Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Blogger and the Ambulance P.2 (Alma the Younger/Second Chances)

"My world goes black before I feel an angel steal me from the greedy jaws of death and chance, and pull me in with steady hands, you've given me a second chance, The Artist and the Ambulance."
-Thrice

Here we are, part two of this two part post, if you missed the Awesome!ness of part one, click here! If not, you should probably take a seat so you aren't blown away and you may want to hold on to your socks. "Good, I just bought them."
To answer your question,
something like that

Now the best things in life are the things that have multiple meanings cause, well, they have multiple meanings. "Not the most clever thing you've ever said." My allergies are killing me, give me a break... Now what was I talking about... "Double meanings?" Ah yes, double meanings, well, We already talked about Spiritual Gifts, now to the second part of The Artist and the Ambulance. We are going to talk about second chances. "Wait a second, didn't you already talk about that with the whole Luna thing?" Why yes I did, now stop interrupting please. Now I've never had a near death experience before, sure, I've almost been hit by a car while on bike more times than I'd like to have been, but nothing that's worth writing home about. But I've heard many a tale about someone who has been on the verge of death and once they recover, they say they had a feeling that they had been squandering their lives and that all they had done was for naught. They reenter into a world of regret of all the things they may or may not have done and realize just how quickly things can change, so they make amends, and try to change their lives. So before you ask where I'm going with this, there is a man in the Book of Mormon who goes by the name of Alma the Younger.

He was what most would call a hoodlum, a ner' do well, "a rapscallion?" Exactly! He would go around leading away people away from the church and taking them down the path that is hotter than most would prefer. "Are there two hockey sticks there?" There is outdeed. So pretty much, not someone you would introduce to your folks. "And then he became a good guy?" You know, if you ruin the ending, it's not fun for the rest of us... "Sorry geez..." I'm getting there. So Alma the Younger had a father by the name of Alma who was the prophet at the time so he was a pretty righteous guy. So imagine knowing that your son, is leading people away from the church and pretty much undoing all the good you're working so hard to do. "Sounds like it would suck, also sounds like a beating is in store." Right, but think about it, even IF his father did anything, do you think a hoodlum like Alma the Younger would listen? "Probably not." Exactly, Alma needed something else to help his beloved wayward son. So he took his problems to the Lord. 


And then this happened.
Now to make a long story short, because believe it or not, I haven't even gotten to my point. "I believe it." I shouldn't have said anything... "Go on," Well, an angel appeared and told Alma the Younger these words.
And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.
"Hardcore." Alma the younger was left in a stupor for days and repents of his transgressions so here's where the ambulance comes in. In this sort of near death experience, Alma realized what he did and he came to terms with the person he was, and the person he didn't want to be. He was in a bad place, he described himself as a murderer, not a physical one, but a spiritual one and to have to face his maker with the sins and spiritual blood of many on his hands was too much for him to take. I can't say I've been where he's been, not many can, but it's not to say he was doomed to a gall of bitterness, no. This post is about second chances and that's what Alma the Younger received. He told this experience to his son saying: 
12 But I was racked with an eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.
13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.
15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.
16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
So here we are, much like John Marston, there is redemption for all of us because our Heavenly Father loves us, and he wants us to be better than we are, to be like him, and we can! We truly can! Yes, there will be those mess ups here and there, but just cause we spilled some lemonade doesn't mean we can no longer drink any. I believe in the second chances, cause they're real, but I just hope we don't have to get as far as Alma the Younger or the Artist in the Ambulance to realize it. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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