Thursday, July 5, 2018

Alma 1:30 -- On Liberality and Prosperity

"And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need."
Alma 1:30

This is a cool idea.  In the verses before and after this it suggests that part of the reason for their prosperity was actually that they were being generous and consistent in following God's commandments (verses 27-29, 31).  In this verse it mentions that they didn't set their hearts on riches, and that is also one of the reasons that they could be liberal to all.  It's an awesome thought that being generous and helping others actually leads to prosperity rather than the worldly view that you need to hoard or do unscrupulous things in order to get ahead.

I think this is part of a larger idea... the idea that doing as God asks actually makes the world better, us happier, etc.  It is the whole test of the gospel and perhaps religion in general.  The trick to that test though is that patience is part of the package.  It isn't just a test of God's word, but of our faith.  God's word is always good, but his way doesn't always pay off in the short term.  It is the long term where the proof is, and because of the long-term nature of fulfilling promises, our faith, obedience, and consistency are tested, just as the church was tested here.  We need to see that blessings come through real faith and commitment to God even through the hard times, not just by being fair-weather worshippers.

Today, let's work on being liberal to everyone who is in need, showing our faith to God and doing as he asks in helping others, whether it seems to be leading to prosperity or not. :)  Let's also take that lesson and apply it to bigger things in our lives, showing our obedience and patience through whatever hardships we encounter and learning to truly trust God and act on that trust, even when there is no immediately apparent benefit.

[Apologies for my recent absence.  I will try to pop in some extra scriptures over the next week to make up the deficit for when I was traveling and help out anyone who is experiencing withdrawal. :) ]

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