Wednesday, December 17, 2008
So, with the faith required for people to believe, what did they do with that faith and belief? Well, some went about telling others about it. After all, if there is something you are so convinced about, something you find so wonderful and incredible, all you want to do is share it with everyone around you. (It's why I'm always talking or wanting to talk about what I believe!) There are great stories throughout the Book of Mormon. Some that I thoroughly enjoy are the missions and missionary opportunities that the sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger experience. One often told story in the LDS religion is that of Ammon (Alma chapters 17-20). Briefly--he was caught in enemy lands (the Lamanites), he asked to serve King Lamoni, and then defended King Lamoni's flocks by using a sling and cutting off the arms of his attackers! King Lamoni was in awe as well as fear--worrying that Ammon was the Great Spirit the Lamanites believed in. King Lamoni was open to anything Ammon had to say, thus Ammon was able to teach him. His teachings are in Alma 18: 14-42. Verse 39 specifically refers to the coming of Christ:
"...for he expounded unto them the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world; and he also made known unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and all the works of the Lord did he make known unto them."
Ammon's brother Aaron had the opportunity to teach King Lamoni's father (Alma chapters 21-22). He, too (in Alma 22:13-14), explained the plan of redemption, or what LDS often refer to as the Plan of Salvation:
"And Aaron did expound unto him the scriptures from the creation of Adam, laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal state and also the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on his name.
"And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king."
The Atonement. The Resurrection. Christ gave us so much. It is just...unfathomable. It is awesome in every true sense of the word. You know I have trouble picking favorites on anything. But one of my very, very favorite hymns that we sing is "I Stand All Amazed."
It is such an expression of wonder and awe at all that Christ did and does for us still. Every pain. Every ill. Every heartache. Every everything. Yes, Christmas is truly worth celebrating with our whole hearts. For how can we not sing praises, shout for joy, and express our love and gratitude for the greatest gifts ever given to mankind through our Lord and Savior? It is just so wonderful, what other words can there be to express it? I don't think they exist.