Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Steak and Alma

I love steak. I've always said that if I were stranded on a desert island and could only pick three things, they would be cereal, ice cream and steak. I love steak because it is meaty, not light and airy like those rice cakes some people eat. No, steak is thick, rich, and delicious and it fills me up.

I also love the Book of Mormon. It is a source of peace and comfort, a place to find answers and to hear God speak to me. It is "truer than any other book" ever written. That is because it embodies the Plan of Salvation. Out of the 531 pages of the Book of Mormon, 501 pages have a reference to either Jesus Christ or Heavenly Father. It is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. It contains truths that have been lost through countless translations of other scripture. There are many stories and teachings contained in the Book of Mormon; but there are a handful of chapters that so plainly and beautifully explain the Gospel. These are what I like to call "meaty" chapters. They are doctrinally thick and rich and spiritually delicious. They fill up my spirit when I study them.

Six of these chapters are Alma chapters 9 through 14. Alma had given up his seat as chief judge to preach to the Nephites. The Amonihahites had cast Alma out previously, but Alma obeyed the word of the Lord and returned, meeting a righteous man named Amulek. Alma and his new companion, Amulek, were called upon to preach to the people of Amonihah once again.

These chapters cover basic eternal gospel principles and the Atonement.

In chapter 9, Alma teaches the people that the "Son of God shall come in his glory..." and that "he cometh to redeem those who will be baptized unto repentance through faith on his name." The first three principles of the Gospel were 1- faith 2-repentance and 3- Baptism - and they still are today.

Chapters 11 and 12 are my favorites. In them we learn of Temporal and Spiritual Death, the Adversary, Personal Revelation, The Fall, The Plan of Redemption, Agency, Commandments, Repentances and more.

Chapters 12 and 14 are the icing on the cake. We read of the Priesthood, Tithing, Prophets, Repentance, Humility and Faith. The doctrine is true, yet explained with such eloquence and humility, by two missionaries almost 2100 years ago. The Gospel is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

What a treasure we have in the Book of Mormon! Read hand in hand with the Bible we have access to the Plan of Salvation, to the Atonement, and to Heavenly Father.

Truly the words that Alma spoke in chapter 13 apply to us today: "Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it will be it your own destruction."

If you have not made these chapters a matter of personal study, I strongly encourage you to.

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