Friday, January 27, 2017

Elder Quentin L. Cook on singing the song of redeeming love

Elder Quentin L. Cook (b. September 8, 1940) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"In one of the most profound verses in all of scripture, Alma proclaims, '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?' (Alma 5:26) ...
"This question, 'Can ye feel so now?' rings across the centuries. With all that we have received in this dispensation—including the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the outpouring of spiritual gifts, and the indisputable blessings of heaven—Alma's challenge has never been more important....
"Alma emphasizes that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, 'the arms of mercy are extended' to those who repent (Alma 5:33). He then asks penetrating and ultimate questions, such as: Are we prepared to meet God? Are we keeping ourselves blameless? We should all contemplate these questions."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Can Ye Feel So Now?," Ensign, November 2012, pp. 6-9
Click here to read the full article

I have always loved this verse in Alma 5, in the midst of the wonderful collection of questions Alma asks of his people. To experience a "change of heart" is one of the crucial steps in our spiritual progress. But in addition, Alma specifically mentions the experience of feeling "to sing the song of redeeming love"—a particularly beautiful expression describing our joy in acknowledging the Savior's love on our behalf. It's one thing to have felt the spirit, blessings, and joy of the gospel, of the Redeemer's influence in our lives; but are those feelings recent and current? We should have an active and vibrant spiritual life!

Elder Cook also mentions the equally moving expression that comes a few verses later in Alma's discourse: "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" (Alma 5:33). Those divine "arms of mercy" are continually open and inviting, welcoming us back to His presence as often as we repent. Should we not do so now, that we may feel to sing the heavenly song again?

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