Alma chapter 5
Taught by Karen P.
"And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? Alma 5:14
Is the changing of your heart an event or process?
President Ezra Taft Benson cautioned: "The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant, as it were: Alma the Younger, Paul on the road to Damascus, Enos praying far into the night, King Lamoni. Such astonishing examples of the power to change even those steeped in sin can give confidence that the Atonement can reach even those deepest in despair.
But we must be cautious as we discuss these remarkable examples. Though they are real and and powerful, they are the exception more than the rule. For every Paul, for every Enos, and for every King Lamoni, there are hundreds and thousands of people who find the process of repentance much more subtle, much more imperceptible. Day by day they move closer to the Lord, little realizing that they are building a godlike life. They live quiet lives of goodness, service, and commitment. They are like the Lamanites, who the Lord said 'were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.' 3 Ne 9:20
In verses 11-13 Alma discusses the conditions of salvation with the promise to be saved.
Verse 11 - We must BELIEVE the word of God.
Verse 12 - We must experience a mighty change of heart or a new birth of a new person.
Verse 13 - We must HUMBLE ourselves and trust in God, and,
Verse 13 - We must be faithful until the end of our mortal lives.
Get your heart checked with a 'Spiritual Cardiogram'.
Go through each of Alma's change of heart questions and mark your answers with a dot on the line, Alway, Most of the Time, Sometimes, Seldom or Never.
1) Have you been spiritually born of God? Or in other words, do you take time to Repent and take advantage of the Atonement in your life daily?
2) Have you received His image in your countenance? What does that mean to you? We physically look different when we have the light of Christ in our lives.
3) Have you experienced a mighty change in your heart? To experience a mighty change in our hearts is to gain a full and complete commitment to the gospel cause.
4) Do you exercise faith in the redemption of Him who created you? Do you believe that he has the power to remit sins, heal souls, raise the dead, and triumph in all that is right and good.
5) Do you look forward with an eye of faith to standing before God and will you hear him say, "Come unto me ye blessed, for behold your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth..."
6) Do you imagine that you can Lie to the Lord? Are you professing to live one thing and are doing another?
7) Can you look up to God (daily) with pure hearts and clean hands? Elder Dallin H. Oaks has written: "If we do righteous acts and refrain from evil acts, we have clean hands. If we act for the right motives and if we refrain from forbidden desires and attitudes, we have pure hearts."
8) Are your garments clean? Do you repent daily and take advantage of the Atonement in your life?
9) Are there things you do daily that "Testify against you"?
10) Do you live worthy daily so that you would feel comfortable, sitting and living in the presence of all the prophets of God...from Adam down to President Monson.
11) If you have experienced a change of heart, do you still feel that way now? "We must be ever on guard against spiritual lethargy, against coasting upon our memories. We cannot afford to homestead on spiritual plateaus." Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon
12) Do you live daily so that you are blameless before God?
13) Are you sufficiently humble? "Humility! That does not mean weakness; that does not mean lack of courage, lack of faith, lack of self-confidence; but it means the recognition of a higher power upon which we are dependent..." Ezra Taft Benson
14) Are you stripped of pride?
15) Are you stripped of envy?
16) Do you make fun of or talk bad about other people?
Now take and connect all the dots that you have made on your spiritual cardiogram. How are you doing? Is your heart mostly up - close to the Lord?
By daily repenting, and plugging into the power of the scriptures and prayer, we can day by day-become like the Savior. As we do, there is a wonderful light that shines from your eyes - because your spirit radiates the goodness you are feeling from our Heavenly Father.