I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Monday, June 30, 2008

...They Were Still His Brethren in the Lord...

It's week 3, can you believe it? I am so enjoying the discussions we are having here -- thank you for your contributions! Keep them coming.

This week we'll be studying Alma 17-22. Since we have 5 days to cover 6 chapters, we'll do 17 on Monday, 18 on Tuesday, 19 on Wednesday, 20&21 on Thursday, and 22 on Friday. That's the 4th of July, so we may not get a ton of comments, but please keep up with your reading -- it does make a huge difference, don't you think?

Alma 17 begins the missionary account of the sons of Mosiah. They spent 14 years among the Lamanites, preaching the Gospel and serving the people.

*vs. 2&3-- I feel like if we all met, this would be the experience we'd have. What exactly made this such a great reunion? What can we learn from this as parents, friends, etc? What kind of relationships should we be developing with those around us?

*vs. 9&11 -- What can we learn as lifetime missionaries from these verses? Also, what do we learn about faith from verse 10?

*vs. 12-16 -- How is this similar/different from our call today?

*vs. 20-25 --What was it that made King Lamoni trust Ammon? What can we learn from this?

*vs. 26-39 -- Not just a great story, although it is that. What symbolism is in these verses regarding our missionary service? And our service to our families?


Monica said...

One of the things that I love so much about this story is not only that it is such a great story but I love how he goes back to serving after protecting the king's sheep. To me that teaches me such devotion to his cause and such an example to be humble and continue to serve. He went and did his service but continues on because he wasn't finished. I think we need to all take that to heart and remember to continue on and to never stop serving because there is always more to be done. It is like if we bring one person into the Church, we are not done with our missionary work. There will always be someone else that could be taught about the Gospel and so we must keep going and keep serving and doing what is required of us.

Also, Julie I agree that it has helped to continue to read even though I have been lacking in the comment department. Also, I watched a really good talk this weekend and I think it was Elder Oaks who was quoted concerning scripture study. He said that it is important to set aside a certain amount of time to study because you cannot just rush through it. Like if you say you will read 1 ch. per day you can speed read it and get it done but if you say I will study scriptures for 1/2 hr per day you will have to slow down and study for that long and if you slow down you will learn more. He said something along those lines. I don't have the exact quote but anyway, I feel that way with our scripture study group because studying it instead of just reading makes me slow down and take in more. Got to run! Lydia is crying!

Janelle said...

Ammon may be my scriptoral celebrity crush. Well him and Nephi.

Vs. 2 Reunions! I have one college roommate coming to visit me on Sunday and I nearly have all of them blogging. My dream is to get my entire freshman dorm together for a reunion at Womens' Conference or Education Week. (Gates Hall 94/95 Heritage BYU)There are women I miss so much that if I saw them at an airport or something I would jump up and down and cry happy tears. And if they were all doing well in the gospel I would be elated. Hmm 14 years. I keep asking my YW who are leaving for college if I can go with them.

Also the keys to the gift of prophesy and revelation was given here: 1. search the scriptures diligently. 2.Much Fasting 3.Much Prayer 4. Teach "Seek ye diligently the best gifts...."

vs. 11 Yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me and I will make an insturment of thee in my hands unto the salvation of
many souls. - A good example over a lifetime is a very strong testimony to me. And I need to remember that even the best things we pray for may not happen quickly.

I also thought of D&C 31:5 in regards to Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah: Thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back for the laborer is worthy of his hire.

There are so many ways to be forgiven, I may write a post on this on my regular blog but I do love that Alma and these sons were so repentant to the Lord for the damage they caused the church in their youth that they truly did thrust in the sickle with all their souls.

Making vs. 13 even more beautiful. "Trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest"

Julie you asked what made King Lamoni like Ammon right off the bat, I think it was humility and submissiveness as well as a genuine love for his people.

vs. 30 is what happens to every good missionary: "and now these were the thoughts of Ammon when he saw the afflictions of those whom he termed to be his brethren." How you love those people you serve. I haven't served a full time mission but I have been present from the first question of an investigator through discussions to baptism and a full and living membership. LOVE.

Ok this is getting rediculously long but I just want to point out that in vs 35 it reads "the Lord had promised Mosiah that he would deliver his sons out of their hands" Parental prayers work! And the Lord keeps his promises to you even after you have died.

Julie said...

I haven't gotten past verse 16! Aack! There's just so much great stuff here. I have a feeling this is going to happen all week long....

Some thoughts --
vs. 2-3 I've been considering how this can help me develop my own relationships. From these verses, I see how important it is that relationships are based upon love of God and obedience to His commandments. We should not be shy in bearing testimony of His Gospel -- it is what builds deep friendships that last a lifetime - inside the Church and out.
vs. 9-12 It doesn't appear to me that these missionaries were necessarily praying for comfort in verse 9, yet that is the answer they received from God. They seem to have trusted Him completely, too, and were immediately comforted. THEN they were commanded to go among the Lamanites and be patient because they would suffer many afflictions. I love that after these two commands from God -- to be comforted and to be patient in afflictions -- these missionaries took courage! They really must have had great faith to be excited to go after being told what awaited them. Sort of like us in the pre-existence, right? I think the Lord's words in verse 11 must have given them a vision of what they would accomplish - "...ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." When the Spirit is present, we really are just that - instruments in God's hands.

vs. 14-15 this is a great description of the Lamanites and who they had become. It also serves as a good description of what the world is becoming. There is much of wickedness, selfishness, and laziness all around us. Yet, I love verse 15 near the end "...notwithstanding the promises of the Lord were extended unto them on the conditions of repentance." There are few who are beyond the grasp of the Atonement and I probably have not association with any of those people. So, why should I pick and choose with whom to share the Gospel? The promises of the Lord are extended to ALL on conditions of repentance. Oh, how great the importance to make these things known unto the children of men.
And finally, I love the motive described in verse 16 - pure love nad hope for the welfare of the Lamanites. No sefishness, no seeking for glory...just love for the people and a desire for their redemption. This is the only motive that brings the Spirit into missionary work.

Janelle, I liked your thoughts on lifelong faithfulness and receiving forgiveness. It really is obvious that the Lord wants all of us to return Home.

Monica, I really like your comment, too, that we can't just assume we're done once we've introduced someone to the Gospel or been baptized or gone to the temple, etc. We must keep serving. I've always admired that about Ammon, but never applied it in that way to my own life. Thanks for the insight!

TaLaisa said...

Verse 2&3: I love this. I feel like every person I've shared a spiritual experience with, be it testimony, learning experience or otherwise, carries a piece of me with them and them with me. When we meet up again, it's like we never left.

Friendships built upon truth and light of the gospel can be some of the strongest bonds ever.

I get teary-eyed thinking about meeting people, I've lost contact with, in the next life. What joyous reunions I plan on being at!

I think developing great relationships in this life, requires us to give something of ourselves.

verses 9-11: I've never served a full time mission, so my view may be a little uneducated. But, I'll share it anyway. I think, again, that great sacrifice is needed to be a great missionary. Sure sharing your testimony may get easier with time, but the circumstances in which you are called to bear that testimony will be a greater challenge.

I keep getting the same message from all these missionary scriptures which usually means the big lights are flashing *pay attention TaLaisa* *this means YOU* I am not so good at stepping out of my comfort zone. But knowing that the Lord comforted them and then said 'be patient in long-suffering and afflictions'. Means when he says 'he gives no command to the children of men save he shall prepare a way'. He means it. But by no means does it mean the way will be easy.

verses 20-25: I think that although it isn't written that Lamoni may have seen the light of Christ in Ammon. Ammon also offered himself as a servant for Lamoni. But because he offered one of his daughters before that offer, he must have seen and heard other things from Ammon.

verses 26-39: Ammon already saw the other servants as his brothers. He served with them and for them. He was willing to do great things to serve his brethren. He served even to the end of nearly losing his life. Although those guys with the clubs didn't stand a chance. Ammon is one of my very favorite Book of Mormon heroes. What a guy!