Sorry I haven 't blogged lately- and in fact, when I look at the blogs I've done I've got to say sorry I haven't used my brain lately. It's still there- just so focused on busy-ness it doesn't ever get to slow down and consider the fun stuff- I think they call that pondering.
Well, today the dishes are done, the children are relatively happy and I found a second to write out my insights about the story of Ammon (Alma 15-29- ish). Man, it is interesting stuff! Actually I'm really just writing what occurred to me for the first time in Sunday School but I didn't say because they were running out of time and basically, nobody cared about it but me.
The thing that hit me most today is GOD IS A GOD OF IRONY. Now by irony I don't mean sarcasm or deception but the juxtaposition of opposites to bring deeper clarity to a theme or subject. I suppose that Satan's entire story is ironic in that his attempts to destroy mankind end up time and time again to make us stronger as we resist him and turn to Christ. The story of Abraham sacrificing his son holds incredible irony in that Abraham's father had tried to sacrifice him to an Egyptian God. Both were delivered.
Ammon's story begins with his trip to the Lamanites where he becomes a servant. His legendary experience at the waters of Sebus change the hearts and minds of an entire people with the acts of a SWORD. When the Lamanites join the church by the thousands, they decide to bury the very means of their conversion. As the unrepentant Lamanites gather to fight against these new converts, they decide to bury their weapons and die rather than be tempted to sin. Ammon must stand and watch as hundreds of the people he has taught and loved are slaughtered. We often weep for Alma and Amulek watching the saints at Ammonihah be burnt alive but what of poor Ammon having the ability to protect them but having to stay his hand.
When the enemies see that their work of death changes nothing, they drop their swords and more are converted that day than die. (Hugely IRONIC.) In the end the righteous Lamanites leave and join the Nephites. (Of course, their children become the Stripling Warriors who fight and are not killed like Ammon who was the source of their coming to the gospel.)
There are so many lessons to be learned from this story but the one that hit me today was simply we need to be wary of demonizing objects. In this story a sword was not only an object of protection, miracles and valiance but also of sin, cruelty and oppression. I know everyone has heard it said a million times, so here's one million and one, "It's not what it is, but what you do with it."
In our day this is true of SO many things but the first one that came to mind was the computer. The computer can be a great source of righteousness. With it we can do our genealogy, uplift, communicate with family, search the scriptures and words of the prophets and even reach all the way to Albania to write my wonderful missionary son who I miss more than you can imagine. One the otherhand, it can be the basis for not only hours of wasted time but true addictions and immoral communications that can destroy families and souls. Like the righteous Ammonites, if those addictions are severe, the answer to freedom may lie in burying your computer and never allowing yourself to be tempted again. Scary.
I hope instead that I use my computer like Ammon to strengthen the kingdom and bring souls to Christ because giving up all the benefits it offers would be hard. Really hard.