I’m still here…I know it has been a while. We have had the back to school rush, then Homey and I went to Hawaii…
So now I’m back, and well…yeah…
Lately, I’ve had a lot on my mind, and most of it has to do with how to be a better disciple. I’ve been going through a growing period. Growing periods aren’t always easy. Sometimes “growing periods” are caused by external adversities and factors (we are all blessed with plenty of these!). Right now, I’m going through a growing period that has been more contemplative and internal, but challenging, nonetheless. I’ve become more aware of my weakness, and truly want to make weak things strong to me.
So, I’ve been studying the Atonement in the Book of Mormon, and it has been enlightening (as usual). Today I was reminded that There is power in the Atonement to enable us to overcome the natural man or woman and become true disciples of Christ.
One thing that I love about the Atonement is its enabling power. As I have become more acquainted with my weaknesses lately, my first instinct is to feel paralyzed by despair. Yet, it is helpful to remember that the Lord knows we are weak. He has given us weakness. The Atonement does more than forgive sins, it also helps weak things to become strong. The Lord, through the power of His Infinite Atonement will not only forgive sin, but He will help us to overcome our weakness.
I love this idea. I mean, I really love it. Heavenly Father isn’t a God who is trying to “prove” us in a way that is arbitrary or mean. He doesn’t leave us here helpless. We simply need to humble ourselves, then he will enable us to be the kind of people that He has commanded us to be. And in the scriptures, we can learn how to apply the Atonement in such a way that it will help us to figure out solutions to the problems in our lives.
In Mosiah we read:
And now the spirit of Alma was again troubled; and he went and inquired of the Lord what he should do concerning this matter, for he feared that he should do wrong in the sight of God.
And it came to pass that after he had poured out his whole soul to God, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying:” – Mosiah 26:13-14
In this scripture Alma is trying to figure out a problem. For our purposes here, the problem he is trying to solve isn’t all that important. What is important is the pattern that we see unfolding in these two verses.
One – Alma’s Soul Was Troubled
It is important to recognize that this troubled feeling that Alma had was a good thing. It shows that Alma was close enough to the Spirit to realize that there was a problem. Remember, the Spirit will not bear false witness, so when things are awry, we will not feel the comfort or peace that comes with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Instead, the Spirit witnesses of the truth of all things, and the result is…we feel troubled. Sometimes, when I’m feeling troubled I’m inclined to get a little afraid. Instead, I can have faith that my troubled feelings are simply the Spirit urging me to find the right path to take.
Because of the power of the Atonement, we are able to feel the nuanced messages whispered to our souls by the Spirit–even when that message is one of trouble or question. Because Alma had covenanted with the Lord and had implemented the power of the Atonement in his life, he was able to feel troubled and knew that he needed to find an answer to His question.
Two – Alma Pours out His Whole Soul to the Lord
As a result of the troubling feeling that Alma was experiencing and seeking a solution to his problem, Alma went to the Lord. In fact, Alma didn’t just go to the Lord, but he poured out his whole soul. It strikes me that there are times when this is required in order to access the enabling power of the Atonement.
There are times when I have trouble doing this. I believe in prayer. In the past, I have poured out my spirit to the Lord. Yet there are still times when I have trouble pouring out my whole soul not because I lack faith, but because I lack discipline. I tend to get a little lazy and tired. And, I suppose it could be argued that this is also a signal of my lack of faith. I believe that the Lord will answer prayers, and here we see what kind of humility is required in order to find answers and power from God.
Additionally, it strikes me that Alma’s ability to go to the Lord in prayer is available to him solely because of the Atonement of Christ. When we pray, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Even when we approach Heavenly Father in prayer, our Savior, through His Atonement, mediates.
Three – The Voice of the Lord Comes
After feeling troubled then supplicating the Lord, the voice of the Lord comes to Alma. His prayer is answered.
We can be assured that Heavenly Father will guide us. He will help us. He will teach us, mold us, and enable us to become the kind of people we want to be. Truly, the Atonement will enable us to reach our divine potentials and be happy.
I really love this. In this one example, we see the power of the Atonemnet helping Alma all along the way. Through the power of the Atonement he:
- was guided by the Spirit to feel troubled and seek an answer to his problem
- was able to supplicate the Lord by pouring his soul out in prayer
- was able to hear the voice of the Lord and receive an answer to his problem
How have you been able to access and feel the enabling power of the Atonement in your life? How has it helped you to overcome problems?