Thursday, June 30, 2016

Alma 19:4-5 -- On Hope and Light and Imaginary Stink

"And she said unto him: The servants of my husband have made it known unto me that thou art a prophet of a holy God, and that thou hast power to do many mighty works in his name;
Therefore, if this is the case, I would that ye should go in and see my husband, for he has been laid upon his bed for the space of two days and two nights; and some say that he is not dead, but others say that he is dead and that he stinketh, and that he ought to be placed in the sepulchre; but as for myself, to me he doth not stink."
Alma 19:4-5

This is part of an interesting story about Ammon's mission to the Lamanites.  This is after the part where he saves the king's servants with some pretty miraculous strength, killing several of the thieves that were after the sheep, and cutting off the arms of anyone who tried to kill him.  The king asks him about this event, and Ammon tells him about God, and the history of God's dealings with their ancestors.  Then the king starts praying, and is overwhelmed so much that he doesn't get back up.  I'm not sure if it is kind of a spiritual coma or what, but as you can see from these verses, a lot of people thought he was dead.

I love the queen in these verses.  She wasn't there when the king went into his coma, and has only heard about Ammon from others, but she cares about her husband, and she wants so much for him to be okay that she reaches out to that hope, and asks to speak to him.  I especially like "to me he doth not stink."  It seems so illustrative of not only her hope that he isn't dead, but her love for him.  So many people around her are telling her that her husband is dead and ought to be buried, and yet she has as much faith as her current knowledge allows, and trusts Ammon when he says there is something else going on, and that he will wake up in the morning. :)  And he does.  The stink of death was imaginary.

Sometimes we're surrounded by people who encourage us to see the world in a certain way, or that tell us there is no hope or no way out of a certain situation or habit or lifestyle.  When these things happen, let's remember the queen, and instead of believing in death and despair, let's believe in hope, and life, and miracles.  God and his servants are always there to help us, and we are never, ever trapped in a hopeless situation.  Not saying it is instantaneous.  It likely will require patience, faith, effort, and perhaps some longsuffering.  But God is always shining a light into the darkness, and if we look for it, and work our way toward it, eventually we will be in a better place.  The world, and our lives, don't stink as much as people say they do.  Let's see the good in the world, and have hope, and work to make things better.

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