5 Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people?I used to think the Amalekite’s questions were indicative of envy of the spiritual experiences Aaron had had.
6 Thou also sayest, except we repent we shall perish. How knowest thou the thought and intent of our hearts? How knowest thou that we have cause to repent? How knowest thou that we are not a righteous people? Behold, we have built sanctuaries, and we do assemble ourselves together to worship God. We do believe that God will save all men. (Alma 21:5-6)
Recently I realized the Amalekite was actually trying to invalidate Aaron’s testimony. From the Amalekite’s questions, it is evident that Aaron was telling about his experience of being called to repentance by an angel and then using that to issue a more general call to repent. The Amalekite was trying to invalidate Aaron’s testimony on the grounds that unless an angelic call to repentance came to the Amalekites too, then they had no need to repent.
The problem with this view is that it is an attempt to dictate to the Lord and limit His workings to one method. Not only that, but the method they ask for, they implicitly disbelieve. They don’t understand that calls to repentance come in many different ways, and the needful thing is to sensitize oneself to them and obey.
I’ve seen calls for me to repent in many different places. I’ve found them in talks and lessons. I’ve found them in books and movies and songs. I’ve found them in pictures. Sometimes I’ve found them when visiting someone else’s home. Sometimes I find calls to repentance in blog posts or conversations even when the very word was never mentioned. I’m sure you’ve had this kind of experience too.
Without giving the details of the sin, will you tell me about a call to repentance you received from an unconventional source?