Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Suffering Alleviated by the Scriptures

Here King Mosiah teaches his sons about the sacred record on the brass plates:

And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God. (Mosiah 1:3)

That bit about how we must have suffered in ignorance struck me recently. It made me think about how I’ve made so many good choices in my life because of what I’ve learned from the scriptures. I’ve been able to resist many temptations and keep out of trouble because of what I’ve learned from the scriptures. If I hadn’t had the scriptures or the influence of the church in my life I really would have suffered so much because of all the mistakes I would have made in ignorance. There have been many pivot points when a scriptural principle I’ve learned has come back to me, and acting on instead of giving in to temptation or taking a lower way has brought blessings and safety to me.

I can’t deny I’ve also had some suffering arise out of following good scriptural principles, but it has been sanctified suffering, and knowing from the scriptures that I was right helped me persevere.

One major way we would suffer in ignorance from not knowing the mysteries of God is suffering the load of accumulated guilt for sin. Because no matter how the world will try to deny it, guilt is there. It piles up and you can’t get out from it without Christ and without repenting. The scriptures tell us about how we can escape guilt and sin and lay hold on salvation through Christ.

What a mystery of God repentance and faith is! That a God would become man and suffer for everyone’s sins to give us a chance to repent! That our belief in this God and efforts to change and prayers for forgiveness are efficacious! To a tangibly focused, material-evidence-oriented mind that would seem beyond belief.  But it’s real!