Thursday, February 7, 2013
Alma 29--a promise, not a platitude
“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
"Yea I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
"But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
“I ought not to harrow up in my desires…”
How many times have we used this passage of scripture to soothe ourselves through a disappointment? We say, look at Alma. He understood disappointment. He knew what it was like to accept and be content with less than what he originally wanted.
But that kind of look at that passage of scriptures causes us to miss what Alma was really pointing out...
Alma said, I ought not to harrow up in my desires. Harrow means to be distressed or broken up. He is saying he shouldn't be distressed or broken up over his desires not being realized right then. That is an interesting comment...but it is true.
You see, Alma was stating that he wished he could take the gospel to all the earth and cry repentance unto every people as “with the trump of God.” He wanted to teach the whole world about the plan of Salvation and how to change and come unto Christ…the gospel was that important to him!
But he was one little missionary in the Americas…probably only spoke one, maybe two languages, could only preach where he could walk. How in the world was he going to get his message out to the whole world and to every people and language, like he wanted?
Yet, despite the physical limitations of his life, Alma trusted the Lord--He also understood the plan in its eternal sense and that is why he boldly declared… “for I know that he granteth unto men accord to their desire.”
Now look at this picture with the angel Moroni and tell me whether or not God ignored Alma's wish?
Alma 29 is one of the most wonderful, powerful and exciting testimonies that God does grant unto men according to their desire! He does hear and answer prayers—it just takes time sometimes, but God granted Alma his wish!
Alma's message IS going to all the world, in over 100 different languages—to places he never could have dreamed about! His voice is still declaring repentance and the plan of redemption. In fact, the Lord granted Alma his wish in such detail that, for years, there was an image of a trump of God in the mouth of an angel on the cover of the Book of Mormon!
God is much more generous and loving than we can even comprehend. He stands so ready to grant us the righteous desires of our hearts!
"And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you..." (3 Nephi 18:20)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me so it shall be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.” (D&C 6:7-8)
Alma did much good in his generation…and he is still doing much good generations later.
Alma 29 is a wonderful testament to Alma's righteous heart, and to God.
It is also a wonderful promise for us. In time, God will grant unto us according to our righteous desires.
And that is worth waiting for!