Monday, July 10, 2017

Alma 17:1-3 -- On Staying Converted and Unified in the Lord

"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.
But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God."
Alma 17:1-3

Alma and the sons of Mosiah are all great missionaries in this verse, but when we first meet them in Mosiah 27:8, they are unbelievers who secretly go about trying to subvert the church.  One day, as they are going about being bad guys, an angel appears to them (Mosiah 27:8-18), and that changes everything.  And here, years later, they meet back up and they are still converted.

Seeing an angel is a big deal, no question, but we should give these men some credit as well.  Remember, Laman and Lemuel who also witnessed an angel and kept on being bad.  And, personally I think we all know how hard it is to change and how easy it is to fall back into old habits.  Alma's angel definitely didn't force him to be good.  In fact, he said "Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off."  That's a pretty strong statement when God sends an angel to stop you from harming others, but says you can go ahead and harm yourself if you so choose.  Kind of makes you rethink your priorities.

Alma, and the sons of Mosiah who had all been there when the angel first came to stop them, all stayed true to God.  They turned their lives around in a remarkable and permanent way.  They studied the scriptures, they prayed, they fasted... they became true men of God, as their fathers had been.

We all have conversion experiences in our lives, and experience remarkable blessings from God.  They aren't always as universally dramatic as the angel seems to be in this story, but I think that they are powerful in their own way in our individual lives... and we have the opportunity to make powerful, permanent changes in our lives as well.  They didn't start out being good guys, but they changed. They made it.  We can too.

Let's wax strong in the knowledge of the truth.  Let's search the scriptures and pray, and learn to fast effectively.  As we work and study and do good, we will be blessed as these men were, and we will also rejoice greatly to see each other again, unified in the Lord, in the resurrection... if not sooner. :)

1 comment:

  1. Study the holly scriptures for yourself,stop depending on (clever)leaders for yo Salvation.
    As u said"They studied the scriptures,they prayed and fasted"for their personal understanding of truth.Ummm axacle what I do.Lol.👍


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