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Showing posts from April, 2017

"...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…

"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.

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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…