Amulek provides vital keys to progressing spiritually.
-In what ways do people contend against the Holy Ghost?
-How can a person receive the Holy Ghost? Is it possible to fully do so without being baptized by one with authority?
Alma teaches that God gives a portion of His perfect knowledge to each nation and people of the Earth according to His perfect wisdom regarding what they should have.
“…The Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.” (Alma 29:8)
-Can you start to better understand who God is when surveying the rich tapestry of the best and most refined aspects of all the different nations, languages, and cultures covering the Earth?
-Can you imagine bringing all that is good, wise, and praiseworthy among all the people of the Earth into your being?
- Does the potential of doing this (and more) in the eternities begin to give insight to what Christ meant when he told His disciples that His Father’s house has many mansions? (John 14:2)
- Is the wisdom and truth God has bestowed upon His creations limited to this Earth?
Ammon, a Nephite missionary, teaches that the deepest spiritual truths can only be known after a person awakes to, and acts on, the absolute necessity of relying on Jesus Christ to cross over the abyss of spiritual death and obtain salvation.
“…In his great mercy [Christ] hath brought us over that everlasting gulf of death and misery, even to the salvation of our souls. And now behold, my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent.” (Alma 26:21)
-What brings a person face to face with the reality of spiritual death within him- or herself?
-How difficult is it to face the reality of spiritual death within oneself and then seek to reconcile oneself to God? How tenaciously does the “ego” within a person often fight this process?
The prophet-historian Mormon, who abridged the Nephite records into what would be translated as the Book of Mormon, pauses during his historical narrative to teach an important truth about the fate of those who know the truth and then reject it.
He describes how former Nephites, who once had the gospel but then rejected it and joined the Lamanites (the Nephite’s enemies), were more murderous than the Lamanites who had never had the truth of the gospel. This was demonstrated when the Lamanite army came upon a group of unarmed, non-resisting people and the former Nephites among the Lamanite army killed many more non-combatants compared with those in the army who had always been Lamanites. (Alma 24:20-30)
“…After a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things.” (Alma 24:30)
-Why would those who once had the Spirit of God, and then reject that Spirit, fall into deeper levels of sin than they would have if they had never known the truth of God?
-Who in the world today has had an abundance of God’s Spirit? Do they have the potential to become more hardened against God than others who haven’t had that abundance (depending on their choices)?
Ammon, a Nephite missionary, teaches that God created men and women in His image.
“…Man in the beginning was created after the image of God.” (Alma 18:34)
-How can a person make his or her spiritual posture a reflection of being made in the image of God?
-Is it possible to stand as tall, spiritually speaking, as God wants us to if we don’t internalize this gospel truth?
-Do many aspects of physical and mental health emanate from spiritual health?
True Priesthood leadership comes from those who are called by God and do not harden their hearts against the truth and power of Christ’s Atonement.
“…They have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the blindness of their minds…” (Alma 13:4)
“…Thus this holy calling [was] prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared.” (Alma 13:5)
-How much intelligence, truth, and grace can flow into a heart that is open to God’s Spirit and the power of Christ’s Atonement?
Alma describes the nature of the glory that fills and radiates from God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
“…The Son of God shall come in his glory; and his glory shall be the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers.” (Alma 9:26)
-Have you ever thought of God’s glory in terms of the intensity of His love and goodness towards His creations?
-Would God’s power be glorious (from the human perspective) if it was unaligned with His perfectly pure and generous intentions for our welfare?
The ninth of the Ten Commandments focuses on being truthful with, and about, others.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” (Mosiah 13:23 – Compare Exodus 20:16)
-How does one’s dishonesty negatively affect those around him or her?
-What would lead someone to bear a false witness against another?
-How often do people say negative things about others that aren’t true (or that distort the truth)?
God holds those who have the truths of the gospel to a higher standard than those who do not. A people who have God’s commandments and do not live by them reap destruction by their sinful actions.
“…The Lord hath said: I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them. And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison. And again he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction.” (Mosiah 7:29-32)
-Is it reasonable that God would treat those who know better, and do wrong anyway, differently than those who do wrong without knowing better?
-What do the quick and unequivocal judgments God sends — to His people who know better and choose to do wrong in mortality anyway — say about how much He wants to keep his children awake to eternal consequences?
For those who have made the commitment to follow Jesus Christ, King Benjamin teaches that uncompromising spiritual watchfulness is required.
“…I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them. But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember and perish not.” (Mosiah 4:29-30)
-Is it true that the way we treat light and truth, when they are offered to us, determines the amount of light and truth we will have in our lives (both during our mortal experience and in the eternities)?