Living by the scriptures

Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism. — Alma 7:15

Three times, within as many weeks, the Lord saw fit to call the words of Alma to my attention. The first time came during my daily scripture study. His message spoke with such boldness that I stopped reading to ponder what the Spirit would teach me. I searched my heart for guilt of some grievous sin. Which commandment didn't I keep? What gospel law did I neglect? Puzzled, I gave up on the subject.

Later that week I became involved in a dispute at work. Although abiding by the supervisor's decision, I began to dwell on the matter. I became angry and resentful, replaying the incident over and over. All the way home I assured myself, "I followed company policy. I'm in the right."

That evening, still fuming, I absently picked up the Ensign and began to read. For the second time Alma's counsel stared at me from the page. Properly reproved, I couldn't deny my error. I'd been beset throughout that entire day by useless, unforgiving, repetitive thoughts.

How could I have been so blind? No sin is minor. Every misdeed offends the Spirit and causes it to withdraw. I considered my lifelong habit of damaging thought patterns. How often I'd bemoaned my presentation after giving a talk or lesson. I berated myself for not quite measuring up to my expectations, and had been bestirred by situations long past.

During a BYU devotional I heard the scripture for the third time. Although I felt it had been directed to me, I breathed a sigh of relief. By then I'd started to recognize thoughts that bound me down to destruction and replaced them with kinder, happier ones. — Eva Jensen, West Jordan, Utah

"Living by the Scriptures" is another in a series of Church News reader response articles. Was there a time when a particular scripture touched you, when it offered comfort, guidance and much-needed support? If so, please describe your experience in 250-300 words, giving the scripture reference and telling how it affected you.

Send your submission to Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax No. (801) 237-2524. Internet E-mail:

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