I have posted before about the Traditions of Fathers in several posts: Traditions of their fathers. and Iniquity of their fathers. I would like to continue this discussion a little, and then add an additional thought to it as well. In Sunday School, the lesson was on Alma 23-29 (Lesson 26: Converted unto the Lord).
The teacher forwarded me some material that she wanted me to discuss with the class. In that material, it included this quote by Spencer W. Kimball.
Down in New Zealand, I was the recipient of many courtesies while there. They sang and danced and rolled their eyes and stuck out their tongues. And so we applaud them, you know, and think it wonderful to encourage the continuation of that culture. But as it was interpreted to me, . . . they chant and sing battle hymns– not peace hymns. And so I said to some of the leaders: “With all your beautiful voices, your wonderful talent, why don’t you develop some impressive songs on the themes surrounding the coming of Christ, about the restoration of the gospel, about lofty ideals, the latter-day exodus, the glories and good things which the gospel and the Church have brought us?”; In all cultures, let us perpetuate not the mating dances, the sex stories, but the good and the beautiful and lofty as we sing and as we dance.
We should be perpetuating Mormonism and the gospel; the true way of life. That doesn’t mean we need to bury all things of the past; but, if there is anything associated with paganism or sectarianism or sex, we eliminate. And so, we are building a great culture entirely different from that out there in the sectarian world. We are building a glorious culture of cleanliness and morality with high-minded, wonderful people. And, all the things the Church does– the singing of the songs, the speaking in public, the organization– everything is devoted to this one thing: building a great spiritual culture that the Lord wants. [Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 394]
I found this quote to be very enlightening. But I want to concentrate on another passage found in Alma 23 that was also part of the lesson.
For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren. [Alma 23:7]
Not only did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies bury their weapons of war, but this scripture also says that they “did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more.” In the October 2010 General Conference, there was a talk by Patrick Kearon of the Seventy that discusses this idea. In the talk “Come unto Me with Full Purpose of Heart, and I shall Heal You“, he states. (Note, this is the same talk that contains the story of when he was stung by a scorpion when he was 7 years old – Mormon Channel The Sting of The Scorpion)
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies in the Book of Mormon laid down their weapons of war and buried them deep in the earth, covenanting never again to take up arms against their brethren. But they did more than that. “They became a righteous people” because “they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more.” Their conversion was so complete and so profound that they “never did fall away.”
But before their conversion, remember their state: they were living in what the scriptures call “open rebellion against God.” Their rebellious hearts sentenced them to live “in a state contrary to the nature of happiness” because they had “gone contrary to the nature of God.”
When they laid down their weapons of rebellion, they qualified themselves for the Lord’s healing and peace, and so can we. The Savior assures, “If they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them.” You and I can accept His invitation to “return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal [you].”
Contrast this miraculous healing with what happens “when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride [or] our vain ambition. … The heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved;” and we are left alone “to kick against the pricks … and to fight against God.”
Brethren, we find healing and relief only when we bring ourselves to the feet of the Great Physician, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We must lay down our weapons of rebellion (and we each know what they are). We must lay down our sin, vanity, and pride. We must give up our desires to follow the world and to be respected and lauded by the world. We must cease fighting against God and instead give our whole hearts to Him, holding nothing back. Then He can heal us. Then He can cleanse us from the venomous sting of sin. [Source]
I think we concentrate on the physical weapons that were buried by the Anti-Nehi-Lehies, but we need to think also about the other weapons of rebellion they buried to create the society that was created.
I know that I have a lot of weapons of rebellion that I need to bury. Some of them include some types of music, a few TV shows, and even a couple movies that I like to watch.
We need to look and see if our traditions and the daily things we do rebel against God, or build up God’s kingdom. I know I have a lot of things I need to bury.