Monday, August 17, 2009


I've had a lot of thoughts bumping around in my head over the past few days as I've considered what I wanted to write about next for this blog. I wanted it to be related to the topic of healing, which this blog is supposed to be about. But as anyone who has perused this blog can see, I have a hard time staying strictly on topic!

I decided to post this article that I wrote back on February 11, 2009. I was up late one night, thinking about change and what it really entails, how I could change and move forward with some things in my life.

It's funny -- my life has taken some interesting turns since I wrote this. Some of these turns were completely unforeseen by me, some of them have been enlightening and joyous, others have been excruciating. But without fail, I see how all of them have been and are still contributing to one thing in my life. CHANGE!


I've been thinking a lot about change lately. Apparently, so has much of America. We don't like the current status of our nation. We don't like an economy heading south. Many of us wonder about the morality of a war we wage, leaders of the nation past and present, and a societal system that seems to exalt a tiny elite, drag down the middle class, and "grind the faces of the poor."

And then on a personal level, I think about where I'm at -- how much I have truly changed over the past few years, and how much I truly haven't! What causes change to occur? Do we have control over the changes that take place in us, and also in our life's circumstances? We must have some level of control! I reject the idea (at least in theory!) that we are victims to circumstance, and some people have circumstances that make it easy for them to change while others don't.

I certainly don't presume to have all the answers. That's why I decided to look to a higher source in my quest to understand how changes occur, and what I can do to facilitate them both for myself and others. Certainly, if I am ever to have any influence over changes in my society and my world, they will come only after I have enough “fruit” of change in my own life, and thoroughly understand the process!!

I was sitting in church a few weeks ago when the topic of change came up. So I pulled out one of my favorite all-time books and decided to see what it had to say.

I would like to share what I found. Whether you personally recognize this book as valid or not is your choice. You may find something valuable regardless:

I came across a story familiar to me and many of you -- A king named Benjamin, who had presided over the victory of his people over their enemies, was at the end of his life and reign. He decided to give one final address to his people, during which he would pass the baton of the kingdom on to one of his sons.

During the address, Benjamin shared with his people the secrets to his success, and to how he was able to lead the people to safety from their enemies. He taught them truths. What he taught them was the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- eloquently and beautifully.

Apparently, this people was in need of change. Benjamin hoped that his words would help that to occur. This is what happened --

"And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them.

"And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou has spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has WROUGHT A MIGHTY CHANGE IN US, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually . . .

". . .And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy."

This people were "CHANGED THROUGH FAITH ON HIS (Jesus Christ's) NAME", therefore they "were born of him and have become his sons and his daughters."

Wow! That sounds pretty simple! These people heard about Jesus and his sufferings for them, they FELT it was true by the Spirit of God, had FAITH it was true for them, and then GOD changed them to the point that they no longer had any disposition to do evil. Hmmm. Sounds much simpler to me than some other things I’ve been taught about change.

Later on in this book, a prophet named Alma is speaking to a large gathering of people and telling them about the miraculous change that occurred with his father, who had previously been involved with some pretty bad people. He says that “ACCORDING TO HIS FAITH THERE WAS A MIGHTY CHANGE WROUGHT in his heart.”

Later on, Alma shares his own mighty change that came “not of any worthiness of [him]self.” He relates that the memory of all the horrible things he had done (which in his case were pretty bad) that caused him to be “racked with torment”. Have you ever felt racked with torment over your stupidities, foibles, mistakes, poor judgment, or inadequacies? I certainly have!

So what did Alma do to change from a state he suddenly found unbearable, to something better? He remembered how he had heard about a Savior, Jesus Christ, who was supposed to atone for the sins of the world. He was desperate, so he seems to have decided to try his luck with this Jesus.

He cries out: “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.”

The result: “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. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!”

It looks like Alma CRIED OUT TO GOD in the sincerity of his soul, and then GOD CHANGED HIM.

One more story here –

A man named Ammon, who was a friend of Alma who we just heard about, had the desire to preach the word of God among his enemies, a people who waged war with his people, and whose fathers had rejected God’s commandments in past times. Ammon ended up serving in the house of the king of this people, named Lamoni. Ammon first went about gaining the trust of the king by protecting his flocks from robbers, at which time it was apparent to the king and his other servants that Ammon had something they didn’t have. They wanted to know what it was.

Ammon was glad to oblige, and he taught king Lamoni and some of his associates about Jesus Christ and God’s plan for his children to be redeemed from a fallen state through Jesus’ name. I’m leaving out a lot of juicy details here, because I feel I’m already being long-winded.

What ended up happening is strait from the scene of an evangelical worship service – people were passing out left and right overcome by the Spirit of God. What happened when they were in this state? “ . . . they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing – that THEIR HEARTS HAD BEEN CHANGED; that they had no more desire to do evil.”

Who or what changed them? Lamoni’s wife, the queen, tells us: “O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!”

Could it really be that simple? Cry out to God to change you, and it’s done??

I think one key here is that all these people in these stories were SINCERE. They were DESPERATE for change. They were WILLING TO DO ANYTHING. And then they COMMITTED to fulfill God’s will for them, whatever it was. These MIGHTY CHANGES were instantaneous in a sense, and apparently ongoing in another as these people showed by their subsequent choices that they were on board with God for the long haul.

I am giving this a try in my life. In fact, I tried this earlier tonight and felt a witness in my heart that my requests were heard, and would be honored. I will continue to turn my heart to God and ask him to change me. It really does sound much less stressful and much more effective than trying to walk the road to change alone!

If you are ready for change NOW in your life, maybe you could try it too!

Oh – the book I quoted from is The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Along with our beloved Bible, it adds another testimony that our Savior Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God.

Take it or leave it, I just wanted to share. And maybe someday soon those with whom I interact will notice they have less of my faults and quirks to put up with!!

I haven't "arrived" yet, six months after asking God to change me (and I haven't asked him just once, by the way, but I plead with him regularly about this)!

But I'm more on my way than ever.

Lastly, how does any of this relate to healing? What is healing if not change for the better?

Until next time . . .

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