Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Higher

Alma 45:12 - Alma 47:35

Do you remember the story of Lehonti and Amalickiah?

It is a great example of what can happen if we lower our standards and of the accountability that comes from our choices.

Lehonti, king of the Lamanites, was on top of a high mountain.

Amalickiah wanted to trick the king, kill him, and become the king of the Lamanites.  He tried to convince Lehonti to come down from the mountain where he was safe.  But Lehonti said no.

Do you remember the story now?

Three times Amalickiah asked Lehonti to come down from the mountain and talk to him, and three times Lehonti said, “No.”  So the fourth time Amalickiah came part of the way up the mountain and asked Lehonti to only come down that far.

Whenever I get to this part of the story I know what is about to happen, and I want to yell at Lehonti, “Don’t come down, even just a little way.  Stay where you are.  You are safe!”

But obviously Lehonti can’t hear me, because every single time he comes down the mountain.

And when he comes down the mountain Amalickiah pretends to be his friend.  And slowly, after many days of pretending to be his friend, Amalickiah poisons Lehonti by degrees, and Lehonti dies.

It is a terrible story.

I find it interesting the way the whole incident is summed up at the end of Alma 47...

"Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord,

nevertheless...

it is strange to relate...

not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites ––drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness;

yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God."  (Alma 47:36)

It is so interesting that the people were given knowledge and instruction and information that would allow them to live higher, and yet they chose instead to come down from those beliefs...to be poisoned...to give way.

It is strange to relate.

Amalickiah was skilled in the profession of bringing people down.

This weekend our family journeyed higher, up into the mountains where there were no distractions, and as we listened through radio channels to apostles of the Lord our thoughts were lifted higher.

 

We were given knowledge and instruction and information.

Sermons on service, the discipline of discipleship, asking for answers.

My heart was lifted, my spirit soared, and I knew what it was to live higher.

In the early morning hours as bright yellow leaves danced against the crisp blue sky, I felt the distractions slowly fade.  My focus cleared.  My perspective sharpened.  I heard a quiet reminder, "So are my ways higher than your ways."  (Isaiah 55:9)

I felt myself reaching, being stretched, asked to stand taller.  I felt challenged to climb a little bit higher on the journey toward discipleship.

I didn't want to come down.

There is a great power that comes from listening to the Lord's servants.

President Monson promised that we would experience great blessings as we continued to study their words in the months to come.  I want that power and those blessings to remain a part of my life now that I am home.

So this morning I listened to some of those sermons again as I straightened my home.

Throughout the day I spoke of them as I talked with friends.

Immediately my heart was lifted back to that place where it had been in those early morning hours.

Higher.

 

 

 

Emily Freeman