Friday, January 16, 2015

Alma 17:1-2 -- On Reunions

"And now it came to pass that as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward, away to the land of Manti, behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah journeying towards the land of Zarahemla.
Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God."
Alma 17:1-2

The background of this story is that Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah used to be the bad guys.  They were the children of the leaders of the community, and did what most of us do at one time or another, and they rebelled.  This was in a big way though, and they were actively fighting against the church and against God's purposes.  And one day, due to the prayers of Alma's father and lots of people in the church, an angel appeared to them, and convinced them that even if they didn't want to believe, that they had to stop hurting other people.  ... Definitely not the first time bad guys were visited by an angel.  But in this case, they all turned their lives around completely, and started working for God just as hard as they had been working against him.  They became the good guys, and fourteen years later, in these verses, Alma runs into his old gang again, and it added a lot of joy to the reunion that they were still brethren in the Lord.  They had all stayed faithful.
Maybe we can relate.  Maybe we have been bad guys in the past, and maybe we all have people in our lives that we wish we hadn't lost touch with.   I think in a lot of ways we can relate to the idea of this kind of joyful reunion.  On a little bit more abstract level, we have friends and family that we meet again after this life as well.  And whether in this life or the next, these kinds of reunions are going to happen to all of us.  Today, maybe we should think about who we want to be when we meet everyone again.  I think some of the suggestions here are good ones.  They waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth, gained a sound understanding, searched the scriptures diligently, and sought the word of God.  I want to be like that.  Whether it is meeting old friends in this life, loved ones that I will see again after this life, or the ultimate... seeing God again, and being reunited with him in person... I want it to be a happy thing, where we are all the people that we wanted to be, and the people that God helped us become.  Today, let's do our part to be the good guys.  And then, when these reunions happen... when you and I meet, and when we meet our Saviour, we can rejoice without regrets. :)

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