There are several experiences in the Book of Mormon in which people sought the Savior and found His healing power. Today, I want to look at three of those experiences and consider what we can learn from them.
- Enos had what he called a “wrestle…before God” before receiving a remission of his sins. His father Jacob was the leader of the church and Enos had heard him teach the gospel many times. On this occasion, he was out hunting when his father’s words “sunk deep into his heart.” As a result, his “soul hungered.” He knelt and prayed all day and into the night. Finally, he heard a voice which said, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.” Instantly, his “guilt was swept away.” When he asked how this had happened, he was told that it was because of his faith in Christ (Enos 1:1-8).
- The people of King Benjamin gathered at the temple to hear a final message from their king. They offered burnt offerings and sat together in families looking toward the temple, where Benjamin stood on a tower to teach them (Mosiah 2:1-7). After hearing the king testify that we can only be saved by having our natures changed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, they fell to the earth and pleaded with God to “apply the atoning blood of Christ.” The Spirit of the Lord filled them with joy and gave them “peace of conscience.” Mormon tells us that this happened “because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ” (Mosiah 4:1-3).
- Alma the Younger, whose father was the high priest, saw an angel who commanded him to stop fighting against the church. “If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed,” the angel said, “seek no more to destroy the church of God.” For two or three days, Alma was unable to move or talk. He was “racked with eternal torment” and “tormented with the pains of hell” as he became painfully aware of the gravity of his sins. Finally, he remembered that his father had taught him that Jesus Christ would atone for his sins. Alma cried out in his heart, “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.” Immediately, his pain was gone–replaced by joy. (Mosiah 27:8-24, Alma 36:6-21).
What principles can we learn from these three experiences?
- You have to know that you need help. The process begins with a recognition of the gravity of our sins and a desire for them to go away. Our hearts must be broken and our spirits contrite.
- You have to know who can help you. Forgiveness doesn’t come just because we feel bad, or just because we recognize that we need help. It comes when we pray for it with faith in Jesus Christ.
- It can take time to find Him, but when you do, the healing can be instantaneous. Enos prayed for hours. Alma the Younger suffered for days. But when they were ready, their guilt was “swept away.” The Spirit filled them with peace. Their pain disappeared and was replaced by joy.
Today, I will be grateful for these examples of people coming to the Savior in the Book of Mormon. I will strive to follow their examples by recognizing my need for the Savior and by asking God for forgiveness with faith in Jesus Christ. I will remember that He can heal me instantly, when I am ready to be healed.