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Book of Mormon Study - Alma 58

A few lessons I gleaned from this chapter this morning as I embark on a crazy week:


1. Be realistic about my abilities and circumstances. (1-8) Helaman knew the pinch he was in. He knew the strength of his army. He knew what they, on their own, could and couldn't do. I sometimes get overwhelmed when I look at all I want to do, and all I think I can do. I try to please everyone, help everyone, do everything. Then I fail, and frustration and disappointment kick in. It's good to know what I can and can't do; to be realistic in my expectations and efforts.

Sometimes it won't be very much- like Helaman- and all I can do is barely hold on in difficult circumstances and things just don't seem to be getting better. I can't see a way out on my own. And when those times come...

2. Turn to God. (9-10) They did pour out their souls to God. Not casually pray on their way to the Nephite store- but prayer with all the energy of their hearts. I imagine their desperate prayers were accompanied by much tears and emotion. I'll admit, sometimes I can get lax in my prayers. I think I have a good relationship with God, so I don't always 'pour out my soul' to him in that sense of the above. But, if I consider pouring out my soul not be a the intensity in which I pray, but the sincerity, honesty and humility in which I pray, then I should be pouring out my soul every time. And when I do I should...

3. Be specific in my prayers (10) They prayed for 1- strength 2-deliverance 3- an outcome: retain their cities. Sometimes my prayers aren't very specific. They are like: bless me that I'll have a good day- and so on. The Nephites were specific in their prayers. They also didn't pray for Him to help them without them helping themselves. They FIRST prayed for strength- then they prayed for a way for them to get out. I think sometimes in life we ask God to deliver us from difficult circumstances, to take them away from us. But, it would be time better spent in prayer to ask that we be made strong enough to endure and deliver ourselves with His guidance. And, if we do that...

4. God will answer (11) He gave them assurances (heaven knows I love/need validation from time to time, too!). He said He would deliver them. He gifted them with peace, faith and hope. He didn't grant them with bigger muscles (they asked for strength). But he he calmed their hearts, strengthened their faith and gave them hope. Hope is a powerful thing. If there is hope, there is something worth fighting for, a light at the end of the tunnel. Peace, faith and hope bring...

5. Courage (12) Their physical circumstances had not changed (besides receiving some provisions) but they now had courage. God gives us what we need to survive- and even thrive.Courage came directly from peace, faith and hope that God gave them. Courage breeds determination and leads to...

6. Action (13-31) "And thus we did go forth..." Their circumstances hadn't changed from verse 6, EXCEPT their perspective that was brought on by prayer. Now they had peace, faith, hope, courage, determination. Those created the perfect storm of inspiration and action. No doubt God blessed them with the strategy to split up. No doubt God blessed Helamans portion of the army to run all day, then through the night. They were moved to act and were blessed for it. They fought because they had complete...

7. Trust in God. (33-37) "But behold, we trust in our God, who has given us victory over those lands..." They got exactly what they prayed for. It wasn't easy, and my guess is that it was probably quite frightening at times. But, THEY acted and were blessed. There was a lot they didn't know (vv 34-36) but that didn't matter. They knew that God had delivered them (37)- nothwithstanding their weakness. They knew that alone they did not have the power to deliver themselves. They knew that God gave them things they did not have the power to provide themselves: added peace, faith and hope. They fought with their might, in tandem with God and they...

8. Got what they prayed for (38) They had taken possession of their lands. It wasn't easy, nor perhaps the way they had initially thought/hoped for. But, they acted in faith and received the answer to their prayers.

What a real and vivid example of the pattern I should follow in my life of prayer and action.

I also noted that this time when Helaman referred to the 2060 "sons" (39-40) he did not call them little or stripling any longer. They have been in his service for three years, fighting in faith, remembering God everyday, striving to be obedient and still remembering what their mothers taught them. Those things turned them from little and stripling to men.

What did you think/learn today?

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