“He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” 2 Nephi 26:33.
It’s almost like God is saying, “You can make it. I’ve given you all these examples, so you know it is possible even for you. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been. I’m inviting you to come unto me.”
Riches and Parenting Problems
Riches usually create a major obstacle when coming unto the Lord Mark 10:24-25; and Lehi was a wealthy man 1 Nephi 3:16. He also had some big parenting problems. You might say his family was dysfunctional. There was so much resentment and anger that two of his children wanted to kill him 1 Nephi 2:13.
But notwithstanding the difficulties, Lehi became a witness for “he saw the heavens open . . . he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day. . . his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him 1 Nephi 1:8-15.
God hasn’t set a minimum age requirement for witnesses. Young children and teenagers can become witnesses of Christ, for Jacob saw Jesus in his youth.
“Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men. And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh . . .” 2 Nephi 2:3-4 “And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him [Redeemer] as I have seen him . . .” 2 Nephi 11:2-3
Overcoming pride is challenging, especially for those who are given a little authority, as they suppose. “Hence many are called, but few are chosen.” D&C 121:34-40 Alma was a wicked priest and caught up in the corruption and self-importance that is often found among religious leaders and those who are in possession of the priestly line of authority Mosiah 12:25-30.
When a man is given a leadership position, he might imagine that he is the only one authorized to speak for the Lord. It might not occur to him that God can send and authorize an obscure, unknown messenger to call the leader to repentance Mosiah 11:27.
To Alma’s credit, he wasn’t angry about Abinadi’s chastisement. He recognized God’s message, and he repented Mosiah 17:2. The Lord blessed him for his humility. “Blessed art thou, Alma, . . . because of thy exceeding faith in the words alone of my servant Abinadi. . . Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep” Mosiah 26:15-20.
The Lord even wants the rowdy and unruly to come unto Him. Alma the younger had a righteous father, but he was a wicked and an idolatrous man. He sought to destroy the church of God and lead the people of the Lord astray. He was openly rebellious Mosiah 27:8-10. But even one like Alma can repent and become a witness of God.
“And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul. . . I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. . . I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me. . . I could remember my pains no more . . . Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there. . . I had been born of God. . . For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God” Alma 36:16-26.
Sinful and Murderous
Christ is able and willing to forgive sin. King Lamoni and his people had committed many sins and murders and considered themselves the most lost of all mankind. “And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain” Alma 24:11. Alma 18:5-6
Yet, even this wicked king became an eyewitness of Christ. “For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name. Now, when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sunk again with joy; and the queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit” Alma 19:13.
The Book of Mormon was “Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation. . . to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.” He will manifest himself unto you. “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;” D&C 93:1.The Lord is looking for witnesses. The world needs more of them. He’s inviting us to come and see for ourselves. What are we going to do with the invitation?
Looking for Witnesses of Christ, Part 1
Looking for Witnesses of Christ, Part 2
Looking for Witnesses of Christ, Part 3
Looking for Witnesses of Christ, Part 4 Conclusion