remember it. But most of all, remember the reason that you did it. Remember to "boast of my God". Acknowledge Him. Thank Him. And always, always trust and follow him.

That is how you make something wonderful out of nothing

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