Alma and his followers had been protected from King Noah's army and now from the Lamanite army. The next challenge they faced was persecution by the hand of Amulon and his "task-masters." Because Amulon felt imprisoned and was miserable, he decided to make life miserable for Alma and his people. Amulon increasingly put burdens on the people to the point that the people began to cry to the Lord.
And when they cried to the Lord, Amulon threatened them with death. But this did not stop the people from praying. Our agency can never be taken away. Even though Amulon and many other dictators have tried to limit what people can and cannot do, we will always have our agency to choose … that is one they no one can ever take from us. Because Satan tried to take our agency from us, he was banished from Heaven. And now his minions throughout history have tried to uphold this ugly legacy.
The people did not wholly submit to the will of Amulon. Although they ceased praying vocally, they did not cease praying in their hearts. The Lord was eager to heed the prayers of these righteous people and made their burdens light and bearable. The people "did submit cheerfully and with patience to the will of the Lord." (Mosiah 24:15)
We, like the people of Alma, can choose to submit cheerfully to the will of the Lord. All of us will face trails in life … that is common to everyone. But how we face those challenges and trials and adversity is crux of the matter. Do we seek and submit cheerfully to the will of the Lord or do we grumble and complain about our lot in life? Dallin H. Oaks once noted a news account of two people affected by a hurricane, "each of their homes had been totally destroyed, but each of their family members had been spared death or injury. One said that this tragedy had destroyed his faith; how, he asked, could God allow this to happen? The other said that the experience had strengthened his faith. God had been good to him, he said. Though the family’s home and possessions were lost, their lives were spared and they could rebuild the home. For one, the glass was half empty. For the other, the glass was half full. The gift of moral agency empowers each of us to choose how we will act when we suffer adversity." (Dallin H. Oaks, “Adversity,” Ensign, Jul 1998, 7)
Because the people of Alma submitted cheerfully to the will of the Lord, the Lord was able to lead them miraculously from the bonds of servitude. It is significant to note that once they were liberated from those bonds, the first thing they did was thank the Lord. We must always express our gratitude to our Father in Heaven.
Do you think they knew of a surety that the Lord visits his people in their afflictions? (Mosiah 24:14) I think that their faith in God turned into a sure knowledge. I don't think any one of those people ever had a particle of doubt again. Our testimonies will be strengthened and our trust in the Lord will be absolute as we submit cheerfully to the will of the Lord.