Growing up I always loved the story of Alma the younger… who wouldn’t love a story with angels and good overcoming evil? Now, I go back and read it because it gives me hope and shows me the power of redemption and a father’s love.
Under the reign of Mosiah there were many unbelievers and they desired to lead members of the church to sin. The prophet at the time was Alma. Alma and Mosiah watched the rising generation struggle with sin and understand the word of God. Those who were members of the church of God were persecuted. So great was this problem, King Mosiah sent a proclamation throughout the land that persecution would not be tolerated between any groups. There began to be peace in the land. However, there were still unbelievers. Alma’s son, Alma the Younger, and Mosiah’s four sons, were among the unbelievers and they desired to destroy the church. Mosiah 27:8 describes Alma the younger;
“He became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of iniquities.”
One day as they were going about in their attempts to destroy the church, an angel appeared before them and spoke with a voice of thunder. These young men were so astonished that they fell to the earth, not understanding the words which the angel spoke. The angel repeats the words and they hear. Alma was so overcome by the experience that he could not speak; his body was so exhausted that he could not move. The sons of Mosiah carried him back to his father and told him of their experience. Alma, the prophet, rejoiced because he knew it was the power of God; he gathered many together and they fasted and prayed that Alma the younger would soon awake and speak to them. After two days and two nights Alma awoke and began to speak to them. Here is some of what he said, located in Mosiah 27:23-31;
“I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit… all mankind… must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God…and thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God…My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more."
Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah spend their life teaching the word of God. King Mosiah proposes there be no more kings but a system of judges to rule the people. The people chose Alma the younger as the chief judge; he is also became the prophet when his father died. Later in life he gives up his seat as chief judge so that he can devote his time to teaching others.
I have spent a few days thinking about what it means to be redeemed of God and Alma is a great example. To redeem means to make better. When Alma was redeemed of God he was made better; so much in fact, he became a different person. I have experienced this myself. As I seek to learn to the word of the Lord and also seek repentance, I feel a change in my heart. I become better as I learn to rely on the atonement. When I’m feeling low, like I just don’t measure up, I think about Alma and the change that came upon him. It gives me hope because I know I can change as well and become better.
Who was too lazy to do anything for Halloween this year... except eat candy pumpkins.