Wednesday, April 10, 2013
(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.