A Famine…of Hearing the Words of the Lord

When Alma spoke in the city of Zarahemla, he asked a number of questions to help his listeners assess their own spiritual state. “Have ye spiritually been born of God?” he asked. “Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?” (Alma 5:14). Later in the sermon, he addressed a question to those who might have answered yes to those prior questions:

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?

Alma 5:26

Commenting on this verse, Elder Quentin L. Cook said:

It is not surprising that some in the Church believe they can’t answer Alma’s question with a resounding yes. They do not “feel so now.” They feel they are in a spiritual drought. Others are angry, hurt, or disillusioned. If these descriptions apply to you, it is important to evaluate why you cannot “feel so now.”

Can Ye Feel So Now?” General Conference, October 2012

Elder Cook suggested that one possible cause is immersing oneself in low quality information and failing to dedicate sufficient time and energy to consuming the word of God. “Immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment,” he said.

Amos foresaw an unusual kind of famine, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 5:11). This famine would result in people wandering to and fro and fainting for thirst.

Isaiah foresaw that the Book of Mormon would help to overcome that spiritual malnourishment: “In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness,” he wrote. “The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 29:18-19, 2 Nephi 27:29-30).

Today, I will immerse myself in the word of God. I will remember that God’s truths provide nourishment to the soul, just as bread provides nourishment to the body. When I cannot feel the spiritual power I have experienced previously, I will eliminate distractions and dig more deeply into the words that bring enlightenment and joy.

3 thoughts on “A Famine…of Hearing the Words of the Lord

Add yours

  1. Dear Paul, in addition to talking insightfully about the famine problem,
    what a wonderful example you set by your daily study notes. Keep up this
    great work!

    Affectionately, Lavina


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