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

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

...Wilt Thou Comfort Their Souls in Christ...

Alma 31 is the account of Alma's preaching to the Zoramites.  There are two prayers given in this chapter -- the first is the blasphemous prayer of the Zoramites on the Rameumptom.  The second is Alma's prayer for his fellow missionaries.  

While we read today, let's note some of the differences between these two prayers.

Also, what can we do to avoid falling for the false doctrines of men (or more accurately, Satan)?

What else strikes you in this chapter?


Monica said...

The two prayers are vastly different and I can relate this easily to my own life. I grew up Catholic and the first prayer is similar to the way that I was taught in my youth to pray. They were repetitious prayers that to me had no real meaning and I remember as a child trying to say them as fast as I could to get them done basically.

The second prayer is how I have learned to pray since I joined the Church. It is a prayer where you are conversing with Heavenly Father and you have real thoughts and feelings when you pray to Heavenly Father. I think some people feel some sort of comfort in repetitious prayers but they are not their own words when they say them so there is no real communication with our Heavenly Father.

Learning how to have a conversation with Heavenly Father was one of the greatest blessing I received after joining the Church. I am grateful that I can converse with Heavenly Father and share my deep desires and emotions with Him.

Janelle said...

First I love that Zeezrom got the missionary invite! And then I felt bad for Alma's wife when he was doing all that traveling missionary work a few years prior when I read that he had sons old enough to go on missions with him.

Second, the Zoramites reminded me of the FLDS church in thinking that they had purer doctrine that set them apart from the group they splintered away from. The Zoramites had some truths but perverted the doctrine so much that the new church was unrecognizable to Alma and the others.

Unfortunately, I have been to a testimony meeting where people sounded like vs. 28. "We thank the O God for we are a chosen people unto thee while the others perish."
This congregation was also similar to the Zoramites in the persecution of the poor.

vs. 36 Now it came to pass that when Alma had said these words he clapped his hands upon them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. - Do you think it was Holy High Five or a nice manly back slap?

Greg and Wendy said...

I love Vs 5 teaching of the power of doctrine! It reminded me again of Elder Packer's now oft quoted comment regarding the power of teaching doctrine to effect behavior. This scripture is beautiful and I guess it is up to us to know the doctrine and ponder upon it so that it will help US change our own behaviors that are less than Christlike. Then we can have the spirit with us to be an instrument in teaching (not preaching) doctrinal tidbits to others as we are moved upon. It is interesting how when we begin to pray for those around us and our desire to share what we have, those conversations happen as a natural course of things. I love the gospel! Thanks to all of you for your insights. They have greatly enhanced my study of the Book of Mormon.

Greg and Wendy said...

No wonder there are only two chapters to study this week--they are packed with pertinent info! I am always impressed with vs 23 when Alma talks of the Zoramites returning to their homes after praying on the Rameumptom and "never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again." Let us never be guilty of that! The Savior and His teachings should permeate our thoughts and actions every day. The footnote takes us to James 1:22: "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only." I need to be sure I am consciously trying to implement what I am taught on Sunday's. Scripture Sisters helps me.
Also, this chapter is another testament, isn't it, of just how far off the beam people can get who have once enjoyed the light but have let themselves slip into inactivity. There is such a great responsibility that comes with the blessings of membership in the church. It becomes more clear to me every day how important it is to study the doctrine found in the scriptures to be sure we are "drinking from the well"...that our testimony is based on truth and not perverted in any way.

Janelle said...

Wendy, I noticed the same things as you in vs. 5 and also thought of Pres. Packers' quote. There is no quicker path to peace than through the preaching and accepting of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that Alma said that it (his missionary work) was more effective than the sword in maintaining peace and civic harmony in an earlier chapter.

Also that scripture of James of being Doers and not hearers only has been spoken to my mind several times this month, interesting you should write it here again.

I hate that I missed commenting on some of my favorite scriptures of all time while I was gone but the one thing I did think about with the People of Ammon was the symbolism of burying our temptations and sins. When they burried their weapons they were making a physical manifestation of an inward feeling. Very much like the covenant and ordinance of baptism where we symbolically bury our sins and come forth clean. The symbolism was very powerful to me and I was very thankful for the sacrament and made a list of the things I need to bury to keep my sword bright and unspotted like the People of Ammon.

I have also been struck by the Kingdom of God on earth. There are people in the Bible and Book of Mormon that despite different language and culture I would feel apart of. I would recognize the ordinances, worship practices, the Authority of the Priesthood, the description of being neat and comely people. I think I could feel at home with these Nephites or the people of Ammon, the early Saints and all people who have been given the blessing of the gospel of Christ. For we all all members of the Body of Christ as Paul taught. I hope those people would recognize me too.

Amy B said...

Oh, these are great chapters! I'm preparing my own R.S. lesson for Sunday, but I wanted to start participating, so I thought I'd just share some random things that I've written in the margins: #1. Verse 17 (every man prospered according to his genius, and every man conquered according to his strength)-I have a testimony of the complete opposite of this verse. Every thing that I am, all my happiness, all my success comes only through the power of Christ, his Atonement and mercy for ME, in a very personal and deep way. #2. In Ch. 31, verse 38 it reads that these great missionaries were given strength, that "they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ, because Alma "prayed in faith." I KNOW! this. In my darkest days when all around me was crumbling, I was able to feel peace and even happiness, because my afflictions were swallowed up. They were not taken away, but made bearable. No matter how horrible the circumstance, if we turn TO the Savior, and not AWAY, we will be lifted out and away from despair, if not the circumstance.