Falling to the Earth as a Sign of Conversion


And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands; therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father.

And they rehearsed unto his father all that had happened unto them; and his father rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God.  [Mosiah 27:19-20]

and

And it came to pass that they did call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father — Thus, having been converted to the Lord, and never having made it known, therefore, when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay prostrate upon the earth,

she knew that it was the power of God;  [Alma 19:16-17]

When Alma saw his son being carried home by his friends, rendered completely unconscious – his first reaction was to rejoice because he recognized that as a manifestation of the power of God working.

When Abish saw the Lamanite queen and king, all their servants, and Ammon laying prostrate on the ground, unconscious – her first reaction was that this obviously meant the power of God was working.

Falling to the earth in this manner is a sign that the power of God is rending the veil of unbelief and breaking the chains of hell that are on that person:

Alma and Abish share one thing in common that explains why their first thought after seeing someone fallen to the earth unconscious was that the power of God was at work – they both had first-hand experience with the miraculous works of the Father.

Alma had witnessed the word of God delivered by Abinadi in the spirit of prophecy and revelation:

…the Spirit of the Lord was upon [Abinadi]; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.  And he spake with power and authority from God;  [Mosiah 13:5-6]

Alma went on to organize a church of believers gathered in the wilderness, himself and the church manifesting the miraculous works of the Father:

…both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit

…Alma, having authority from God…  [Mosiah 18:14, 18]

Abish had witnessed a miraculous vision that had been given to her father in the spirit of prophecy and revelation:

…she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father…  [Alma 19:16]

Falling to the earth is a result of the fear of the Lord coming upon that person:

And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us.  [Alma 36:7]

It accompanies true recognition of one’s unjustified state before God, which is received when the word of God is preached in its fullness — in the spirit of prophecy and revelation, by the power of the Holy Ghost:

And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.

And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying:

“O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.”  [Mosiah 4:1-2]

Once the fear of being cast off forever from the presence of the Lord sinks into the right-brain-hearts of believers, it works there to create this “fear” spoken of in the scriptures.  Trembling/shaking and weeping/shedding tears follow next – working to rend the veil of darkness and remove the chains of hell attached to the brain of all sinners, and to manifest a broken heart and contrite spirit.

But, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”  [Psalm 126:5]:

Meaning the Lord is quick to hear the cries of his people and answer their prayers [Alma 9:26].  The conversion pattern found in the Book of Mormon shows that once the fear of the Lord comes upon a person/people, they’ve been overcome and have fallen to the earth, and have shed tears of sorrow and anguish for their carnal and sinful state – joy follows:

And it came to pass that after [the people of King Benjamin] had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.  [Mosiah 4:3]

and

And it came to pass that [Abish] went and took the[Lamanite] queen by the hand, … ; and as soon as she touched her hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying:

“O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, havecmercy on this people!”

And when she had said this, she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking many words which were not understood; and when she had done this, she took the king, Lamoni, by the hand, and behold he arose and stood upon his feet.

[…] And it came to pass that when Ammon arose he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni; and they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing—that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.  And behold, many did declare unto the people that they had seen angels and had conversed with them; and thus they had told them things of God, and of his righteousness.

And it came to pass that there were many that did believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized; and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them.

And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.  [Alma 19:29-36]

and

I [Alma] was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.  Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments… the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.

[…] And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart:

“O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.”

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.  And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.  But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.  [Alma 36:12-23]

We must follow the example of the king of the Lamanites after he received the gospel from Aaron:

And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded [the gospel] unto him, the king said:

“What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day?”

Behold, said he, “I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

But Aaron said unto him:

“If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.”

And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:

“O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.”

And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

[…] Now when the queen saw … she also began to fear exceedingly, lest there should some evil come upon her.  And she commanded her servants that they should go and call the people, that they might slay Aaron and his brethren.

Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen, he, also knowing the hardness of the hearts of the people, feared lest that a multitude should assemble themselves together, and there should be a great contention and a disturbance among them; therefore he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth, and said unto him:  “Stand.” And he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.

Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord.  [Alma 22:15-13]

Next Article by Justin: Going from Concrete to Flowers

Previous Article by Justin:  Going From “You Owe Me” to “Money”

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