Monday, November 16, 2015

The Lord's Preface to Alma’s Deliverance


13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
(Mosiah 24:13-14)

This was given to the people of Alma when they were in bondage to the Amulonites and Lamanites.

Usually when the Lord gives a promise, it is conditioned upon the people acting a certain way.  Commonly there are if-then statements.  “If you do this, then I will do this.” 

This is a rare stance where the conditions are practically reversed.  Instead of promising a blessing after the people do something, the Lord promises a blessing and then requires something afterward.  He promises to deliver Alma and his people, and afterward they are to stand as witnesses (fulfilling their baptismal covenant) that the Lord visits His people and helps them in their afflictions.

I suppose that the people were so faithful already that the Lord knew He could trust them to do as He asked. 

I think this is also what the Lord requires of us in our afflictions. When we are faithful, He will help us through it and He wants us to then testify of His help so that others know they can depend on the Lord too.  Also, hearing testimonies of how the Lord has helped others gives us an idea of what kind of help we can look for.  Sometimes help is dramatic and other times it is subtle, but it is up to us to recognize it.

This last week I was got some help from the Lord. I was studying up on how to convert a book I’ve written into ebooks easily, and everything I was reading was making it a big overwhelming task.  It was tempting to get discouraged and give up. But I had faith Heavenly Father would help me somehow if I just kept searching and learning, and I ran into a place where I could get simpler instructions.  I anticipate more work ahead, but I am already thankful.