Sunday, June 10, 2012

I See... The Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Testimony

Alma the Younger in Alma 5 ruthlessly interrogates Nephite church members about their beleifs and testimonies with over 40 fairly introspective questions.  I know we are supposed to liken the scriptures unto ourselves, but rapid-fire delivery of a mass of relatively deep questions seems harsh.   While the gospel message currently has to compete for attention with the entertainment extravangza offered Ipods and Iphones and DVRs and Facebook and tweeting and streaming Internet TV,  Nephites more than 2,000 years ago were blessed to have none of that.  Their attention was restricted to bulky metal plates and massive memories trained to remember long, tent-side sermons.

Hence, in order to cater to the sound-bite attention spans of the current generation, the MTE staff has meticulously researched and analyzed all of the 40+ questions in Alma 5 and summarized them down ala David Letterman-style to a “top ten list;” the top ten questions to ask yourself about your testimony. Ironically, many of them are short enough to tweet.  I’ve included some liken-the-scriptures-to-yourself more modern unofficial translations next to a few of the entries in parens.  I hope this list both entertains you and prompts you to ponder about what and how you believe. Furthermore, please note that your priority order may be different than the results of research provided by the MTE staff, but that’s OK; all of us fought and won the War in Heaven for the right to make wrong choices.

10: How will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness. Behold, what will these things testify against you?

9: Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you?

8: Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble?

7. And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

6. Behold, are ye stripped of pride?

5. I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands?

4. Have ye received his image in your countenances?

3. Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

2. And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God?

1. And now… the number one question to ask about your own testimony drawn from Alma 5 is…Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? (have you prayed to know if the church is true?)

1 comment:

  1. It has always impressed me that in question #8 Alma doesn't ask if you've been sufficiently righteous, only whether you've been sufficiently humble. His next comment suggests that being sufficiently humble means that "your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ." It's our humility, repentance, change of heart, and application of the Savior's Atonement that are important, rather than any self-congratulations for perceived righteousness.