by Kari Diane Pike
The power of a question. Who knew? I've always encouraged my children to ask questions (unless I am trying to write my blog and it is already noon). After all, the higher level of thinking is in the asking of questions. This is where I usually get on my soap box about how the system is producing students, but not scholars...and followers who are spoon fed information, rather than leaders who seek out truth...or in other words...ask questions. I will spare you from that and share with you the amazing experience I had this morning that began with asking a question.
I set a goal a couple of weeks ago to open my scripture study with prayer...and a question. It takes time to set a habit and during the last several days I let the pressures of needing to be in certain places at certain times take precedence over in depth scripture study. This morning, I began my scripture study by asking Heavenly Father to let His spirit be with me as I studied and I asked,
"What do you want to tell me today? What lesson do you have waiting for me to learn?"
My book mark opened the pages to Alma 15. Zeezrom laid in his bed with a burning fever, tormented by his knowledge of the great sin he committed; knowing that because of his actions many innocent men, women, and children, including Alma and Amulek, had been persecuted, stoned, and even subjected to a fiery death. When Zeezrom learned that Alma and Amulek not only lived, but were in the land of Sidom where the "castaways" had found refuge, he sent a message asking Alma and Amulek to come to him. Verse 5 tells us that Alma and Amulek "went immediately" to the house of Zeezrom. I love that example! Here a man, who caused them great pain and suffering, requested their presence and they not only went -- they went immediately -- without hesitation or thought of "Let's let him suffer a little more, just to make sure he knows what it feels like." "They went immediately."
When Alma and Amulek arrived at Zeezrom's home, Zeezrom reached out to them and Alma took Zeezrom by the hand. (The significance of that greeting, that touch of the hands, overwhelmed me. We must never underestimate the importance of touch.) At this point Alma asked Zeezrom,
"Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?"
Zeezrom replied, "Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught."
Alma then cried unto the Lord, "O Lord our God, have mercy on this man and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ." Zeezrom then leaped to his feet and began to walk.
There are so many layers to this story: repentance, forgiveness, humility, meekness, love, and the power of faith in the redemption of Jesus Christ.
My love and respect for Alma and Amulek continued to grow as I read further. After they established a church in Sidom and saw to it that everything was properly organized and that the people had a proper understanding of the gospel, Alma took Amulek to his own home in the land of Zarahemla and administered to Amulek in his tribulation "and strengthened him in the Lord." Amulek had served Alma during a time of need and Alma returned that service when Amulek needed comfort and strength. I am touched by the fact that Alma and Amulek diligently served the Lord despite their own personal challenges of losing family, friends, abundant wealth, and even being subjected to physical injury. They truly followed the counsel to "strengthen your brethren in all your conversations, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings." (D&C 108:7)
So what does this mean to me? How do I apply this lesson to my life? I could go on forever, but here is an abbreviated list:
*Seek priesthood blessings - regularly
*Be repentant - know that Christ's redemption applies to everyone!
*Be uplifting in all of my conversations - praise God
*Be compassionate - everyone, even leaders, experiences challenges and gets tired
*Serve diligently - no matter what the circumstances
Your list will most likely vary from mine...that is part of the miracle of the scriptures. Your answer will depend on your question and where you are at this time in your life. But it will be the answer you need when you need it. Never underestimate the power of a question.