Sunday, November 1, 2015

Alma 26:1-2 -- On Reasons to Rejoice

"And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?"
Alma 26:1-2

Ammon and the other sons of Mosiah all set out on a daunting mission... to bring the gospel to the Lamanites.  If the Book of Mormon were a western, the Lamanites would be the ones wearing the black hats.  The white hats were the Nephites.  Of course, as with modern life, you can't always tell the good guys from the bad guys so easily, but at this point in the history it seemed that way for the most part, and so when they set out they were not sure what kind of reception they would get, and realized that the task they had set before themselves was a big one (Alma 17:13-14).  These verses are towards the end of their mission, and so much has happened, and they and the people that they came to serve have been so blessed, Ammon looks back at all of it and starts acknowledging all of it, which is pretty astounding in retrospect, as they realize.

Maybe we aren't in the exact position of Ammon and his brethren.  We might not be at the end of a mission, and we might not even be away from our homes... but I think that asking ourselves the same questions can be really valuable.  We're all on a mission from God to some extent.  We all have a work to do, and even if we haven't fully realized or embraced it yet, we have life to look back on and we can clearly see the amazing blessings that God has granted us in our search.  Like Ammon, we have great reasons to rejoice: The opportunity to hear the gospel, to learn of its truthfulness, to gain a testimony... let's not forget some of these basic, yet gargantuan, blessings.  Having a relationship with God, feeling of his spirit... the blessing of being able to read his word.  These are all seemingly simple things that we might be used to, but they are blessings that not everyone has, and they are life-changing.

Today, let's ask ourselves Ammon's question.  What great blessings has God bestowed upon us?  Let's take the time to look back, to reflect, and to be thankful for all that God has done for us, for the truth that we have learned, for the continued blessings that God has in store.  Let's rejoice in what God has granted us, and let's embrace his truth, seeking God and the further blessings that come with having him in our lives.  

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