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Alma 13 – 16

Weekly Deep Dive
Weekly Deep Dive
Alma 13 - 16

In this episode of the Deep Dive podcast, hosts Jason and Nate delve into Alma chapters 13-16 from the Book of Mormon. They begin with an insightful discussion on the concept of high priests in Alma 13, exploring how this role relates to all believers entering God’s presence rather than being limited to a select few. The hosts draw parallels between ancient temple practices and modern LDS temple ordinances, emphasizing the universal opportunity for all to become “high priests” through faith and righteousness.

The conversation then shifts to the challenging events in Alma 14, where innocent women and children are martyred. Jason and Nate grapple with the difficult question of why God sometimes intervenes miraculously and other times allows tragedy to occur. They discuss the importance of maintaining eternal perspective and trusting in God’s plan, even when it’s hard to understand in the moment. The hosts also touch on the transformative power of such experiences for figures like Alma and Amulek.

The episode concludes with Jason sharing a personal story about his family’s recent move to Barcelona, Spain. He recounts a series of spiritual promptings and confirmations that led to this decision, and describes the remarkable growth and revival they’ve witnessed in their new ward. Jason also notes the symbolic significance of the abundant rainfall in the region, which he sees as a blessing in response to the people’s faith and prayers.


[00:00:16] Speaker A: Welcome to the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the add on Education network. The podcast where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussion and try to add a little insight and unique perspective. I am your host, Jason Lloyd, here in my studio with our friend and this show’s producer, Nate Pfeiffer.

[00:00:33] Speaker B: What’s up, buddy?

[00:00:35] Speaker A: Dude, living the dream. How are you doing, dude?

[00:00:38] Speaker B: Every week it’s starting. We’re sounding better and better, dude.

[00:00:41] Speaker A: I like it. I like it.

[00:00:43] Speaker B: You got some. You got some fast Internet at your house?

[00:00:47] Speaker A: Yes, I do.

[00:00:48] Speaker B: Downstairs. Hopefully not fighting.

[00:00:51] Speaker A: I’ve tried to kick him out of the house. My apologies, because they’re still in here. So if a fight breaks out, I guess you’re going to get to know the real me real soon. So stay t. Stay tuned, audience, as we. We. We rumble through this podcast, dude, and.

[00:01:06] Speaker B: Not even pay per view. I love this, dude.

[00:01:10] Speaker A: It’s. It’s good. It’s good.

Um, I’m. I’m actually really excited about this, uh, this week’s episode, in fact. I I mean, last night was a St. John celebration here in Spain, which is pretty wild.

They celebrate all night long, like, midnight just to celebrate John the Baptist. People jump into the sea like they’re getting baptized, and there’s fireworks going off all night long.

Really? The party starts, and it doesn’t end until, I think, 07:00 this morning. It still sounded like the city was being bombed. Like, explosions all over the place.

It’s. It’s pretty wild.

[00:01:48] Speaker B: I love John the Baptist. I’m in.

[00:01:50] Speaker A: It was. It was pretty great. And. And in the early hours of this morning, as I was trying to get back to get some sleep, I had a nightmare that we had recorded this episode without me, and I was like, oh, man, I had so many thoughts. So I’m glad that wasn’t true.

[00:02:05] Speaker B: We’ll never do that. We’ll never record it without you, Doug.

[00:02:09] Speaker A: Thanks, Nate.

Let’s. Let’s dive into it. It’s covering Alma’s chapter 13. I want to say through 17. It’s going to. It’s going to be taking us right up until we begin the story. So it’s 16. I’m sorry. 17 is next week when we’re going to get to the sons of Mosiah Ammon and his awesome journey among the Lamanites. But this one opens with 13, which, to me, is one of the most misunderstood chapters for me. As I. As I went through and reread this as a kid, I read this. I mean, I’ve read this many times through my life, right? But it talks about high priests and the people being called the high priest and how great it is to be a high priest. And I was thinking like, this is the pat on the back to the old men that sit in the ward, that, like, they’ve arrived. They’ve made it right. This is the old man’s club, like the good old boy club here in the church.

And, boy, was I wrong. As I go back and read this again, I realized how far off I was. I don’t think that’s the message at all in Alma 13. In fact, it was actually kind of eye opening for me.

And here’s what I mean by this.

In the ancient world, in Israel, Moses on, let’s say the highest office in the priesthood was the high priest.

And the high priest’s role was. Was to go into the holy of holies on the day of atonement and make atonement for the people. And so he was allowed into the presence of God. And the joke was that he would have a rope tied to his ankle just in case he walked into the presence of God in the holy of holies and wasn’t worthy. And God struck him dead so that they could reel him back out without having to go in and get all of them struck. And dead too, for not being worthy. Because it was only the high priest could enter into this place.

I don’t think that was ever actually the case. But I, you know, it just kind of grows into culture and becomes kind of the joke in jewish history.

But in order for this to happen, we go back to where it all begins, with Moses calling Aaron, and let’s look at what that process is. He’s anointed with oil.

He’s clothed in the robes of the temple.

And then he’s allowed to enter past the veil into the presence of God. That was only for the high priest to do.

And as I start to think about this, and as I read Alma’s description of this, let’s go into verse three. And this is the manner after which they were ordained, being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works. In the first place, left to choose between good and evil. Therefore, they having chose good. So for him, the requirements is you just had to choose good. Having been presented with good and evil, you chose good. And exercise exceedingly great faith are called with the holy calling, and yea, with the holy calling, which was prepared with. And according to the preparatory redemption for such. And like, well, wait, wait a second. That last line stands out to me again, according to a preparatory redemption for such.

So the high priests have a redemption prepared for them.

How does that differ from the redemption that’s for everyone else, or is it different?

And so when I start reading Alma’s description of what it takes to be a high priest, he does not mention that you had to be a male. He does not mention that you had to be an offspring of Aaron. Ancient Israel, you had to be an offspring of Aaron, and there was only one.

But here Alma’s saying, whoa, whoa, whoa. The only requirements is you had to choose good being left between the two. You have good and evil. You had to make the right choice, and you had to exercise exceedingly faith. You had to be called, and you’re called to the holy calling, verse four. And thus, they who had been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the spirit of God on the account of the hardness of hearts and blindness of their minds, while if it had been not been for this, they might have been as great privilege as their brethren.

So now think about this for a second, and I hope I’m not going through this too quickly.

Alma’s saying to me as I read this, everyone could be a high priest, because he says in verse four, if it had not been for this, they might have been, it might have had as great privilege as their brethren. Or in other words, this office was for everyone.

And that changes my perspective a little bit. Now go to doctrine. Covenants.

Section 84, the oath and covenant of the priesthood. What’s the purpose of the Melchizedek priesthood? Not the Aaronic. Aaronic is preparatory. Preparatory for what? Preparatory for Melchizedek. What’s the purpose of the Melchizedek? It says that the purpose of the Melchizedek priesthood, it holds the keys to the knowledge of God, or in other words, to be able to enter into the presence of God, which is what the high priest is doing, is passing through the veil, entering into the presence of God. Now, according to doctrine, covenants 84, the oath and covenant of the priesthood, it says that all were supposed to have this privilege, not just one high priest. It says, now this. Moses clearly taught and sought to bring all and notice not just men, not just righteous men, not just old men that got together and get grumpy over the years, all women, men who exercised exceeding faith, who made right choices. He said, wash yourselves, prepare yourselves for tomorrow. You’re going to come into my presence. But they would not. They said, we want somebody else to do this for us. We want a representative. In which case, in the Old Testament, the role of a high priest changed from everyone entering into the presence of God to now one person symbolically represented God.

But we talked in Lehi’s time in the book of Mormon when he left, he’s not from Levi, he’s not from Aaron. He does not descend from a line that has the priesthood. It’s not aaronic priesthood. From Lehi on, it’s never aaronic priesthood. His order is after the Melchizedek priesthood, a higher order. And so when you’re reading what Alma’s saying here, he’s not talking about a single priest, he’s talking about multiple priests. And verse nine, thus they look at that. They plural, became high priests forever.

And he talks about not just one having this role. They, all of them, anyone who was willing to make that choice. Verse eleven. Therefore, they were called after this holy order and were sanctified. Their garments were washed white through the blood of the lamb. Now, after they were sanctified, and all of their brethren could have had that privilege as well, but they would not. This is something that is much more far reaching than a single high priest, or even a single high priest quorum in a ward.

And I go back to the temple and I think about the temple. Who in the temple is washed and anointed just like Aaron was? Who in the temple is clothed in temple robes? Who in the temple is allowed to pass through the veil into the presence of God?

And I look at that. What a high priest did in ancient Israel, through the restoration of the gospel, God has restored to all of his children that are willing to exercise faith and make right choices, to be able to put themselves in a situation where they can do that. Everybody gets to officiate or present themselves in the presence of God.

Even what the sacred, most high honor priesthood calling was in the Old Testament is made available to men, women, any of God’s children today in this world who are willing to exercise faith. And I think that’s a powerful statement that maybe we don’t understand. And we make interesting arguments today about priesthood and who is it for? And think the priesthood was always for everybody. And as I started thinking about this and going down these lines, when in Moses time, the people would not do this, and they rejected the priesthood and they rejected Moses, God didn’t just take the priesthood away from women per se, but from men and women.

Think about this. The men also were not allowed to enter into the holy of holies. And the priesthood was restricted to a single line, to the Levites.

The priesthood was taken away from men and women. And in the restoration of the gospel, these priesthood blessings, this priesthood power, this authorization through the priesthood is restored.

Am I running myself into trouble on this, Nate? What do you think?

[00:11:32] Speaker B: So keep going.

[00:11:35] Speaker A: I just think it’s fascinating.

[00:11:38] Speaker B: I think that you where, I don’t think you’re running yourself into trouble. I mean, there’s been multiple talks, and I believe it’s even in the handbook. Just understanding the difference between priesthood keys and priesthood power and how those two things, even though they work so closely together in so many cases, aren’t ex, they’re not. They’re not. They can’t be exclusively.

They don’t have to be used in exactly the same instances every time. At least in the handbook, it talks about how priesthood power is absolutely necessary and exercisable by both men and women and that, yes, men administer. Right. The keys of the priesthood are the key of administering of the priesthood we have, or we believe is held by men. But like you said, even in the temple, we are, both men and women are called to be priests and priestesses. I mean, it’s in the language that we use. The brethren have been, I feel like, a lot more explicitly clear about this recently, that women absolutely take part in the power of the priesthood, in everything that they do, and we do in this church together.

I think trying to understand that those two things shouldn’t just. I guess that’s what I want to say, is that when you say the priesthood keys and priesthood power, sometimes people use those terms interchangeably, thinking they’re the same thing, but they’re not. And I, I’m not saying this from my opinion. I’m saying this literally from, like, the church handbook. So that’s. I think you’re, I think you’re explaining it perfectly. And both men and women officiate in the temple, and both, like you said, both men and women exercise and take full advantage of the power of the priesthood when they’re living faithfully and righteously.

[00:13:36] Speaker A: So, yeah, it’s interesting. And it’s not just interesting in that, you know, there’s breakdowns of the priesthood. You had to be from Aaron’s line, to be a high priest, and even then, the high priest had to meet certain stringent requirements. Levites. You have different Levites that. Some Levites are allowed to touch the Ark of the covenant. Some Levites are allowed to touch the menorah as they’re, they’re moving the tabernacle. And they have different roles. Some are responsible for the cleaning of the tabernacle for where they. You know, how it’s presented, how it’s carried, how it’s transported, how it’s cared for.

And when you talk about what responsibilities in the priesthood are brought down to today, the fact that anybody could go into the presence of God, I think it’s not just here. Let me give you a job of being able to sweep this corner of the temple, but actually the role of the high priest and being able to be anointed, clothed, and presented into the presence of God, it’s a powerful statement to me in my mind, and hopefully I’m not going, do you feel like.

[00:14:46] Speaker B: Don’t you feel like that’s what we understand and do in our temples?

[00:14:53] Speaker A: That’s 100% what I feel like. I feel like that was always the purpose, and I feel like that was God’s plan from the very beginning. From the minute that Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden, he had an atonement. I mean, it was before they were even put in the garden of Eden that Christ said, here am I, send me right. That there was always an atonement prepared to restore them back to what there was. And this is what we’re talking about as a restoration. When Adam and Eve left the presence of God, the temple became a recreation of paradise. It was the house of the Lord, where God resided here on earth, that they could pass. And think about this again. In the tabernacle, the veil had cherubim sewn into the veil of the temple. So when someone passed through the veil of the temple, they were walking past cherubim, and you had the menorah, which symbolized the tree of life. And you had the showbread, which was the bread, and the water, which is like, Christ becomes this fulfillment of this. He is the fruit of the tree of life. And going through the temple was always a trip back into the presence of God, a trip back into paradise, which was not made for just one person.

The high priest takes that role when the people refused God, not that God refused his people. And even then, when the high priest did this for the people, the high priest was supposed to symbolize all men, women that were making correct choices and exercising faith. It was representative that he would represent them passing through that veil. And in a time with the Melchizedek priesthood, that gift, that blessing, honor, if you want to call it that, has been restored to all people. To be able to exercise that.

That unique responsibility, I guess, is all I wanted to say on that dope.

[00:16:49] Speaker B: I mean, that. All right, there’s one checks out that all tracks. I feel like, for me, fantastic.

[00:16:55] Speaker A: I’m going to. I’m going to read into verse eleven. This is Alma 13, because this one also stood out to me and. And really hit me hard.

Says, therefore they were called after this holy order and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the lamb.

And you think about that for a second. How in the world do you ever wash something white with blood?

Bloodstains aren’t ever going to make anything white, right? And I was thinking about this, and I’m thinking about Alma talking about the high priest, and I’m thinking about the high priest job.

And the high priest’s job is to kill an animal.

And it’s not just kill an animal. Like, I’m gonna. I’m gonna put a pillow over his head and suffocate it. It’s with a knife. You’re cutting it open. And as much as the high priest is supposed to be without blemish, perfect without defect, and he’s dressed in these immaculate robes and this white linen, that white linen is getting sprayed with blood.

And think of the contrast of that red blood on that white linen. And it’s a messy job. It’s extremely messy, because not only that, but he’s supposed to dip his hands in the blood, and he’s supposed to sprinkle blood on the altar. He’s supposed to sprinkle blood on the congregation. He’s supposed to carry blood in with him to the holy of holies and put it on the ark of the covenants.

His hands are red.

And think about this in terms of ritual purity. In the Old Testament, if you were in the same room as something that died, you were disqualified. You were ritually unclean.

This is why Christ, before the atonement, as much as he went into the room and raised people from the dead, when it’s the last week and he’s preparing for the atonement, he maintains this ritual purity. Lazarus dies.

And rather than go into the tomb with Lazarus, he calls with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And in fact, he doesn’t even touch the rock. He commands or asks others to move the rock for him because it’s interaction with death or getting his hands dirty, if you will, would. Would disqualify him.

And when Lazarus comes out, he doesn’t touch Lazarus, the man who he loves, the man who he wept. He has others unfold him, and he waits so that he can maintain the sense of ritual purity. However, here’s the high priest who is killing an animal and coming face to face to death. If you have an issue of blood, you’re unclean.

Not only is there an issue of blood here with this animal, but he is putting this blood all over himself. He’s got blood on his hands. Think of the imagery of having blood on your hands and what that means. Guilty.

And yet, however, none of this disqualifies the priest. He’s actually able to go into the holy of holies with blood on his hand.

And so I go back to this verse, washed white through the blood of the lamb. The lamb is what was sacrificed, right?

And. And as much as it’s staining you red, that red stain is what purifies you.

And somehow getting guilty, getting dirty, getting blood all over your hands, was actually when you become the most clean. I mean, contrast that with.

Contrast that with Pilate, who said it, that when he washed his hands is actually when his hands became the most dirty. And here you have a high priest. When his hands are the most dirty is actually when they’re the most clean. He’s washed white through the blood of the lamb.

And remember that the high priest is supposed to be a type of Christ. It’s supposed to symbolize Christ.

And so once a year, the high priest in front of the entire congregation is covered in blood, and he enters into the holy of holies.

And I think about that. How could they miss Christ as their high priest when he comes out of Gethsemane covered in blood, when he is scourged and whipped and the thorns through his head and the head wounds and the blood. Here you have a high priest covered in blood, and yet, when he’s covered in blood, he is sanctified or cleaner than he ever was. He’s perfect.

And this is what the high priest typified.

This was their savior. And to me, what a powerful connection. For years, every year, once a year, your high priest stains himself with blood and really takes on this image of Christ, a savior, the lamb of God, who’s going to slay himself. And yet, through that stain, that blood, he’s washed clean. And Christ is the high priest who stained with blood and washes us clean and how that blood sanctifies us.

[00:22:16] Speaker B: Good stuff. Love it.

[00:22:19] Speaker A: I just had.

[00:22:20] Speaker B: Sorry, go ahead.

[00:22:21] Speaker A: I just had one last thought on that.

[00:22:23] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:22:26] Speaker A: I think about all of the things that stain us in our lives when we go back. Maybe the. The bloodstains that might be on us, our sins, our mistakes, and I think we’ve had this conversation, Nate, like, sometimes you wish you could have a time machine and go back and try to prevent yourself from doing something, but then, at the same time, you look back at the growth and the development that you’ve come through because of some of those mistakes. And, yes, you’re a better person from it. It’s almost like those mistakes are the blood that helps sanctify us as well, in a way. And it’s interesting that the high priest is going to the holy of holies not because he has his garments changed, but with his garments. He’s allowed to go in with those. He’s actually sanctified. We are sanctified in our stains as well, in a sense. It’s. It’s not like the atonement works by going back and erasing everything with an eraser so that they never happened. It’s not like God’s changing time and making it so that we had a perfect existence. We are saved. And I got to be careful how I say this, because this was part of the conversation with Alma and Amulek when they said, you said God didn’t come to save you in your sins. And he says, well, no, it’s not in your sins. It’s from your sins. But still, there’s some sense of permanence. Even though God forgets it, even though God forgives it, there’s still some staining or some marking that actually serves to purify us or sanctify us, if that makes any sense.

[00:23:56] Speaker B: Yeah, man, I love it. I totally agree with you. I think that we.

My only thought on that would be that a lot of the things that we do that were mistakes, we’re told, can be consecrated for our good or for our benefit. And so, like you said, where blood could be. I mean, because we’re also told that we don’t want the blood of a generation on our garments if we’re not doing our jobs as priesthood holders or. You know what I mean? It’s like blood is also used as something that you don’t want on your garments in. You know what I mean? In like, a negative way by us not fulfilling our responsibilities.

So I think that maybe that’s the difference between the two. Is, has God consecrated that for our good, or is that a cleanse? Is that his cleansing blood versus, you know, the. I guess, the sins that we carry or whatever. But to your point, I agree.

And I do love the imagery of that blood that maybe started out as some. As a negative thing can be purified. Or sanctified or consecrated for our benefit and is something that we can have potentially, you know, be the thing that sanctifies us or purifies us.

[00:25:16] Speaker A: Yeah, that’s powerful imagery.

And Alma kind of finishes this chapter up, really just hitting on Melchizedek verse 14. Yea, humble yourselves, even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was the high priest after this same order which I have spoken, and I think to me, that’s the clincher.

He’s not talking about the high priest after the order of Aaron.

Aaron was the high priest, and Aaron was not the high priest after the order of Melchizedek. It was the aaronic priesthood.

That’s the difference between what Alma’s talking about. This is not one high priest to represent everybody. This is the Melchizedek priesthood, how it was before and what Moses tried to instill in the people. And often we’ve looked at the Book of Mormon as kind of a compliment to the Bible and how you went from judges to kings, and the Book of Mormon goes from kings to judges. And how you go from Melchizedek priesthood to Aaronic. Well, in the book of Mormon takes it back from Aaronic to Melchizedek, and it shows that God was willing, always willing, to restore what the people wanted if that’s what they wanted. And I think that’s what the testimony of the Book of Mormon offers to me, is when you had Lehi desiring to enter into the presence of God, how does he do that if it’s not through the Melchizedek priesthood? And he shares that with his sons, and you see Nephi partaking of that. You see Jacob up doing that, and you see this, this idea, even in Alma, that’s anyone that wants to can. And you see a people where rather than say, you do this for us, we want to be accountable for what we’re doing. We want to take this on us, and God’s willing to engage with them at that level of commitment. And so really, God is a God that’s merciful, that’s willing to meet us where we’re at, and, and ideally wants to create that personal relationship with us. It’s never him that turns away from us.

It’s when we turn away from him and try to delegate someone else to do that for us that we miss out on the blessings that he has. And that’s kind of where I came and landed on Alma 13. And to me, that just took on such a different meaning. It’s not about a group of old men that sit in the corner of church and have made it right. It’s. This is a blessing for everybody.

[00:27:30] Speaker B: Yep. It’s good stuff. Let’s keep going.

[00:27:32] Speaker A: Let’s get at Alma 14. And I know you’re anxious to talk about this, too. I think Alma 14, I mean, it’s a. There’s some powerful lessons in here. And, I mean, Alma and Amy, like, finish what they’re saying, and everyone’s angry with them, and they do get arrested, and they’re contained in this prison. And what makes it worse is we kind of get this sense that everyone that believed Alma and Amulik, as far as men go, were chased out of the city. Zezarum was run out of town, and. And while they were run out of town, it left their families defenseless. And so you have these women and children who are not being provided for, who are not being protected, and people of ammonia round them up and throw them in a fire, and it’s just a terrible slaughter, killing innocent women and children. And then they bring Alma and Amulek to testify and see what’s going on.

And Amulek is just breaking. I don’t know how you don’t break in a situation like this and saying, let’s stretch forth our hands and stop this.

And I think Alma’s feeling the same way, because he says that he wanted to, but the spirit constrained him not to.

And I think the powerful question that lies within this is why, in some cases, I mean, we can look at the example of a binadi, I think, because it fits very well with Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego. Both are scourged with fire. But Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego, the flames don’t touch them. Abinadi suffers and dies.

Why is it that God stretches forth his power and whispers through the spirit, save these people, and delivers them from great travesties and others, he says, let it be. In fact, I’m going to forbid you from intervening.

And I think we even see this on personal levels with blessings, right? Why is it that sometimes God will raise somebody from the dead, or he’ll heal somebody that’s sick or give somebody the ability to walk again? And as somebody else who’s been constrained to a wheelchair all their life, who has more faith than maybe I could ever hope for, who’s pleading with God for the ability to walk again, and you look at it and say, why is God quiet or not answering the prayers? Or what’s the deal? Why is it the spirit constrains to save when at other times to not save. And I don’t know, kind of setting the stage on this. Nate, did you want to jump in right here?

[00:30:11] Speaker B: Yeah, I can jump in.

The answer to me is I don’t know. And it’s frustrating to try to answer.

And as much as I think I know, I think we always. I think we can always, like, what do they call that? Like, armchair quarterback? It’s like we. It feels like we can. We do such a good job of having perspective with somebody else’s thing. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, like, totally. Like, if I was God looking at somebody else’s issues, though, right? And it’s always. I feel like when it sometimes comes down to us trying to understand why God is quiet when it’s our prayers that we feel like may not be being answered or being heard. And so, again, to answer, it’s to answer the question in context of the scripture. You and I can look at that and go, oh, well, yeah. Later in the scripture, it also says, alma’s going, hey, these guys are going straight to heaven.

Maintain the bigger perspective here.

And I feel like that is the obvious, easy answer when it’s not us that’s getting thrown into the fire, if that makes sense.

[00:31:29] Speaker A: Yes.

[00:31:30] Speaker B: And I think that this is where I guess I would want to maybe have this discussion is what.

Is there any way to have actual, like, eternal perspective when we are in the flames? You know, the reason I suggest that this may be hard when it’s us in the flames is because you nailed it. We look back through the scriptures all the time and can say, hey, look at all of these times that God did this incredibly miraculous thing to save groups of people or to save individuals. Or we can just look at all these miracles. And admittedly, sometimes it may be hard to answer the question, have miracles stopped? Like, the big time miracles, not the, oh, hey. Like, that car almost ran me over but didn’t because I was five minutes late this morning. You know, it’s like, by the way, like, don’t misunderstand. I ride my bike to work every day, and I just know at some point some teenage kid’s gonna cream me while they’re texting, you know what I mean? But, like, so it’s like, in a weird sort of way, is like, as I’m riding my bike every day, I really do actually think, like, when I get a flat tire, I usually am upset for a minute, but then I’m kind of like, hey, you never know, right? You never know. What? What car with a teenage kid driving. Totally, right? So. So believe it or not, like, I actually can sometimes have a little bit better perspective when it comes to that. But when you look at somebody, when you look at a child suffering with, like, bone cancer at, like, eight years old, you just go, wait, what? What? You know, it’s. It’s. Those are the situations where it just. It. The human part of us, I feel like, can’t help but look at those situations and go, take all of my other miracles, just give the miracle to that person. And then if that child maybe doesn’t make it, yes, I admittedly can look at those situations sometimes and have a hard time going, help me understand why.

What I’m missing here. Like, why did that person not deserve a miracle? And again, like, I can talk through this rationally. I could. You know what I mean? Like, I can give you the obvious church answers of this, and I do really think it is about perspective, but, man, I just. I wonder if there’s at least a conversation to be had of what can we.

How can we maintain some sort of big picture perspective when we are in the midst of it? Or is that. Or is that part of our journey here? Is that part of our trial here? Is that maybe we. Maybe we have to not know and still maintain faith throughout that? Do you see what I’m saying? Like, I don’t know.

[00:34:37] Speaker A: Yes, I. You know, it’s.

[00:34:41] Speaker B: What would you have done?

I mean, it’s easy when we’re reading it as. As, like, characters in a book, right?

[00:34:50] Speaker A: Mm hmm.

[00:34:50] Speaker B: And we believe that the real people.

And, I mean, we’ve talked about this before, what would you do if tomorrow you got a call and said, hey, you need to take your youngest son up onto a mountain in Spain and kill him?

I mean, my friend, you had enough. You had enough faith to just up and leave the United States, because you were like, I have a feeling that I’m supposed to get out here. And by the way, from our conversations, it’s been amazing. You’re like, oh, yeah, I’m seeing all of the reasons. It’s paying off. I’m seeing the answers. I’m getting the answers. I’m receiving the confirmation of how. Whatever. Okay, cool. What if that same feeling hit you tomorrow and said, you need to take your youngest son up on the mountain and kill him?

[00:35:35] Speaker A: I mean, your stomach drops, right?

[00:35:36] Speaker B: That’s. I’m just saying, thinking about it, even thinking about it messes you up.

[00:35:41] Speaker A: I don’t. Yeah, I don’t think. Yeah, it just. It just makes you appreciate Abraham all the more. Like, you either appreciate him or vilify.

[00:35:49] Speaker B: That’s what I mean.

[00:35:49] Speaker A: In a weird way, somebody actually be that willing way.

[00:35:52] Speaker B: So think of now you’re in in this case, and you’re seeing all you need to do again, my brother Elaine has been giving me a really great reading list. I’m reading the book silence right now, and these catholic priests in feudal Japan are being.

They either need to apostatize or they don’t get tortured. It’s all of the christian japanese converts that get tortured and killed in front of them. It’s like, at what point? You see what I mean? It’s like, at what point you go, hey, like, for me, I feel like it would be a lot easier to be like, hey, you need to either. You need to either deny what you believe, or we’re gonna kill you. In a weird sort of way, I’m like, I think I’d be not okay. I mean, I’d be bummed out, but I think I could realistically go, you know what? I’m willing to die a martyr. I’m willing to stand on this. But if somebody were to come and say, hey, I’m actually gonna do this to your family in front of you and let you live, it’s like, oh, I’m glad. I’m glad I haven’t been presented that, because I.

I hope that I know what I would do, but I don’t. I’m just being totally honest. I don’t know.

And it’s like, I think that. I think that to truly take the most of this lesson for me is to have to actually, like, humanize these people that are in this story and not just read it as characters in a book. With, by the way, kind of the editorial review, which is. And we know that they went to heaven after.

It’s like, yeah, I get that. But, man, that’s my question. And I guess, for me, it’s just like, well, what would I have done? And I don’t. I luckily have not had to make that decision because we like to think we know what we would do.

[00:37:47] Speaker A: Sometimes it feels impossible to know what you would do without even being in that situation, right? And it seems like to me, it boils down to trusting God, and that seems overly simplistic. But at the end of the day, if God says, the heavens will open and I’m going to save him, I’m going to whatever, and you trust that he will, versus he says, no, this is going to happen, and it needs to happen. And trusting that it will. Because you look at Peter when Christ was faced with being arrested and being crucified.

And I’m putting this as kind of similar to what you’re saying with seeing someone that you love suffering in agony and about to being destroyed when they can do so much good, you can see all the good that would come from them living. And Peter’s saying, not. So we’re going to stop this from happening. And Christ saying, get thee behind me, Satan. I mean, what if Peter’s successful? What if he saves Christ’s life? And what happens to the rest of.

[00:38:48] Speaker B: Us because of it? It’s a great point.

[00:38:52] Speaker A: And I have to trust God enough to know that as much as this is going to hurt, that it does have a purpose that’s going to be for the salvation of souls.

[00:39:04] Speaker B: And I think that, to your point, I agree with you completely. I think that if we can have a much bigger picture perspective, things do make more sense.

If we do consider, hey, this life is but a short time along the way. And by the way, it takes a lot of hope and faith that that’s real, right? It takes a lot of hope and faith that there is life before this and that there is life after this. Yes. And that is a huge part of this. But with the big picture perspective, I think it is a lot easier to go.

This is only for a short time. And those that are willing to give their lives for something they believe in, we absolutely do believe.

That’s a ticket to heaven, man. Like, you did it right. I think my question always comes down to, is there anything more than, I guess, just trying to strengthen our faith now that can help us have that long term perspective when we’re in the midst of the flames?

[00:40:12] Speaker A: You know, I almost want to push back even more on what I was saying because you brought up Abraham, and I think it’s amazing that you did.

Isn’t Abraham the one that was told that Sodom and Gomorrah was going to be destroyed, and yet he pushed back against the Lord and tried to save his people? Would that be. Can we put that in a similar boat of Alma and Amulek who said, these people are going to be destroyed? And Alma says, not. So, like, would you please. I mean, I wonder, is there pleading with the Lord or going back forth or. I mean, we don’t have that privy, but. But with Abraham, we do see even a man. And maybe that. Maybe this adds some to the discussion about him being willing to sacrifice Isaac in context of what he went through and trying to save Sodom and Gomorrah? What if I perhaps can find 50 good people or 25 good people? Or just pleading to try to save someone that you can’t? And it’s not the same. It’s not apples to apples.

But when you look at Abraham’s line, don’t you see a history of people that fight with the Lord to try to get a blessing? I mean, look at Jacob.

Wasn’t it God telling Jacob, let go of me? And Jacob’s like, not so. I I mean, where do you put that Jacob fought with God and won?

Is. Is there. Is there something to be taken from that? Fighting with God and winning to save souls? Isn’t that what Jesus does when God’s like, you know what? I’m sick of it. I’m just going to wipe the earth off and says, wait, before you destroy the vineyard, let me try to save some souls, or let me try to. Hey, maybe part of that is bringing out the savior and all of us. And maybe part of this was bringing out the savior in Alma and Amulek and making them more like the savior. Maybe we look at the story and think, oh, this whole purpose was so that we could condemn these wicked knee horse and so that it all made sense when they were killed. But maybe a big part of this was. Was really completing that transformation and making amulet like his savior or making Alma like his savior or making the women and the children that were burned like the savior, because were they not the sacrifice so that others could be purified, were they not the ones? And it’s also interesting when you’re putting this back to back with Alma 13, when what we were reading about how high priests being everybody can enter into the. And so what you’re seeing is them passing through a veil into the presence of God, literally following the chapter. Talking about doing that, I don’t know. I kind of. I kind of didn’t answer your question, Nate. Sorry. I ran a different direction.

[00:42:59] Speaker B: My question all comes down to, how can we have perspective? And I think you brought up a bunch of great points.

I do think that there is something. We do believe that part of even Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac was for Abraham’s transformation, too. Right? Like, he needs to understand the pain that it must have been to have a father, have, you know, watching a child die that he loved so dearly. And, you know, you bring up a good point. It’s like maybe. Maybe Alma and Amulek had to watch this as.

As part of their purification, as part of their understanding what it must be like to see, you know, to be a God, knowing he can’t strip us of our agency, including even terrible people, you know, and that, and that God, unfortunately, has to watch innocent souls be destroyed all of the time, and, you know, has to let it happen in some of those cases because he can’t rob us of our agency.

I don’t know, man.

[00:44:07] Speaker A: It’s also kind of interesting if you think about what happens if the story isn’t there.

What happens if the people of Ammonihah just don’t repent? And Alma and amulet give up and they move on to the city of Aaron next, right? And. And maybe they’ve got Ziazrem that that joins with them, maybe some families here and there, and they. They just go. And then the Lamanites come out and just kill everybody of Ammoniah. And then, and then the people are asking, why? Why is it that these people were destroyed?

And what do you get from that? But, but when you plug this story in context of people that were willing to kill innocent women and children in a horrific and heinous way, just to rub it in the face of who used to be their chief judge, and it was by orders of their local chief judge that these things were happening. This was their justice system. This is their city that was executing this, not just a few wicked men. This was the entire governance and city participating and carrying this execution out. And think about what kind of impact that had on the rest of the NepHite civilization to see the act of this. And then they all refer to this as the destruction of nehors, because this was the band of the NeHore People that lived in this area that were willing to go to this ExtremE. And then the miraculous that every single one of them was wiped out by the lamanite army, not to the one soul didn’t survive that.

ANd yet you contrast that again. The Lamanites go into some of the neighboring areas, take captives with them, and the leader of the army goes to Alma, asks Alma, where do I go to find these guys? ANd AlmA tells him, this is where they’re going to be. This is where you need to be. The Lord will deliver them in your hands. And it says, not one single captive’s life was lost. And so the contrast of not one single person in the city was spared versus not one single captive’s life was lost.

And put it in the story of what JusT happened. ANd these martyrs, all of a sudden, their experience, I think, becomes a powerful tool to convert an entire nation to being more dedicated to the Lord and potentially saves an entire nation from the Lamanites continuing to spread into Zarahemla, into the rest of the nephite nations, to causing the downfall of entire nation. And so you look at it, and again, I mean, you’ve pointed the sound, Nate, I mean, perspective that you don’t have at the moment. Perspective that you can’t have. You can’t possibly understand how this, this group of women and children are going to possibly save an entire nation from further destruction down the road and how their sacrifices is consecrated for their good.

I guess it comes down to trusting God, which is one of the most bitter, hard things to do. And that’s why it’s called trust, is because we just can’t see the other side of it.

[00:47:10] Speaker B: Yeah, faith. Right. And, you know, as. As you should probably expect at this point, you know that I’m gonna chip in with the sacrament. The chance each week that we have to covenant to have the Holy Ghost.

Sorry, is my mic cutting out? The chance to have the Holy Ghost with us and to be our constant companion. Because that’s, I guess, my only way that I could think of being able to have any sort of peace when you’re in the middle of the storm. So doing what we can to live.

[00:47:43] Speaker A: Worthy of that, that’s such a blessing, to have the constant companionship of the spirit. I mean, that’s what it’s going to take, right? Because when we come down, let’s take this lesson on an individual basis. How do I know that what I’m praying for is the right thing? How do I know that I should be praying for success of this, that this business should be successful, versus maybe this business actually needs to die so that I can be successful in another way.

[00:48:09] Speaker B: Totally. I mean, this is the story of my life.

It’s anything.

[00:48:15] Speaker A: And I think that’s the critical difference, right? Going to hear the reason. The reason it was okay that these died versus others saved is. Boils down to, in my mind, because that’s what God said.

[00:48:28] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, that’s. And I think you’re right. I think you’re right. I think that there’s. I have so much of a long way to go to be able to be, I feel like, right there to be able to do that. And there is something encouraging from this story too, which is it’s not like Alma and Amulek were unfazed by this. It’s not like they were unfazed.

And there’s, I feel like, at least a little bit of hope in there. For me to go, yeah. When I do think of this, and I have to, like, ask myself, I don’t know, what would I do? As much as I think I’d like to know what I would do, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the human part of me going, hey, maybe that’s part of. Part of having faith is that that faith has to be pushed against. And so, you know, I read this story at the same time as I’ve been reading this other book, and it kind of. Those two. Those two stories kind of collided where it’s like, oh, man, it’s not even. It’s not even the. It’s not even the prophet or your missionaries that were scared of the torture that they were going to endure. It was having to watch other innocent people endure it because of them. I’m like, man, that shook me.

I hope I would know what I should do. But seeing that both Alma and amulek weren’t just, you know, taking it stoic, they weren’t just like, oh, no problem. Everything’s all good. You know, it’s like that was. It was tearing them up, too.

[00:50:00] Speaker A: So I love that you said that. And I think that comes back to the high priest and being covered in blood.

I mean, how does it not faze you to take a little lamb that hasn’t done anything to hurt anybody in life that’s, you know, just clean, white, pure.

And to cut it while it’s screaming, by the way.

[00:50:23] Speaker B: You know, by the way, while it’s probably panicking and terrified, it doesn’t leave you spotless.

[00:50:31] Speaker A: It doesn’t leave you unstained, unmarked, unchanged.

And yet somehow, you’re washed white through the blood of that getting all over you. Somehow you’re washed white through the experience of that grittiness, that dirty.

[00:50:49] Speaker B: Good stuff. Anything else you wanted to chat about this week?

[00:50:54] Speaker A: No, I think.

I think that’s kind of the big one. I mean, we have. Yes, room’s conversion story, which is pretty powerful, and he gets sick and healed and whatnot, and maybe we can get some details in.

If Amulek is from this city, who’s to say that his family wasn’t part of those that were sacrificed? Did he have women and children? They’re never mentioned. I mean, does this. What. What happens to him and his family? Either one. It says that he was rejected by his dad and his kindred. So maybe his wife left him already for having followed Alma, and she was saved from being sacrificed. But if that was the case, she certainly wasn’t spared by the Lamanites that came in and killed everybody, or maybe they did believe and support him, in which case they were killed here. So you want to talk about what kind of mark and change this had on people? I mean, this, like you say, making these real people and talking about what they went through makes it very real.

I think that’s all I’ve got, though. I love it.

[00:51:59] Speaker B: I mean, I think that we both talked about the things that we were both hoping to talk about. So, yeah, I’m solid if you’re good.

[00:52:08] Speaker A: Yep.

[00:52:11] Speaker B: Do you. We do have a minute, and I, you know, we can edit this out if you don’t, but it would be. I love a lot of the experience that you’ve been telling me about, kind of some things that you’ve been seeing and experiencing and even some of the miracles. Is that something you would be willing to share kind of on the podcast, or is that something that you don’t necessarily want to get too much into?

[00:52:35] Speaker A: I mean, I can. I can give it a stab, and if at the end of the. At the end of spilling it out, we don’t like it, we just cut it. Right?

[00:52:42] Speaker B: I guess that’s the power of technology. People. People always just thought that I had Amy Grant just on standby so that anytime her name got mentioned, I just pushed a button and it just came in. Believe it or not, this is the studio magic, letting everybody see behind the curtain. We actually do try to edit this down somewhat after we’re done recording. So maybe just if you, dude, give us the five to ten minute recap, because I do actually think a lot of what you’ve been sharing with me is beautiful. And I actually would prefer to end this podcast on a positive note and not try to think of having to watch all of your friends and family die in a fire to.

[00:53:22] Speaker A: I mean, I’ll try to summarize this real quick. I mean, it’s something we’ve probably talked about, and a lot of people are wondering what in the world we’re even talking about. Okay, so, to give you a quick context, it was a year ago in April, actually.

I dreamed we were selling our house, and I jumped on the phone the next day, and I was trying to check out some houses in Utah. It was a discouraging experience, as some of you may be familiar with the real estate market in Utah, just not very encouraging.

And so I kind of put it out of my mind until the next day when Janessa, my wife, told me that she had a dream that she felt that in her dream. She had to tell me that we needed to move. And she woke up in her dream, but she was still sleeping. And then it hit her again. This is what you need to do. Tell Jason that you need to move. And then she did wake up, and she felt really strongly that that’s what she needed to say. She told me her experience, and I’m like, oh, man, not you, too. So that kind of started us on the thought that we needed to do something different, but we had no idea what it was. And it was a month later, when I was in Barcelona for my son’s soccer, that we attended state conference. There was a visiting elder that was there for state conference that shared a talk, and he talked about the book of Mormon. He talked about wetting your pillow at night and the power of crying while you’re praying. You don’t wet your pillow without tears.

And he said this, and I won’t ever forget it. He said, if you’re trying to figure out where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing, you need to wet your pillow at night and pray to the lord and get that direction.

And then he kind of finished it up with what seemed like a random story. He said that he heard a woman crying out at a shopping center in the Netherlands. He went to go see what was going on. It was a hot day that the windows had been cracked, and she had two dogs. And one of the dogs didn’t make it from the heat exhaustion had passed away. And. And this dog, it was a pug, a little black pug. And he started doing CPR to try to revive this dog. He’s doing the chest compressions. And then he felt himself praying to the Lord, like, please save this God or this dog.

Because as you can imagine, a dog dying from heat exhaustion. Like, his face was just snotty, slimy. It just. He says to this day, he still has nightmares about this dog, but it didn’t work. He did mouth to mouth, still couldn’t save the dog. But the woman was very touched with his. This act of kindness, and asked him about his religion and what he believed. But what he boiled it all down to and how he finished his talk was, when you pray to the Lord, be prepared to kiss the pug. Be prepared to do something that maybe you weren’t expecting to do or maybe something that you never wanted to do.

And so I took inspiration from that. I went home to our apartment we were renting, and I did pray really hard, and I didn’t get an answer to the Lord. You talk about prayers and unanswered prayers and the silence in heaven right here. I was crying, praying, throwing everything out there and nothing.

But the next morning, as I was reading my scriptures, I prayed again, and I asked God, and I said, where should I read to get an answer? Where should I read to get a direction to what I need to do, where I’m supposed to be? And that’s when the answer came. And the spirit told me, it’s the story of the man that came to Christ and said, what shall I do? And he says, sell what you have and come follow me.

And of course, it’s just a story, right? But when you start thinking about that story and the spirit starts making connections, and then all of a sudden, and I realized that that’s what I was supposed to do, was sell my home, which would give me the ability to. To move out here and perhaps make a difference or do something with the Lord wanted me to do out here.

Then it was the kissing, the pug moment, like, whoa, I don’t know that I’m prepared to do something like that. I don’t know. Maybe I’m. Maybe I’m just being too imaginative. Maybe this is the wrong. Maybe that’s not what the Lord wanted me to do.

Please. Anything but that, right?

But as I started to wrestle with that and think about it and talk with Janessa about it, I mean, answers started coming, confirmation started coming, and it started to feel more and more like the right thing and what we needed to do.

And I’ll try to condense this down to just a couple key experiences on this.

As I started to pray and feel about this people here in Barcelona, I felt like the Lord was willing and ready to open up the heavens and really bless this people out here.

And there was a lot of opportunity for this people to turn to the Lord and for the Lord to bless them. And the people out here were suffering drought, really bad drought, severe drought. Hadn’t rained a lot in the last four years. In fact, in this year, it got to the point where they were installing in the hotels in the showers, devices that would turn the showers off after four minutes. To limit tourist showers to four minute showers. They had big signs posted all over the airport to try to warn tourists and keep them from using a lot of water. Their reservoirs were down to twelve to 14% full. They were out of water, running out of water.

And it was May 10 of this year. And the catholic church, this is the first time they’ve done this since 1945. Pulled out their statue of Jesus, parade it through the city, praying for rain. Desperately praying for rain. And you had this people just turning to God and really praying that the heavens would open and bless them.

And at the same time, as we were preparing for this, I felt like the Lord would bless the people with rain.

If they would turn to him, there would be something there. And I wrote it in my journal. I pulled the family aside and I asked them to pray for rain for the people here as well.

We would pray for the people here. We would pray that they would turn to God, that they would. They would repent, that we would see just miracles.

And we emailed the stake president. This was last year, I want to say October, November, September. Sometime in the fall of last year, we emailed the stake president and asked him, where should we be?

We said, we’re planning on moving out here. Where do you need us? Is really all. It was just a simple question, where do you need us? And within reading that, he emailed us back within a few hours. He said, the second I read that question, I knew exactly where you needed to be. It’s the battle on award.

And he sent us the boundaries where it was.

And so we started making preparations to come out here to the battle on award. In December, I flew out with my wife, Janessa. We went to the battle on a ward to meet the ward, and we’re talking like 50 people. Maybe it was just a struggling ward. They called it the dead warden. That’s what they called it. And I came home and I told my kids, I’m sorry. I mean, you might be the youth program. There might not be much that we’re coming to when we get out here. I mean, I’ve got six kids, so we’re. We’re almost. I mean, we’re making a big change on their. On their numbers.

And so we didn’t expect much. But when we came out here that first Sunday, I was blown away, because instead of 50 people in the church, there’s 175 people in the church, and it was standing room only.

And I came out here in the last week of May.

And so from May to December, you go from 50, 70 people to 175 people.

That’s crazy to me. And so I asked the bishop, what’s going on? What happened? And, I mean, even that first sacrament meeting, we had two talks. The first one was a sister who was talking about her experience coming back to the church. And then the second one was another sister talking about how she recently came back to the church in priesthood quorum. We had, right after priesthood quorum, we ordained a man to the office of a priest in the aaronic priesthood who in turn ordained his son to the aaronic priesthood. And they were baptized three weeks previously. And so I asked the bishop, what’s going on? And he said, you know, last week we had three baptisms, plus you had the two from the couple weeks before, plus all of these people coming back. He said, it’s, it’s been amazing to see that people are coming back to church. They’re returning to the church, we’re getting baptized. We’ve got a lot of missionaries here. That week I was able to go with the missionaries for a couple of discussions. I asked them the same thing. They said, the mission president has a philosophy that where they start to see success in baptisms, he sends more missionaries to kind of capitalize on it, strike where the iron’s hot. In our ward, we have six missionaries, six missionaries just for our ward.

And we have. We went to another baptism the very next week. We’ve got a baptism, two baptisms this weekend. Just. It’s been incredible to see, and the bishop told me, and the missionaries told me they’re actually preparing to split the ward. And when they split the ward, they’re preparing on splitting the stake. It’s just incredible to see that all the people that have been coming to the church, the growth and while that’s miraculous, to see the growth and the revival and what’s happening out here on just a small ward level, but the first weekend we got here, it rained and it rained pretty good. And I remember writing in my journal, like, hey, maybe this is a sign that we’re in the right place, that God’s blessing this people, that we’re seeing rain. But the rain didn’t stop. And from this point here, it’s rained more days than it hasn’t.

And it’s actually rained more in the month of June than it’s rained the last two years combined in just one month.

Rained more than the last two years. And so in June, the rain is extremely rare. Here in Barcelona, they get about 24 mm, on average. We’ve already passed 70. We’re not even through the month yet.

And it’s just been crazy to see the windows of heaven opening. The Lord blessing his people. And I say this not just from a perspective of the church is growing and getting stronger and seeing these people that are eager and coming in, but even to see it with other faiths, to see the catholic people out there praying to God and turning to him to try to solve their problems and parading their statue of Jesus. It just feels like there’s a lot of people turning to the Lord over here and to see these miracles, which I didn’t expect, maybe I did down the road, maybe I thought, you know, five years from now, we’ll see why it was important that we moved. I never imagined within the first week we would see what we’ve seen. So, I don’t know. Did I? Did I did. I nailed it.

[01:04:17] Speaker B: And I appreciate you being willing to share that with us. And I take a lot of inspiration every time we get to chat and you share with me all of the amazing things that you’ve got going on out there. So I appreciate you being willing to share that on the podcast as well.

We appreciate the listeners. A lot of appreciation. We appreciate the listeners to this show. We thank you so much for sending it to your friends and family.

We’ve enjoyed seeing the show expand into different countries and various things. It’s always fun to kind of look at where people are listening and be like, oh my goodness, there’s somebody listening in this country. We’re like, oh, that’s sweet.

So we appreciate, but we know that it’s because of you that have been listening and stuck with us even during a little bit of the rocky transition. Hopefully we have been able to get the quality of the podcast back to where it was when we were hanging out in a room together every Sunday night. So we’re working on it.

Any questions or comments? Always, please feel free to hit us up. You can get ahold of us at the email address high deepdive.com.

always love hearing feedback, questions, comments. We love hearing the insight that you all have as we’ve been going through these chapters. So let us have it. I think that’s all we have. So until next week.

1 responses on "Alma 13 - 16"

  1. After I finished Alma 14, I knew I wanted to be sure to tune in to your podcast and listen to your thoughts. You did not disappoint. Here is my question, which you answered already about the killing of wives/children, but maybe I can ask it in a more personal way (your answer was “I don’t know” and “aim for the bigger perspective”): I am continually confronted by the statement that I choose “church” over everything else and especially hurtful – over family. In a family-centered church, how do you reconcile the Alma/Amulek story? To follow that question up, I want to provide a Brigham Young quote that maybe answers my own question but I’d like to hear how you process it all: Brigham Young said, “The Gospel of salvation is perfectly calculated to cause division. It strikes at the root of the very existence of mankind in their wickedness, evil designs, passions, and wicked calculations. There is no evil among the human family, but at the foundation of which it strikes effectually” (Matt. 10:34-46). (Brigham Young quote was in Journal of Discourses – Effects and Privileges of the Gospel — The Latter-day Saints and the Christian World”.

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