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"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 Nephites, must have been of great assistance at this critical junction in Church history.

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Now there is an interesting phenomenon recorded in this passage of scripture, perhaps more detailed than anywhere else in holy writ. It is the experience of joy to the point of physical exhaustion. This theme of physical exhaustion in response to powerful spiritual experiences was not uncommon to this particular group of friends.

In fact, there are at least two other accounts in the Book of Mormon of their physical bodies being overcome as a result of a powerful spiritual experience. First, an angel appeared unto them, which caused Alma to be overwhelmed to the point of loss of physical strength. (see Mosiah 27:18-19) Then there was the account of King Lamoni's household, wherein Ammon along with the king and all his household, were also overcome by the Spirit to the consuming of their physical strength. (see Alma 19:14)

Now here was Ammon again for a third time, so joyful was his experience that he lost control of his physical frame. Verse 18 explains: "Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness."

What I see in these verses is a testament to an alternate reality that is seldom experienced in this life -- a reality that is experienced only as one repents of sin and humbly and diligently seeks the course of true happiness.




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