1.) Joy comes after the trial, or "after wading through much affliction and sorrow." (vs. 5) I think child birth is a perfect example of this principle. I'm glad I don't remember it all too well. I do remember it was a TRIAL and I was sorely afflicted. LOL However, I have felt no greater joy then in my children. I think teens are also an example of this principle. Some of my greatest "afflictions" have been experienced as I raise teens. One has made it out completely and has started her own family; one is nearly gone and starting adult life. I can say that when we all make it through the teen years there is much joy to experience. Sure hope the rest of them make it through those pesky teen years and we can all experience a little JOY!
2.) Not only should we trust God, but God trusts us to make the right choices in life. (vs. 6). I think this is remarkable. It is comforting to think that God believes that we CAN make the choices that will bring us back to Him. He trusts us that will choose Him over all that is offered by worldliness.
3.) The most important thing above ALL ELSE is the Redeemer and His Atonement. (vs 7). If only we all remembered this principle at all times. What a different world this would be. He is the center of The Plan.
4.) The Lord God has power to do all things- whether we understand them or not (vs. 8). This means we can trust that He will do what He says He will do and He can do all that He says he can. He can create worlds and all that are in then and on them. He can erase pain, anguish, and disappointment. He can save us from our mistakes as we approach Him. He CAN do it all. He has it all. God the Father gave the power to Him to execute The Plan. He CAN.
5.) Repentance is the way to prepare to meet Him (vs. 9). Repentance is to return. Repentance changes our hearts. What better way to prepare?
The Atonement is broken down and explained so nicely in the next couple of verses.
6.) Jesus was the Son of God (vs. 10). Plain and simple.
7.) He experienced suffering and afflictions and temptations in order to take upon our pains and sicknesses (vs. 11). What is so marvellous about this is that He choose to. He didn't have to. He simply choose to because He loves us that much. He over came that we may overcome spiritual death.
8.) He allowed Himself to die, to loosen the bands of death for us (vs. 12). It doesn't matter who you are or what you did, the resurrection is for all.
9.) He took on our infirmities so He can be filled with mercy, and know how to succor and comfort us (vs. 12). He knows our true needs. He can help us develop the strength and wisdom to resist our problems when we approach Him in humble prayer. He experienced. He knows. We should listen.
10.) The Son of God suffered physically in order to pay the price for our sins. (vs. 13). The price for sin is suffering. He suffered that He can pay that price when we approach him with repentant hearts. Sadly, many of us choose to suffer for ourselves rather than humbling and softening our hearts.
11.) His sacrifice offers us deliverance (vs. 13).
12.) Repentance and baptism are the ONLY way to take advantage of the Atonement in our lives (vs. 14). King Benjamin described repentance as knowing who you are and what you are - thus, know yourself! Repentance is remembering your true divine nature; to know you are a child of God and then to act accordingly - Godly. :)
13.) Sin leads to our eternal destruction (vs. 15). Faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost lead us to eternal salvation.
14.) His path is strait, meaning a narrow and safest passage, and straight, meaning without a bend, angle or curve. (vs. 19). There is no other way. There are no short cuts.
15.) The Lord is always consistent and right (vs. 20). Once again... His way is the ONLY way to joy and peace.
16.) We have a duty to follow God (vs. 22) and it is our testimonies that make us aware of that duty.
17.) Oh the Eternal To-Be List! (vs. 23 & 24):
Easy to be entreated
Full of patience
Full of long-suffering
Temperate in all things
Diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times
Ask God for your needs, both spiritual and temporal
Always give thanks to God for what He gives you
Always abound in good works
18.) If we do the above things, the Lord will cleanse us from our sins (vs. 25). What a relief! "Perfect" is not on the list.
19.) We are blessed with peace according to our faith and good works (vs. 27).
What and AMAZING sermon Alma gave! How beautiful it was then, and how applicable it still is today!
What did you think/learn today?