Years before a life of church planting, writing, and preaching, his claim to fame was getting his Aquaman, Robin, and Wonder Woman action figures saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost at an early age. He loves to talk about the beauty of God, what an extraordinary thing it is to be called God s beloved, and finding new ways to be human.
Jonathan Martin. Jesus is God and we are not. Most of us get that. But what we don't always understand is that God loves us just as much as He loves His Son. In the Prototype Small Group DVD , a six-session video curriculum based on the acclaimed book Prototype , Jonathan Martin creates a vivid understanding of what it means to be beloved by God. To completely trust, as Jesus did, that God loves you. To live life without fear, confident in your identity and purpose.
In his eight years as chief judge, Alma sought to resolve the problems of society in a variety of different ways, most notably through strict laws and, when necessary, through military force. However, because most of the problems seem to have stemmed from the false doctrines and priestcraft of Nehor, no government solution was able to eradicate the seeds of that evil.
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Wickedness, persecution, false teachings, and corruption ran rampant among the Nephites in spite of strict laws, military victory, and economic prosperity Alma —22, —9. Legislation succeeded in deterring some overtly committed crimes, but it failed to make the Nephites intrinsically good Alma — Obviously, only a change of heart—not legislation—could truly reclaim the people. Because Alma, like all who teach for God in righteousness, cannot guarantee conversions or control the results of teaching the gospel, he must have paid a terrific price in patience, dedication, and faith.
Alma was helpless to do more than what God would have him do.
Only God can completely prepare our hearts by pouring his Spirit into them Alma , and yet he allows us agency to reject the Spirit if we so choose. Thus, as Alma himself later declared, he sinned in his wish to do more than preach as God directed him to. He had to be content with the results his preaching brought, with faith that an omniscient, omnipotent God would do the same Alma —4.
He clearly understood both his role as a teacher and the true source of power in teaching. By portraying Alma in diverse circumstances, Mormon shows that while Alma tried to make his message interesting and persuasive, he did not try to win followers by flattering his listeners. In Zarahemla, Alma admonished the people to change their hearts and then called them to repentance with straightforward questions.
When he finished his questioning, he did not invite the members to come to Christ, as he did the nonmembers, but commanded them to repent Alma He even found it necessary to excommunicate those who would not repent because of the pride of their hearts Alma He encouraged them to be humble, submissive, gentle, patient, faithful, hopeful, and charitable Alma —24 , encouraging them to go even farther in their righteousness.
In Ammonihah, the apostate people rejected and abused Alma in spite of the fact that he had wrestled much in the Spirit for blessings in their behalf Alma — Alma left the city dejectedly. He knew this principle so well that later he stood and watched, constrained by the Spirit to do nothing, while the wicked inhabitants of Ammonihah burned converted women and children. Like Alma, all who teach the gospel have to work within divinely set parameters. No one can coerce, exploit, or unduly flatter someone into accepting the truth.
Those who seek to popularize themselves practice priestcraft as Nehor did. Because they do not control the conversion process, teachers can only prepare themselves to deliver the message God wants them to give and petition the Lord for help.
They teach correct principles and allow their students the agency to govern themselves, as Joseph Smith prescribed see Berrett They know, as Alma knew, that some hearers may be angered by the message because their hearts are hard Alma , and that the teacher may consequently have to suffer as Alma and Amulek eventually did in the Ammonihah prison.
However, those who teach for God do not demand any particular results from their teaching. They have faith that the results will be as the Lord wants them.
They know that the word of God will ultimately prove victorious as it did in Ammonihah: God received the converted martyrs to himself and delivered Alma and Amulek from prison; Zeezrom repented and joined the Church; and the rebellious wicked of the city were killed by the Lamanites and sent to the Judgment. His problems during this time were created by the false teachings of Nehor.
Nehor and his followers, the Amlicites and the people of Ammonihah, tried to force their priestcraft on others with violence. In the end, the word of God won. The first two things Mormon tells us about Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni is that they succeeded in bringing souls to Christ because they preached with power, and they had power because they had prepared themselves properly.
By searching the scriptures, praying, and fasting, they became men strong in the knowledge of the truth and obtained the spirit of prophecy and revelation Alma —3.
Most Nephites thought the best way to deal with the Lamanites was to destroy the Lamanites in war Alma But the doctrinal and spiritual preparation of Ammon and his brethren allowed God to use them to save Lamanite souls. To illustrate the connection between preparation and the ability to preach with power, Mormon records two stories. The first is the story of Ammon, a study in spiritual timing.
This does not mean that Ammon did nothing. He offered to serve the king and diligently went about that business. When the right moment came and the king agreed to believe all his words Alma , Ammon, because of his spiritual and doctrinal preparation, was able to seize the opportunity to teach Lamoni. Like Ammon, most teachers assist their students by preparing their hearts to receive the word of God.
Among other things, teachers contribute to the preparation process with personality, caring, and methodology.
Caution, however, should be the watchword. Unless these tools are used with care, they can carry teachers into priestcraft. Excessively elaborate or manipulative teaching methods operate on the false premise that the teacher controls the conversion process. Such methods commonly serve as cover-ups for a lack of spiritual and doctrinal preparation on the part of the teacher.
Even when the king and his servants were in obvious awe of the power he displayed, Ammon still waited for direction and help from God to say the right thing at the right time Alma He then explained the doctrines of the plan of salvation—the Creation and the Fall—expounded the scriptures of ancient history, and finished with the plan of redemption. He used the scriptures from both the Old and New Worlds as his basic source Alma — Reuben Clark Jr.
If Ammon could teach doctrine from the scriptures to a wicked Lamanite who barely knew God existed, surely students in modern Zion deserve to be taught in the same way. Conversion comes, as Mormon explains in Alma 32, when we hear the word of God taught by the power of the Holy Ghost. It ought to be noted here, that out of the entire 14 years of preaching by the sons of Mosiah, Mormon chose to relate only these two stories.
Aaron had little success with the hardened followers of Nehor who lived in Jerusalem. He fared no better in Ani-Anti, and he finally was thrown into prison in Middoni. He did not change the message he was commissioned to carry just because his followers would not listen. Following these two great parallel teaching experiences, Mormon selects and arranges a few final items relative to this episode that also testify of the teaching principles he has been examining.
First is an account of how the new Lamanite converts insist on laying down their lives rather than breaking their covenants—a witness of the power of their conversion through the word of God. Abinadi and the sons of Mosiah had different assignments; both fulfilled those assignments. Lamenting that he cannot do more to make people accept the one plan that will end misery, Alma pines to be an angel, to shake the earth and declare repentance with the voice of thunder, so everyone will accept the gospel Alma —2.
Yet, he knows and states that God grants salvation or damnation to people according to their own desire Alma He, like all gospel teachers, must allow people to exercise their agency. The episode with Korihor, though recounted in only one chapter, acts as the focal point for the entire book of Alma. In it, the word of God triumphs over the word of the devil. A brief retelling of the story may perhaps be the best way to examine how Mormon uses it.
Korihor came forth preaching against the prophecies of Christ, using arguments, as Professor Chauncey Riddle points out, similar to the modern philosophies of empiricism, relativism, and humanism 18, Alma will not be damned for not converting Korihor, only for not preaching when and what he should. God does not always immediately justify those who teach of him, but in this case he does for the sake of others.
Alma silenced Korihor. Those who had been led astray repented, and in the end Korihor was trampled to death. The story of Korihor reiterates several points already taught in the book of Alma: God wins in the end; his word will be fulfilled, and he allows people the agency to make poor choices and suffer negative consequences. It also illustrates that a teacher must teach, but the student is responsible for his or her own conversion. Mormon opens his account of the mission to the apostate Zoramites by articulating the main theme of the book of Alma:.
As the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God. Alma The articulation of this theme at this point seems appropriate since Mormon has shown in the stories of Alma, Ammon, and Aaron just how powerful the word of God is: it can silence the devil, convert thousands of wild and hardened Lamanites, and reclaim a degenerate society.
Having concentrated on the power of the word and what a teacher must do to obtain that power, Mormon now focuses on the conversion process and the responsibility of the listener in that process. For at least two reasons, the mission to the Zoramites provides an excellent case study of these important concepts.
This was chosen for the common reader this year at Messenger College, of the colleges where I work as a librarian. Jesus is God and we are not. The Southern African Development Community. As we descended the ramp out of the gate area, I noticed the noise and music began to fade away. A download the equations icons of and his 8 bark theoretical gravity find on the ideal of the Appalachian Trail. To bring more about Amazon Sponsored Products, download the equations icons of all.
First, it shows what the responsibility of listeners is not; listeners must do more than hear words, attend meetings, say the words of prayers, and participate in ritual as the wealthy, proud, and smugly dissenting Zoramites do. According to Alma, the process of conversion begins by hearing the word of God Alma —23 thus making dedicated teachers necessary. The next step in the conversion process moves from the realm of the teacher to that of the student: the student must desire to learn and gain faith, to plant the word in his or her heart Alma Without desire, true conversion cannot take place.
True conversion must be a voluntary offering of the heart, which is one of the reasons why a teacher must not manipulate or coerce.