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"Your Ground is Barren," Alma 32:30-43

Alma 32:30-43

I am reading through the process of how to nurture the seed of faith. This morning, I am particularly interested in how I can continue to cultivate the principle of gratitude which I have recently made a dedicated study of. As I have studied gratitude and humility, I've found the application over this past week to be proof of the principles and their soundness. I'm past this first step of testing the seed.

Now I want the fruit, but I feel that the seedling is faltering a little. Verse 37 reads:
And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. I'm grateful that Alma didn't stop there though, and also addressed what happens if we neglect the seed. Verse 38 is a warning that if we neglect the seed, when the heat of the sun comes, which it w…
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"..To an Experiment Upon My Words," Alma 32:22-29

Alma 32:22-29

As I read these next few verses, I'm contemplating the relationship between the seen and the unseen, God's commands given to prophets  to write the word of God, and how that becomes something that can be seen, so that we can believe in those things which are not seen. And then light, the light of God, the light that Joseph saw in the grove after he exercised his faith!

Alma had to teach these poor and impoverished people how to believe. He had to give them instructions on how to have faith.
The first step is humility. The next is a desire to believe. The final step is to plant the seed of faith in the word of God.  There is a parallel here in the Savior's teaching about the sower and the seeds found in Matthew 13:3-23.

It's also noteworthy that one of the first things Alma says is this:
...remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word. (vs. 22, empha…

"Faith... Hope for Things Which Are Not Seen, Which Are True," Alma 32:21

Alma 32:21
...therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. In other words: Faith is a hope of things which are true, which are not seen. ( At first I had written "cannot be seen," but that's not correct. )

Why do we need to hope for things that are true? If it's true, then isn't that just a fact of reality. How can faith make of absolute truth (that which is unchangeable), how can it change truth into a variable which requires action? Actually, it's not the truth that is the variable, it is the faith that becomes the variable. The phrase "according to your faith" seems to echo this sentiment. (see Matthew 9:28-29, D & C 8:10-11). Faith is the variable, and Truth is the constant against which we are given to act.

God is the most invariable truth in the universe. Jesus Christ and the reality of His atonement -- these are truths that are unchangeable. In fact, they will not change. The love of God is constant, …

"More Blessed Who Truly Humble Themselves Because of the Word," Alma 32:7-20

Alma 32:7-20

This group of verses, a discussion on humility unto repentance, reminds me that much more blessed is the man who compels himself to be humble because of the word of God than because of his own poverty or other personally humbling circumstances.

As I've studied these verses, I've cross referenced over to Matthew 5 and re-read this first chapter of the Sermon on the Mount. "I behold that ye are lowly in heart; and if so, blessed are ye." (Alma 32:8)

These people come to Alma with something of a "victim's mentality." They fully believed that they could not worship God because of their poverty. (see vs. 9-11)

I've spent a little time trying to understand how God acts when he affixes a curse.

Re-reading the follwing verses this morning has caused me to reflect on my own life, and what a significant influence these verses have had in my life from the time that I was in my adolescence.
13 And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed …

" In a Preparation to Hear the Word," Alma 32:1-6

Alma 32:1-6

An often overlooked component of teaching the word of God, preparation is key to reception of the word of God. Sometimes, the circumstances of life prepare us to be sufficiently prepared, or humbled, to hear the word of God. Most often though, we have the privilege of choosing whether or not we will be in a position to hear the Word.

See also Job 5 (vs.7)

"Comfort Their Souls in Christ," Alma 31:24-38

Alma 31:24-38

I've read through this once. I will comment tomorrow.

Today's action item - Pray to perceive the reality of my situation with my own children and family members.

Day Two:

I'm struck by how torn up and afflicted Alma is because of the iniquities of the Zoramites. Verse 31 is the apex of Alma's petition.
O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people. (emphasis added)Today's action item - Pray to find ways to help my children understand better that our stability is critically dependent upon our faith in Christ. Teach them that their success in life will be dependent upon their faith in Christ.

Day Three:

In the middle of Alma's prayer, amidst his request for comfort, in verse 32 he adds a request for success.
O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and g…

"Rameumptom, Which, Being Interpreted, Is the Holy Stand," Alma 31:21-23

Alma 31:21-23

In the last entry, I drew my own conclusion on what their prayers sounded like to me. Perhaps they were alittle unkind. Verses 21-23 give us the author's interpretation of their prayers.

There are a couple of phrases that strike me in this, the author's, interpretation. Twice it is stated that the Zoramites did "give thanks after their manner." As conditions of their gratitude are explained, it reads that they did give thanks that they had not been "stolen away to believe in things to come, which they knew nothing about." (vs. 22, emphasis added)

This reads to me almost as an indictment of their perversion, that because of their gross wickedness which had kept them from a knowledge of the truth of things to come, they were giving thanks for their ignorance.

Today's Action Item - Consider, or even reconsider, the value and weight of the knowledge that you have obtained through your own diligence and obedience to God's commands. Act acc…