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"They Hushed Their Fears," Mosiah 23:25-39

Mosiah 23:25-39

The purpose of these verses was summarized in the title of the previous post, "the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people," which is found in verse 21. In these group of verses we find the details of what is in my mind an extraordinary trial of faith on the part of Alma and also his people. I find myself this morning also asking: What is it about the order or economy of heaven that makes this this particular episode so noteworthy?

For after a period of establishment in the land of Helam where the people of Alma had been exceedingly prosperous in their daily affairs, suddenly the appearance of the Lamanites within th borders of the land cause a great fear to arise in the hearts of the people of Alma. I appreciate how it points out that Alma "went forth and stood among them" to quiet their fears by reminding them to place their faith in the Lord. (see vs. 27)

The people of Alma respond to this invitation of faith by exercising the power of prayer. The Lord's immediate answer to this is a softening of the hearts of the Lamanites so that there was no war. Yet the result of this appears to be an unconditional surrender to the Lamanites.(see vs. 29) Depending on how one would look at the situation, one might argue that things got worse at this point instead of better. It is often hard to see the hand of the Lord at moments such as these.

The remaining ten verses of this chapter is then a bit of back story on how the Lamanites came to find the people of Alma in what appears to be "entirely by chance." What these verses do explain though is how absolutely ironic this twist of events has become. For in their capture by the Lamanites, they were also now being governed by one Amulon, a cohort of Alma's back in his days of wickedness in King Noah's court. (see vs. 39)

Test of faith? Immensely so. For they had now come full circle, and arguable from the skeptic's perspective, their faith in God had done them no good. They had been brought them right back to where they had started, almost -- in bondage to a wicked ruler who would suppress their faith in God.

There is something about economy of heaven that affords us these periods of ups and downs and complete reversals that cause us such amazing growth. Without them, it would seem that we could not manage to obtain the blessings of heaven that God would extend to us. Perhaps I will keep with this theme throughout the next chapter as well.


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