Monday, July 02, 2007

Alma 38

Joy in Posterity

In verses 2 and 3, it talks about the joy Alma will have and had in Shiblon. I've never thought of these scriptures in a temple sense. The Spirit of Elijah is truly manifest here. Alma rejoices in his posterity. The fruits of temple blessings are clearly being harvested by Alma.

Enduring to the End

Alma praises Shiblon for his endurance. Throughout the chapter, we read words such as, steadiness; faithfulness; endureth; patience; long-suffering; diligence; temperate. So should we ought to take the steady course to the end.

The story is a cliché, but still valid. The hare and the tortoise enter a race. The hare starts off quick and then is burnt our and rests. The tortoise starts off slow, but diligent. The hare is shocked to cross the finish line and see that the tortoise has won.

In gospel terms, the same moral applies. Reading the Book of Mormon in a space of 24 hours and then not reading it for several days or weeks or months is not better than reading the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes a day. We need that daily dose of spirituality. When I was a kid, this teenager in our ward gave this talk about scripture study. He compared it to brushing your teeth. You can't brush your teeth really hard on Sunday and then not brush them the rest of the week. You have to brush every day to keep your teeth clean and healthy. So too with scripture study and prayer, we must pray and read every day to keep our testimonies healthy.

Missionary work

Shiblon was persecuted while doing missionary work. Recently (October 1998) an elder was killed in Russia. His companion was seriously injured. This was a freak murder. They were not killed/injured for being missionaries, rather because they were just there at the wrong time. This story is not common today, yet it happens more often than you would think. Other missionaries have been killed or kidnapped. Lots of missionaries have had knives and guns pulled on them. In Guatemala, it was common to be yelled at or threatened. Missionary work is a sacrifice in many ways. But the blessings are great. Being a missionary is also a try test of faith and how much you love the Father.

A Short List of How to Be a Good Missionary

1. Diligence and temperance
2. Don't be prideful – all glory to God
3. Boldness, but not overbearance
4. Bridle passions
5. Refrain from idleness
6. Pray with humility
7. Be sober – always

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