Journey through the Book of Mormon: Alma 7 (Lay Aside Every Sin)

15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.

 16 And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me.

Alma 7 is a phenomenal chapter and there is so much to like in it.

I want to go phrase by phrase with verse 15 because there is so much to unpack

I say unto you come- Alma begins with an invitation to those listening. He genuinely invites them to come and to partake.

Fear not- Alma realizes that fear of being wrong or doing wrong can be overwhelming. He knows that fear is one of Satan’s most powerful weapons. These verses come right after the discussion of the atonement, so Alma wants his listeners to understand that it is through the atonement that we can overcome our fears

Lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you- I like that Alma recognizes that sin does easily beset all of us. We all have our own unique weaknesses and flaws and those flaws are ever present. When we are learning of Christ, it is easy to feel even more overwhelmed or overcome by all that we are not doing right. Nevertheless, we need to strive through the atonement to lay aside our sins. We need to be unweary in our efforts to do good and be better.

Which doth bind you to destruction- It is also important that we recognize that our sins and our mistakes are things that we do need to overcome. We can never become complacent and think we are good enough. If we stop improving, then we are going to be bound by our sins into destruction. It is our desire to sin that ultimately binds us down and pulls us away from God and from righteousness.

Yea, come and go forth- I like the combination of the call to come unto Christ and then to go forth and serve. It reminds me of how I feel whenever I go to the temple. I always leave with a renewed desire and commitment to go out and do better.

Show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments- Just as with the sacrament prayer, what we are promising to do is to try and be willing to repent and to keep the commandments. God knows we will not be perfect in doing so. As long as we keep striving and trying, we are living in line with our covenants.

Witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism- At least some of those listening had not yet entered into the waters of baptism. Even though they were righteous and living good lives for the most part, Alma saw that they could be blessed by making sacred covenants and the performance of sacred ordinances.

Verse 16 describes the promise that is made to all of us. If we stay faithful and keep trying and striving, we can enjoy the guarantee that we will have eternal life. We can know with certainty that God will bless us and sustain us.

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