Skip to main content

Posts

"...Yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever," Alma 26:31-37

Alma 26:31-37

Fresh from a joyous reminder of the Easter season, these final verses of rejoicing are powerful in their own form this morning. In other words, such clarity and conviction are the results of Ammon's missionary efforts that he can confidently boast in his God, and I feel that conviction by witness of the Holy Spirit as I review his words this morning.

There are two points that are impressed upon me in these verses: first, the love of their converts (verses 31-34), and second, the merciful nature of an all powerful God (verses 35-37).
"Because of Their Love"  Ammon, after having just stated that his only hope as a missionary was "that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul," (vs. 30) he then looks at the fruit of their labors, this great harvest of souls and states "yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us." The proof of their conversion was in the evidence of …
Recent posts

"All this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul," Alma 26:23-30

Alma 26:23-30

This particular set of verses I have come to at a time when I am struggling with a particular challenging child. While the philosophies of the world shout in my ears to punish and harshly discipline in the face of such behaviors, I look at all that these missionaries suffered with the hopes of saving some soul. The parallel of such is not lost upon me.

There are two verses that give me a particular hope in my current situation from this passage. First, in verse 27, Ammon says "behold, the Lord comforted us." Despite the poor decisions that my children make, I am not denied the privilege of the Lord's peace in my own life when I seek it. Second, in verse 29, as Ammon goes on to describe all the varied exertions and hardships that they faced in their work, this brings a degree of assurance that perhaps in all these afflictions, we may eventually be the means of saving some soul.

This wording is also noteworthy. Twice in this passage Ammon states that "we…

"He that repenteth and exerciseth faith," Alma 26:17-22

Alma 26:17-22

Verses 17-20 are excellent study in mercy! Ammon recalls here conditions from which God "snatched" them out of their "awful, sinful, and polluted state." The wonder and amazement that accompanies such mercy, when judgment appears to be the proper and prescribed form of action, is illustrated here as well. "...Why did he not let the sword of his justice fall upon us, and doom us to eternal despair?" (vs. 19) Finally in verse 20, the affirmation or knowledge that Ammon had obtained of the reality of God's mercy: "Behold... in his great mercy hath brought us over that everlasting gulf of death and misery, even to the salvation of our souls."

Then in verse 21, Ammon poses a sobering question: "What natural man is there that knoweth these things?" His answer is both surprising and reassuring to me: "there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent." Not the humble, not the pure, not the grateful -- …

"If we had not," Alma 26:8-16

Alma 26:8-16

Verse 9 is a statement that stands opposite to the "if-only" sentiment. And it starts with this phrase: "if we had not". It is a phrase and a statement that is encased in gratitude and recognizes the inherent value of hard work. But the thought that is engendered here is a sober one: 
For if we had not come up out of the land of Zarahemla, these our dearly beloved brethren, who have so dearly beloved us, would still have been racked with hatred against us, yea, and they would also have been strangers to God. (vs. 9, emphasis added)What is so miraculous about this particular account was that thousands of Lamanites were brought to the light. Without such unprecedented faith in God, this would have never been realized. They sought to do something that had never been done before, and succeeded.

---

The Book of Mormon is an exceptional text for illustrating the challenges that arise from success or prosperity. In verse 10, as Ammon is making note of this nev…

"To behold the marvelous light of God!" Alma 26:1-7

Alma 26:1-7

This chapter represents the end of 14 years of missionary labors for Ammon and his brethren, though it doesn't expressly say so at the beginning of the chapter. Rather, this chapter starts immediately with the remarks of Ammon as he is reflecting back upon their labors.

His remarks begin with a series of questions:
"...Could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?" (vs. 1)"...What great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?" (vs. 2)  Ammon proceeds to answer for himself with this statement first:
...Our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God!  (vs. 3) And then he points to the blessing:
And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work. (also vs. 3) Ammon'…

"According to Their Prayers," Alma 25:13-17

Alma 25:13-17

One final group of Lamanites is recorded here as having been converted to the Lord after their warring. After the fight had all gone out of them, they too decided to join themselves to the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, bury their weapons of war, and to walk in the ways of the Lord. (see vs. 13-14)

Verses 15 and 16 go on to explain their relationship to the law of Moses in connection with their faith in Christ. As the author, Mormon, explains it here (as it has been in other parts of the Book of Mormon as well -- Jacob 4:5, Jarom 1:11, Mosiah 3:14-15, and Mosiah 16:14 among others), the law of Moses served to point them to faith in Christ. I cannot help but draw a connection between modern-day standards for the youth that the Church has established through our living prophets.


Verse 16 might very easily read as follows in talking about our days:
Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the [standards of the Church; e.g., "For the Strength of Youth"]; but the [st…

"Now This Is What He Meant," Alma 25:1-12

Alma 25:1-12

The Lamanites that had yet to be converted by verse 6 came to believe in the Lord and that He had given great power unto the Nephites. Does my faith in Christ enable me to the point that I am given great power?

Verses 9 - 12 focus on the words of Abinadi as a prophet. It's not as black and white, "you're all going to die if you don't obey," as we tend to think of prophetic admonitions. It's that human-nature tendency within myself to take only at face value the words of prophets. Perhaps this is because this is the natural tendency to do so with all communication -- get to the point quickly, what do I need to learn, then let's move on. But this particular explanation of Abinadi's prophecy is worth a deeper understanding.

First, what was it that Abinadi actually said?

In Alma 25:10, Mormon records, "What ye shall do unto me shall be a type of things to come."  There is a footnote in the quote that goes back to the original statement …