What I Said — That's It (Alma 54)
A few years back, I saw a movie that included an argument between a husband and wife. The husband had agreed to take time off from working and manage the household so his wife could accept a dream job she had always wanted. However, after seeing how difficult it is to deal with all of the issues involving their children and the house, and also seeing how far behind he is with his own work, he decides he needs to get out of this arrangement. When he sees that all of his persuasive arguments are not convincing his wife, he decides to just be assertive to win the argument. That part of the dialogue goes something like this:
Husband: This arrangement is not working. I'm going back to work — and that's it.
Wife: No, actually that's not "it." I love my job, and I'm not quitting. And THAT is it.
Husband: That's not it. The thing I said — that's it. What you said — not it. What I said — that's it.
I've always remembered this dialogue because of the use of the phrases "that's it" and "that's not it" as a way of attempting to end the argument. In other words, my position is right because I said so. What I said — that's it.
In Alma 54, Moroni writes a letter to the king of the Lamanites to arrange for an exchange of prisoners. In the letter, he describes the noble cause for which the Nephites are fighting, and he urges the Lamanite king to end the war rather than to "pull down the wrath of that God whom you have rejected upon you" (verse 9).
In the response from the Lamanite king, he tells Moroni that he will be happy to end the war — just admit the Lamanite position is the correct one, and "subject yourselves to be governed by [us]" (verse 18). "And concerning that God whom ye say we have rejected, behold, we know not such a being; neither do ye" (verse 21). In other words, "What you said — that's not it. What I said — that's it." My position is correct because I said it is. The sooner that you realize that what I said is "it," the sooner we can all get along.
When I read news stories today, the message is very similar to the Lamanite king's message above. Whether the message comes from a politician, newscaster, screen celebrity, sports star, or even from the reporter writing the story, it comes across as "admit that our position (the ungodly position) is the correct one, and subject yourselves to be governed by us." And concerning that "God stuff," we all know it's a fairy tale — if you want to believe in it, that's up to you, but don't try to subject the rest of us to even hearing about it. The sooner you realize that what we're saying is "it," the sooner we can all get along.
As we are bombarded with messages like these — telling us what to believe, what to do, even what to think — let's remember that it's only God who deals in absolute truth, and His Word is really "it." Messages from anybody else, regardless of how famous they are or how intelligent they may sound, are just expressions of their own beliefs and have no more validity than anybody else's. They're just using their influence to tell you, "What I said — that's it." Don't be fooled into believing it just because of who is saying it.
Hopefully, as servants of God, we are all doing our best to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and convince others that His message is the true message. However, as we do so, let's make sure we're not being swayed by the messages of the opposition into thinking that somehow "everybody" knows that this is "not it." Have faith in God, and lean on His Word as the absolute truth. What others say is just talk and is most definitely not it.
And what about those who are so focused on turning God into a fairy tale and who convince others that serving God is actually offensive? The day will come when they will stand before God, and He will say to them, "What you said — that's not it. What I said, THAT'S IT."
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.