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"The Light of Christ unto Life," Alma 28

Alma 28

Not all missionary experiences end with happy endings.

Earlier I had mentioned how Alma 26 was the unspoken homecoming address that seemed to mark the end of the missionary labors. However chapters 27 and 28 are the "rest of the story" that frequently gets overlooked. In fact, I have read this story many times and had completely disassociated the connection between the large-scale conversion of so many Lamanites and the war that resulted from this major social shift.

The impact that this has had upon me this time has been jarring. So much good had been accomplished. So many Lamanites had been brought to the knowledge of the truth! Why was there such a large scale ramification?

This causes me also to consider the Lord's preferred method of gathering in the last days: "one of a city, and two of a family," (Jeremiah 3:14). Drop by precious drop, little by little Isreal is gathered. Oh how I ought to be more invested, more concerned with the gathering of Zi…
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"A Zealous and Beloved People, a Highly Favored People of the Lord," Alma 27:27-30

Alma 27:27-30

This description of the Ammonites or the people of Ammon at the end of this chapter causes me to consider a couple of awesome facts:

First, that when repentance and the Atonement of Christ has full sway on an individual or community, their final state is cleaner and more improved than had they never sinned at all. Don't get me wrong in thinking that I'm excusing sin of any degree in the least by making this statement, but the reality is that, we all need to be cleansed and improved upon in this life, sinners and saints alike.

But as I read this description of discipleship in these verses, I cannot help by think that this people sound to be among the most choice of God's people to have ever walked the earth.

Second, even though His name appears three times in these four verses, I some how am still glossing over the reality that this is the effect that Jesus Christ and faith in His name can have upon me. Perhaps it alludes me because of this complimentary reali…

"That we may protect our brethren," Alma 27:20-26

Alma 27:20-26

Here is the account of the people of Ammon and their fleeing the persecution of the Lamanites and of their joining to the people of Nephi.  How timely this account to our current world challenges with refugee resettlement!

There are actually two accounts of good Samaritan type actions here: one on a micro level (that almost goes unnoticed by me) and the other on a macro scale. First, upon receiving these missionaries back from their labors, the account here says that Alma received Ammon and his brethren "even into his own house." (vs. 20) The later action was the coordination and admission of the people of Ammon to live among the Nephites.

I am impressed by the chief judge's approach to this significant social issue. When the issue of the acceptance of the people of Ammon was brought before the judgment seat, the chief judge deferred making a decision on the matter himself. Instead, "the chief judge sent a proclamation throughout all the land, desirin…

"Behold, this was a joyful meeting," Alma 27:15-19

Alma 27:15-19

Without drawing attention away from the experience here when Ammon and his brethren were reunited with Alma, an interesting side thought caught my attention today. It was the timing of the reunion. Here is Ammon with the hosts of their converts in journey to the land of Zarahemla. It had been 14 years since they had had any contact (to our knowledge) with the Nephite civilization, and here they are returning now to Zarahemla with quite a challenge ahead of them -- find a land for their converts to be safely relocated.

Was the timing of the meeting with Alma by chance? Understanding more so now that nothing happens by chance in this period of probation. This is especially becomes clearer the closer and more conscientious one is about their proximity to God.

Therefore, in consideration of the enormously important assignment that Ammon and his brethren had on their hands, the timing of the reunion with Alma, who's position as prophet-leader of the church among the Nephi…

"Yea, if the Lord saith unto us go, we will go," Alma 27:1-14

Alma 27:1-14

When I am struggling to find meaning in a particular passage of scripture, I will look for what that set of scriptures are teaching me about God. Here, when a critical decision needed to be made regarding the safety and welfare of the Ammonite converts, the king asks of Ammon to inquire of the Lord.

Here is an interesting thing, because the will of the Lord was essentially the same as Ammon's desire for the people. However, the word of the Lord that came to Ammon allowed for greater depth and understanding. It wasn't just, "yeah, he said yes." Rather, the word of the Lord to Ammon gave explanation and reason for their needed departure plus some behind-the-scenes perspective on what was happening in spiritual terms:
Get this people out of this land, that they perish not; for Satan has great hold on the hearts of the Amalekites, who do stir up the Lamanites to anger against their brethren to slay them; therefore get thee out of this land; and blessed a…

"...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 …

"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…