Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Alma 41

Judged According to Works and Desires

One of the great things about the "test" of life is that we are told what we will be tested on. It's as if the Teacher were giving us the answers right before the test or even throughout the test.

If we want to pass this test, then we need to show forth good works and have righteous desires in our hearts. As Alma 41:3 explains, men will be judged according to their works and the desires of their hearts.


Tying this information back to the resurrection, we will, therefore, be resurrected to a glory equal to the works and desires of our heart in this life. If we desired to do good and we did good in this life, then we will be resurrected to righteousness. If we were wicked and had wicked desires, then our reward will be a "reward of evil." (Alma 41:4)

Alma succinctly sums this principal up at the end of the chapter when he said, "that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored."

This reminds of me of the talk my brother gave at my mission farewell. He related a parable that demonstrated this principal.

In summary, a king invited everyone to a feast. The entrance fee was the each person must bring water. Each container of water was taken as they entered the feast. Some brought thimble while others brought barrels. At the end of the feast, the king told the people to retrieve their containers when they left. To their surprise, their thimbles and buckets were filled with gold. So those who brought little received little, while those who brought much received much.

Our Own Judges

Since we are taught the commandments and we know right from wrong, we will be our own judges. (Alma 41:7) Before we even face God at the judgment seat, we will already know in our hearts what our reward will be.

"Wickedness never was happiness"

In verses 10 and 11, a couple of profound truths explain to us what this life is about. In 10, we read the immortal words “wickedness never was happiness.” The plan of salvation is often called the great plan of happiness. All of us want to be happy, but today we are in the age of mass communication and information where we want everything right now. We don’t want to wait. I believe that the modern view of happiness is much the same. We want instant gratification. It is hard to wait and work at happiness. So we cheat ourselves out of happiness and we go for the instant gratification. To strive for instant gratification is our natural inclination. In verse 11 Alma talks about how all those in a natural or carnal state are in iniquity and how they are in a nature contrary to God and happiness. To be happy we must do God’s will. We must keep his commandment and in turn we will be happy.

Despite our natural state, God has planted in us divinity. There is still something in us that makes us strive to rise. We soon realize what makes us happy – truly happy, and we begin to rise.

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