Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Alma 32

(April 10, 2013)
Alma has an interesting reaction in this chapter – when he is presented with the suffering of the people, he experiences joy.  This is not a unique situation in the Book of Mormon, either.  In fact, Alma’s father had nearly an identical reaction when Alma came back in a coma from his experience with the angel of the Lord.

I am going to leave aside the issue of looking at other’s suffering with joy, because that would seem to require a perspective on the Gospel that is more likely to be found in prophets than in me.  But I will look at it from the perspective of looking at our own suffering.

I am going through a very difficult time in my life now, and I sometimes find it hard to put one foot in front of the other on the road of life.  I have prayed many times for relief from my burdens or for strength to carry them.  What I have never done, however, is to look on my suffering with joy for its capacity to humble me.  Nor do I honestly think that I can feel that way right now.  But, reading this chapter in Alma, I begin to wonder whether that is the emotional response to suffering that I truly ought to be developing.

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