Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alma 35

Imminent War

After Alma and his band of missionaries left the Zoramites, the Zoramites found out who among the people accepted the teachings of Alma and Amulek and the rest. Once they found this out, the Zoramites cast the converts out of the land. The converts were welcomed by the Ammonites. The Zoramites did not want the Ammonites to take in the converts and therefore they became angry at the Ammonites and began to prepare for war. It seems as though nothing was going to stop the Zoramites from attacking the Nephites. We recall in Alma 31:4-5 that the Nephites feared the Zoramites would ally themselves with the Lamanites, therefore Alma reasoned that it would be better to preach to the Zoramites than fight them. But even the preaching did not stop the Zoramites from becoming angry.

Offended by Strictness of Word

Alma 35:15 “… they began to be offended because of the strictness of the word."

Many times, people are offended because of what certain members do to them. I recall many times during my mission when we had to try and settle difference between members. I believe that other members offend most members. There are also many who are offended by the doctrine. I believe that if a person loves truth and searches out for truth, he will never be offended. Only those who do not search and love the truth will take it to be hard – especially when that truth stares that person in the face and calls him or her to repentance.

Pride is the main cause for being offended by the strictness of the word. We need to humble ourselves and align our will with God’s.

Stewardship Over Our Children

Alma 35:16 “… that he might give unto them every one his charge separately, concerning righteousness."

This is something important to remember. Each child is different. We must teach them apart. Of course there are times when we teach our children as a family, but we must also teach them individually. I recall the many Sunday afternoon walks with my dad. He would sit me down and he would ask me questions and teach me. I hope when our children are older, I will interview them and teach them as Alma did. My older brother Richard does the same. One Sunday I was with him and his family and I recall him taking Crystal out on the patio to review her goals in the young women's program. I remember thinking how I want to do the same with our children some day.

Now that I am a father of four, I am trying to do the same. Since our kids are still fairly young, I keep the interviews simple and focused on prayer and scripture study along with any other issues we need to discuss.

I am also reminded of Elder Holland’s talk from the April 2007 General Conference when he counseled us to praise each child individually.

He said, “May I expand this counsel to make it a full family matter. We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don’t say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child’s view of himself or herself. But it is even more important in shaping that child’s faith in us and their faith in God. Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive. And try not to compare your children, even if you think you are skillful at it. You may say most positively that “Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright,” but all Susan will remember is that she isn’t bright and Sandra that she isn’t pretty. Praise each child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our culture’s obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are ‘enough.’” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Tongue of Angels,” Ensign, May 2007, 16–18)

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