Friday, March 10, 2017

Offering Up All of our Sins

 This week I learned a very important principle about sacrifice and what we are willing to give up in order to know our Heavenly Father. Lately in my Book of Mormon Class, we have been studying the Book of Alma. We were reading the 20th and 22nd chapters of Alma, the teachings of Aaron to the father of Lamoni. Lamoni's father is known to be a hard man that didn't seem interested in learning about the Gospel at all in Chapter 20 but softens up by Chapter 22. We can see this contrast between the chapters by reading these verses:

Alma 20:23 - Now the king, fearing he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.

Here in Chapter 20, the king offers up half of his kingdom (a temporal sacrifice) to have his life spared. However, here is what he asks in Chapter 22:

Alma 22:15 - And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

Now, after hearing about the amazing message of the Gospel, he is willing to offer up ALL of his kingdom in exchange for being "born of God." Aaron then asks him to pray, and here is his prayer:

Alma 22:18 - O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

Here, the king offers up a spiritual sacrifice: ALL of his sins. He knows that the Lord doesn't need to have his kingdom, he just needs a spiritual sacrifice and that is what he is willing to make! I feel like we can all use these verses to look at our own sacrifices and what we are offering up to God: are we offering up only half of our kingdom? All of our kingdom? Or even better, are we offering up ALL of our sins unto him? I hope that we can all get to the point of being able to say that we "will give away all (our) sins to know thee."

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