“Unto Such It Is Given To Know The Mysteries Of God” (Alma 26:22)   Leave a comment

Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.” (Alma 26:22)

     The Story of the tremendous missionary work that was performed by Aaron, Ammon, Omner and Himni among the Lamanites  is an awe inspiring story. The account of their mission is a powerful one. All in all, they spent 14 years teaching the Lamanites, and if you collectively add their experience together, their experience totalled 56 years. What a marvelous sacrifice. But their story did not begin there! Their miraculous story mirrors (In many ways) the Biblical story of Saul. President Uchtdorf  explained the story of Saul well in his talk “Waiting On The Road To Damascus“, but here is a tidbit of the story in which I will relate to Alma, Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni.

      One of the most remarkable events in the history of the world happened on the road to Damascus. You know well the story of Saul, a young man who had “made havock of the church, entering into every house … [committing the Saints] to prison.” (Acts 8:3)

      Saul was so hostile that many members of the early Church fled Jerusalem in the hope of escaping his anger.

     Saul pursued them. But as he “came near Damascus … suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

     “And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”  (Acts 9:3-4)

So that scripture sound somewhat familiar to the Story of Alma and the sons of King Mosiah? Indeed it does. Let’s do a little study into the Book Of Mormon and just compare some of the moments to the story of Saul. Speaking of Alma and the sons of Mosiah, the scriptures tell us:

“And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them. And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God, for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church, and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king—” (Mosiah 27: 9-10)

So now you see some similarities, with what they ( Saul, and Alma and the sons of Mosiah ) had in common as to what they were doing to good people, and to the Lord’s church, now lets see what happened to Alma and the sons of Mosiah when an angel of the Lord stepped in:

“…as they were going about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them; and he descended as it were in a cloud; and he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood; And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them.” (Mosiah 27: 11-12)

So we get to the verse from the Book Of Mormon, out of Mosiah which could kind of go side by side with Acts 9: 3-4. It reads as follows:

“Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.” (Mosiah 27: 13)

I know this is a tremendous amount of information to use in the attempt to build-up to the title of this blog entry, but I believe it to be significant.

Ultimately, both stories produced changes in the individuals that were of significant magnitude. When Alma was about attempting to destroy both the people and the church of the Lord, it was 92 B.C. After the encounter with the angel they immediately set to work repairing all the local damage they had done, both temporally and spiritually.

Said Alma, “I have repented of my sins, and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.” (Mosiah 27:24) Continuing to speak to others, also in an attempt to repair possible spiritual damage he could have done, he described his process of change through what he learned and now knew, “And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;” (Mosiah 27:25)

Having stated his understanding that was given him, Alma described to some extent the process of repentance as he had experienced it:

Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.

My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more.

I rejected my Redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers; but now that they may foresee that he will come, and that he remembereth every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all.

Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.” (Mosiah 27: 28-31)

So now that you know the context of the past that Saul, and the past of Alma and the sons of Mosiah (Ammon, Aaron, Omner & Himni), you know the significance of the future impact they would all make. What I found most interesting, was how they started their missionary work.

And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.

And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.” (Mosiah 27: 35-36)

Alma and the sons of Mosiah were given a second chance by the Lord, and it clearly became apparent to me that they wanted the Lord to see just how thankful they were for that great blessing that we as members of the church can experience, repentance.

And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever.” (Mosiah 28:4)

They were set in their minds to do all they could to bring others to the truth, and so much so that they were willing to brave the probability of death by preaching to their brethren the Lamanites.

Their faith had them convinced that the Lord would guide them. The scriptures describe just how they felt about sharing the gospel with their brethren:

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.” (Mosiah 28:3)

That is an avid description of just how serious they took the gospel. I often wonder if I’ve ever taken the gospel that seriously. I have to be honest and frank here, but no, i’ve never come to the point where “…the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause ‘ME’ to quake and tremble.”

It saddens me frequently that I have taken the gospel for granted that much. Are we all at that point? Do we all appreciate just how important the gospel is to us, and just how important we should hold it, with reverence in our hearts, about how much we should share it with others? I know I have failed at being as good of a missionary as I could be. Some of the choices we have all made have had us question our legitimacy of sharing the gospel, but one thing is certain brethren, the gospel is perfect, and man is not.

We can start to make commitments to be better representatives of the gospel, and we take it one day at a time. Start by studying the gospel every day, and we will be amazed at the progress that will be made.

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