Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alma 26

The Temple Garner

Inactivity among Church members in Central America was very high when I was a missionary there. It may still be high today. Many efforts were made to reactivate these members. One of these efforts was to keep new converts on track to going to the temple one year after baptism. Activity among endowed members was much higher than those who had not been to the temple.

In a zone conference talk, one of our zone leaders discussed the importance of keeping members on track to going to the temple one year after baptism. To help drive home his message, he referenced Alma 26:5-7. He suggested that the once members are "harvested", they need to be "gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted" and where storms "cannot penetrate to them." He equated the garners to the temple.

Once a crop is harvested, it must be stored. If it is harvested and not stored, then the crop will go bad and be lost. Souls are similar. If we fail to store them up and protect them, then they too will be lost.

"For in his strength I can do all things"

Aaron rebukes Ammon for boasting in Alma 26:10. Ammon explains to Aaron that he is not boasting of himself, but rather he is boasting of God. And then he says, "for in his strength I can do all things." Indeed we can accomplish anything with the Lord's help. The key to having this great power is that we must have the approval of God. If the Lord commands us, then he will provide a way.

Also, as we magnify our callings, we are given strength to fulfill them. "For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Sprit unto the renewing of their bodies." (D&C 84:33)

In Alma 26:15, Ammon adds, "we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work."

Magnifying our Callings

The sons of Mosiah learned to magnify their callings as missionaries by repenting, exercising faith, bringing forth good works and praying continually without ceasing. By doing these things, they learned the mysteries of God and were able to bring thousands of souls to repentance.

We too can magnify our callings by following their example.

Facing Trials

The sons of Mosiah faced many trials and difficult times in their preaching among the Lamanites. But they were patient in their afflictions (Alma 26:27). We too would do well if we faced all our afflictions with patience.

Because they were patient in their afflictions, the Lamanites truly were converted. As Ammon notes, "we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us. For behold, they had rather sacrifice their lives than even to take the life of their enemy." (Alma 26:30-31)

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