I love how he teaches in vs. 3 and vs. 27 that a righteous life is not free from troubles and trials. The difference is the fact that the righteous are supported by the Lord during their trials, while the wicked go it alone. Alma teaches his people through example. He tells them the principle: (3) Whosever puts their trust in God shall be supported in their trials. Then, he backs it up with personal testimony: (27) And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind. The he ends with hope and faith in that principle (27) and I do put my trust in him, and he will deliver me.
I love the lessons taught in vs. 12-14… when we stop making excuses for our behavior, progress begins. Here, Alma accepts full responsibility for his sinful ways. He could have blamed his friends, but he did not.
In vs. 15-18 Alma begins to experience Godly sorrow. We the Atonement of Jesus Christ begin to work in Alma’s tormented soul.
We must be humble before we can recognize the need for the Savior’s help in our lives.
Spencer W. Kimball taught “That first step is the turning point at which the sinner consciously recognizes his sin. This is the awakening, the conviction of guilt. Without this, there can be no true repentance because there is no acknowledgement of sin.”
Bruce R. McConkie taught “Alma serves as a pattern. The horror for sin that engulfed him should be felt by every wayward member of the kingdom; then repentance would be forthcoming as it was with our Nephite friend.”
I am moved by the stark contrast between the exquisite bitter pain of sin and the exquisite sweet joy of repentance that Alma spoke of. He painted such a beautiful and vivid picture of the vast chasm between the two. Because of the word (vs. 26) Alma was able to bring many to the sweet taste of that joy.
Spencer W. Kimball also taught, “If a person hasn’t suffered, he hasn’t repented… He has got to go through a change in his system whereby he suffers and then forgiveness is a possibility.”
I love his testimony of work. He worked endlessly according to his testimony and faith, the Lord gave his great joy in the fruit of his labors. (25)
Jeffrey R. Holland: “Christ is the power behind all repentance. . . . Alma had been touched by the teaching of his father, but it is particularly important that the prophecy he remembered was one regarding ‘the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.’ (Alma 36:17.) That is the name and that is the message that every person must hear. . . . Whatever other prayers we offer, whatever other needs we have, all somehow depends on that plea: ‘O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me.’ He is prepared to provide that mercy. He paid with his very life in order to give it” (However Long and Hard the Road , 85).
We must be humble before we can recognize the need for the Savior’s help in our lives. Focusing on Him will not only help us be humble but will bring us greater joy.
Brother Holland also taught, “Our will quite literally changes to receive His will. We may have avoided church attendance, the sacrament, the bishop, our parents, our worthy companions—avoided anyone we had sinned against, including God himself—but now that repentant heart longs to be with them. That is part of the joy and light of the Atonement—the ‘at-one-ment’—which not only binds us back to God but also brings us back to a special unity with our best natural self and our most beloved human associates” (However Long and Hard the Road, 86–87).
Repentance is like soap; it can wash sin away. Ground-in dirt may take the strong detergent of discipline to get the stains out, but out they will come." - Elder Boyd K. Packer, "To Young Women and Men," Ensign (CR), May 1989, p.53