When I sit down to read scriptures, I don’t do so expecting to come away with any grand revelations. However, sometimes I do happen to come upon something substantial. Not substantial in any significant way, but just enough to give me new perspective. That happened today as I read in the Book of Alma. Chapter 31 discourses on Alma and others going to the Zoramites to teach the gospel. Now, for those unaware of the Zoramites, you should know they were once Nephites. Verse eight says they were dissenters, and that they had “had the word of God preached unto them”. An accurate definition of dissent states, “to hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed.” As the verse stated, they had been preached the gospel. So in a nut shell these Zoramites were former Nephites who knew the gospel, knew the law, and had left for differences of opinion on gospel matters.
I say “intriguing” because this sounds so familiar. What about this story seems so easily recognized? What is currently happening in the wider world of Mormonism TODAY that is reminiscent of the Zoramites of Alma’s time?
OH. Yes. That’s right!
All these things came to my mind when I read this verse in Alma. Members of the Church, people that had been preached to, baptized even. Members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, members who sustain a living prophet, members who think they know better. Members who disregard the Family Proclamation when they march in gay pride parades. These people who support gay marriage, and fight for female priesthood holders. These are the people I read about.
Alma 31:9 says they fell into “great errors”. I like to compare these errors to poor reasoning that is spreading like a plague among young Latter-Day Saints. A great error it certainly is to set aside the counsel of living prophets while marching for “Love” and “Rights”. “Great errors” in reasoning that suggest support for marriage equality is allowing our brothers and sisters to exercise agency. “Great errors” they make in supposing the legalization of the immoral will please God.
These modern day Zoramites are fighting on the wrong side of truth. “Yea, in fine, they did pervert the ways of the Lord in very many instances..” Is there a clear answer to this epidemic? Alma suggests an answer to the erring dissenters of the world. Alma 31:5 reads:
“And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.”
The only answer we have for these brothers and sisters is to keep sharing what we know to be true. Let truth sway the lost. Allow the Word to work inside them for good. They may stand strong with the world in this tumultuous time, but we stand firm with the Lord during a great season of truth.