Thursday, November 19, 2009

Alma 19

The Book of Mormon describes a peculiar phenomenom repeatedly. At least, the thing seems peculiar to me. When people feel the Holy Spirit intensely, they swoon and become unconscious. This happens in Alma 18 to King Lamoni and then to Lamoni's wife, Ammon, and Lamoni's servants in Alma 19. The effect of the Holy Spirit on Lamoni is described this way:

6 Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God

In spite of what appears peculiar to a 21st century American, I love the description of the effect of the truth on this one person, that "the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul." I have felt this inner light myself, and I have seen it in the faces of many new converts. They are nearly overcome with joy and happiness. There are two recent converts in our ward who are completely delighted with everything they experience. These two ladies have been an inspiration to me. They seem supremely happy in spite of some significant challenges in their lives.

There is a tenderness in this chapter, too, in the relationship of Lamoni and his wife. His wife stayed by his side through three days of what looked like death to her. I love what she says when she consults with Ammon on Lamoni's condition:

5 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.

It's nice if your spouse can say about you "to me he doth not stink." She clearly loved Lamoni. In verse 11 we read that "she watched over the bed of her husband."

And then note what Lamoni said when he woke the third day:

12 And it came to pass that he arose, according to the words of Ammon; and as he arose, he stretched forth his hand unto the woman, and said: Blessed be the name of God, and blessed art thou.

I feel this way often when I think about the blessing it is to be married to Janet for almost 34 years. She is also a woman of great faith and integrity.

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