Saturday, November 7, 2009

Alma 8

Alma's mission to Ammonihah is a lesson in patience and in following the direction of the Holy Spirit in the face of opposition. Sometimes it takes a rebel to teach a rebel. Alma was no stranger to rebellion. He may have been much like the people in the city of Ammonihah before his conversion, so I think he understood them well. He loved them in spite of their animosity toward him.

9 Now Satan had gotten great hold upon the hearts of the people of the city of Ammonihah; therefore they would not hearken unto the words of Alma.
10 Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city
Even so, he had given up on them when they threw him out. He said when teaching Amulek, "they cast me out and I was about to set my back towards this land forever." (v. 24) As he was on his way to another city, having written these people off, an angel appeared to him and directed him to return. What I like is Alma's reaction to the command to go back to the city where the people had spit on him and cast him out.
18 Now it came to pass that after Alma had received his message from the angel of the Lord he returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah.
That willingness to hearken and to follow the direction of the Lord is something I have been trying to cultivate for a long time. I'm more like Jonah who fled from the Lord's command to go to Nineveh than I am like Alma who returned speedily to Ammonihah. But I'm working on it.

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