Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - Amla 17

Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah had parted 14 years earlier. Alma had spent much of his time preaching to the Nephites (Alma 1-16). The sons of Mosiah had spent 14 years preaching to the Lamanites in the land of Nephi (Alma 17-26). Their reunion must have been an emotional one. It would have been for me. Years earlier they had made a life changing decision to serve the Lord by taking the Gospel to the Nephites (including some apostate groups) and Lamanites. They had been truly converted after their experience with the angel (Mosiah 27). Although they had suffered many afflictions, they returned as seasoned men of faith and understanding.

During their “missionary reunion” Alma and the sons of Mosiah must have been fascinated by the growth and maturity they observed in each other. First, in Alma 17:2 we find Alma rejoicing exceedingly just to see his old friends. Secondly, he was pleased to see that they were still “brethren in the Lord” and active in the church. Third, to add to his excitement they had grown in their understanding of the gospel doctrines.

How did they do it?

They had searched the scriptures diligently.

They were prayerful.

They had fasted.

What were the benefits of all this? They had the spirit of prophecy. They had the spirit of revelation. They taught with power. They taught with authority.

Verse 5 "...they did labor much in spirit." I envision that to mean their fasting and praying, their angst for the sins of the ones they were teaching, and their patience in their suffering as they faithfully wait for God's will to take place. Sometimes we think that being righteous is a ticket to a blissful, carefree life. Though there is joy in it, living righteously is work- hard work. But what a wonderful work it is.

Verse 18: The brothers were "set apart" for their callings. Much like we are today......except we teach primary, not murderous Lamanites. Lol.

I love Ammom. His greatest joy came from being an instrument in the hands of God (which we will read mo about later.) There were many keys to his success:

• He wanted to serve the Lord.
• He was willing to do whatever the Lord asked
• He was humble
• He looked at others as his brethren, and loved them (even his "enemies.")
• He looked at the tragedies in life as opportunities

I'm not a personal fan of collecting severed arms. Picture the reality of that situation: the force and strength of actually chopping a man's arm off. The blood and gore, the strength and determination.

It was not the conventional missionary moment. He didn't sit down with them and say, "Hey guys, the Lord teaches us to be nice. Wanna hear about it?" Nope. He chopped off their arms. Sometimes the Lord uses us in unexpected ways to fulfill His purposes.

Regardless, Ammon did what he knew what right, and Monday we get to find out the fantabulous outcome!

What did you think/learn today?

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