Hard Hearted; Broken Hearted
Updated: Oct 8, 2021
Thoughts while Reading Isaiah, the books of Moses, and Revelation:
Pharoah, even after ALL the plagues and decimation of their country through the acts of God, even to the loss of the firstborn of their entire nation, still went after the Israelites believing in his own strength and ability to conquer. Pharoah's heart was hardened. It says it so many times. After every relief of every plague, when Moses prays and the plague is removed, Pharoah's heart again was hardened.
There was no fear of the Lord in him or his captains or armies. How hardened would you have to be to give chase to a people so convincingly protected by God, with the waters of a sea unnaturally and miraculously held back to allow their passage, and think you're going to come out victorious?!
In Revelations, then, reading about the multitudes, peoples, nations, and tongues who fight against the Lord, there will be a similar hardness. Men's hearts shall fail them. Utterly. As a mighty change of heart is a condition of being saved. They won't humble themselves and seek the Lord, and they will not be born again, new creatures unto God, with no disposition to do evil. Are you stripped of pride? If not, you will not abide the day. Are you stripped of envy? Again, if not, then you are not His.
We, as people cannot even speak to each other without reviling against each other for differing opinion or, when we agree, ranting against those who differ. We are so easily stirred up to anger. This is not a gift of the Spirit. What is it fruit of then? It is evidence that we need to come down into the depths of humility and offer up a broken heart and contrite spirit, relying wholly on the merits of Christ to redeem us. Do not think that because as a child, (before you could bring forth fruits meet of repentance) and that you were systematically baptized, that you are saved. Wo unto him who says he has received and need no more! Baptism is the gate, but there are requirements for baptism you cannot meet as a child. It is mockery before God. The words are plain, and before us. Read them and pray to understand and be taught by the Spirit.
1 And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it. 2 Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins. 3 And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end. 4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.
Moroni 8 4 And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you. 5 For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children. 6 And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; 8 Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; 9 ...I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children. 10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. 11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. 12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world;
If we are not seeking for the Lord and beseeching Him for a change of heart - we will not be numbered as one of the Lord's.
Alma 5 6 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell? 7 Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them. 8 And now I ask of you, my brethren, were they destroyed? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, they were not. 9 And again I ask, were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? I say unto you, Yea, they were loosed, and their souls did expand, and they did sing redeeming love. And I say unto you that they are saved. 10 And now I ask of you on what conditions are they saved? Yea, what grounds had they to hope for salvation? What is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell? 11 Behold, I can tell you—did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? And was he not a holy prophet? Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them? 12 And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true. 13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved. 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, 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? 27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? 28 Behold, are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly; for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life. 29 Behold, I say, is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? I say unto you that such an one is not prepared; and I would that he should prepare quickly, for the hour is close at hand, and he knoweth not when the time shall come; for such an one is not found guiltless.
33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. 34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; 35 Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire— 36 For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn. 38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
Verse 35 - Bring forth works of righteousness. He is righteousness. Coming unto Him is righteousness. Being perfected in him, and his love working through us is righteousness.
Are there other works of righteousness than these?
Look at verse 36: Whosoever doeth them not have cause to wail. And verse 37 calls them workers of iniquity. (I don't have it all quoted, but go read this whole chapter! It is so full of amazing teachings!)
Is not doing works of righteousness, working iniquity? It must be! Because unless we enter by the way, we cannot be saved! (2 Ne 31) And repentance, coming unto Christ, is works of righteousness.
And not coming unto Christ is iniquity. Even if we go to church every week and take the sacrament. Even if we teach Sunday school or do our ministering. Would it be too far to suggest they are works of iniquity? They aren't works of righteousness as defined earlier. And if they are done to earn salvation, then they are idols.
Now, learning to do good is not iniquity, clearly. But without the works of righteousness, they profit us nothing, and they become what we cling to to justify ourselves. And the One we need to look to be justified by, have our chains broken by, our cause plead before the bar of God by, is our Savior.
Bring forth works of righteousness. Come unto Him. Know what that truly means! Those who do not, will wail and mourn.
There's no middle ground. There's no neutral. Be cold or hot; the lukewarm are not received.
12 And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?
13 Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.