May 12, 2010
Yesterday reading the Book of Mormon I came to this:
Now there was no law against a man’s belief; for it was strictly contrary to the commands of God that there should be a law which should bring men on unequal grounds.
For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.
Now if a man desired to serve God, it was his privilege; or rather, if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve him; but if he did not believe there was no law to punish him.
But if he murdered he was put to death; and if he robbed he was also punished; and if he stole he was also punished; and if he committed adultery he was also punished; yea, for all this wickedness they were punished.
For there was a law that men should be judged according to their crimes. Nevertheless, there was no law against a man’s belief; therefore all men were on equal grounds. (Alma 30:7-11)
I think we have a human tendency to try to get by just on our beliefs, since it’s so much easier to say you believe something than to actually live up to it. “I believe in Jesus, so it’s OK if I lie or cheat a little bit; Jesus will forgive me,” or “I believe in global warming, so it’s OK to fly my private jet all over telling other people to cut their carbon footprint,” for example.
At the end of the day, it’s what we actually do that counts, not what we say we believe. Our actions reveal what we really believe more accurately that what we say or even what we ourselves believe we believe. Focusing too much on belief is often a distraction from doing the right things.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19)