Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book of Mormon Sunday II- Alma 22-28

   The love of God, spoken of by Lehi, which he saw as the fruit of the tree, unto which he steadfastly hastened, knows no bounds and knows no limits. I think Lehi and Nephi saw in vision the glorious teaching of the Sons of Mosiah. It must have been such a bright spot in the future of their posterity. I marvel at those people placed in the right place, like Abish, who through God's power taught the Lamanite people.

    Alma 24:14 "And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations."
  Truly, God desires to enlighten all his children. But, some push him away and become full of the opposite to his abiding love. 
     Alma 24:30 "And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things."
  Before we read the chapters of retaliation and war, I marvel at the power given to these missionaries and at the power given to the Lamanites who opened their hearts and allowed their world to be turned upside down.
     Alma 25:17 "And now behold, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni, and their brethren did rejoice exceedingly, for the success which they had had among the Lamanites, seeing that the Lord had granted unto them according to their prayers, and that he had also verified his word unto them in every particular."
  The words of Ammon to his brothers bear powerful testimony of the greatness of God. He convinces me that the teaching of the Lamanites was one of the greatest miracles in the Book of Mormon.
     Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
  What a marvelous miracle that these "savage people" would be softened by the power of God and come to even know his mysteries.
     Alma 26:22 "Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing -- unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance."
   The power of the open heart goes further as Ammon asks the Nephites to let their old enemies live amongst them. 
    Alma 27:24 "And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land Jershon; and we will guard them from their enemies with our armies, on condition that they will give us a portion of their substance to assist us that we may maintain our armies."
   And since opposition exists, the joy is tempered with the enormous sadness of the retaliation of the Lamanites, spurred on by the apostate Nephites. I hear the voice of Mormon, in these last verses, marveling at the words he has read and seeing the past in comparison to his own time.
    Alma 28:8 "And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the brethren in the land of Jershon. And now may the Lord, the Redeemer of all men, bless their souls forever."
    This account of the teaching of Ammon is amazing.

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