Thursday, November 16, 2017

Satan’s attempt to further destroy Zeezrom


After the tragedies and difficulties at Ammonihah, we get this little bit:

3 And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed that they had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat.
4 Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him. (Alma 15:3-4)

I notice that Zeezrom began to be tormented about his sins, and he thought his wickedness caused the deaths of Alma and Amulek. He had no knowledge of their true fates, but he assumed the worst. It is easy to understand that he might feel like he deserved to suffer for what he did.

But on the other hand, it could be argued that he didn’t deserve to feel this way because when we look at his actions, even though he began by attacking Alma and Amulek, his heart changed, and he began to defend them instead.  But that seemed to count for nothing with him. Something made him forget his more recent better works and only remember his wickedness.

Satan really wanted Zeezrom to be miserable, so he played upon Zeezrom’s ignorance about Alma and Amulek’s fates and put a ton of blame and torment upon him, using Zeezrom’s awakened conscience against him.

Happily, when Zeezrom heard Alma and Amulek were alive and in Sidom,, this immediately showed him his fears concerning them were false. This gave him the courage to act and call them to come. It would take courage to again face those he had feared he had so badly wronged, but he did it, and through more faith in Christ, was able to gain full relief from the rest of his suffering.

I think there’s an important lesson for us here. Satan tries to make our sins seem so awful that there is no hope. He wants us conscious of our awful state, but he also wants to catastrophize the consequences and steal our hope that we can ever escape, or repent, or improve—all to make us miserable.  (And he will try to make things seem particularly bad when we are tired, hungry, lonely, bored, stressed, or sick.) We just have to remember that Satan LIES. Things are not as bad as he makes them seem.   We have to take courage and act in faith, believing that Christ can heal us, help us, give us strength, forgive us, save us.