Lay Down the Weight (Alma 15)
Many of us carry around some extra weight on our bodies. Some people even tell me I'm carrying a little extra weight. (The people who are kind say it that way.) Wouldn't it be nice if we could take that weight — that burden — and lay it aside and go on without it? Imagine how much better we would feel and how much more we could do.
Now, suppose there was someone who could just speak the words to make the weight depart. No dieting, no exercise, no surgery necessary. How popular would that person be? Wouldn't you recommend him to all your friends?
In Alma 15, the lawyer Zeezrom is dealing with a very heavy weight. In his case, the weight is the guilt associated with the consequences of some of his recent actions. The guilt of his sin has actually made him physically ill:
"Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek…had been slain because of his iniquity. And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind…therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat." (Alma 15:3)
Zeezrom takes courage when he learns that Alma and Amulek are actually still alive. Alma then leads him to repentance for his sins, which causes a great weight to be removed from Zeezrom — he leaps from his bed and is subsequently baptized. His life is forever changed, as he goes about preaching the gospel, telling people how the Lord can remove the great weight of sin from their lives.
Perhaps it's been many years since you laid down your weight of guilt and sin and gave your life to the Lord. Do you remember how it felt? Do you remember how easy it was? You just needed to repent of your sins and be baptized, and the Lord did the rest — He did all the heavy lifting of removing the weight from you. Can we still praise the Lord for that day?
Perhaps we still occasionally do things for which we feel guilty. When that happens, it slows us down spiritually and robs us of some of the joy we felt when we gave our lives to the Lord. If we repent of whatever we did wrong, then we don't need to carry around the weight of guilt for it — we can give that to the Lord also. If He was capable of removing all of our guilt on the day of our baptism, then He can certainly do the same for us now.
And, now that we have gone through this "weight-loss program" and have experienced the good results, can we recommend it to others? Regardless of the weight of someone's sin or guilt, the Lord can forgive and change the person's life. He did it for us; He can do it for them. No dieting, no exercise, no surgery necessary — just lay down the weight at the foot of the cross.
"Lay Down the Weight, Son" from the Songs of Zion
My son, do you carry a thing that's called sin?
And is your load heavy, has Satan come in?
Well, Christ took your load back when He walked the hill.
He took it then, son, and He takes it still.
Lay down the weight, son, lay down the weight.
Daughter, ahead stands the bright shining gate.
Lay all aside if you would enter in.
Lay down your burden of sin.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.