Journey through the Book of Mormon: Alma 7 (Established Again in the Way of His Righteousness)

4 But blessed be the name of God, that he hath given me to know, yea, hath given unto me the exceedingly great joy of knowing that they are established again in the way of his righteousness.
5 And I trust, according to the Spirit of God which is in me, that I shall also have joy over you; nevertheless I do not desire that my joy over you should come by the cause of so much afflictions and sorrow which I have had for the brethren at Zarahemla, for behold, my joy cometh over them after wading through much affliction and sorrow.

6 But behold, I trust that ye are not in a state of so much unbelief as were your brethren; I trust that ye are not lifted up in the pride of your hearts; yea, I trust that ye have not set your hearts upon riches and the vain things of the world; yea, I trust that you do not worship idols, but that ye do worship the true and the living God, and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins, with an everlasting faith, which is to come.

I love how Alma describes his joy at the redemption of the members of the Church in Zarahemla. He has waded through sorrow and affliction for them. Like a good leader and missionary, Alma truly loved those he led. And it broke his heart to see them filled with pride with their hearts set on the vain things of the world.

I believe that it was this great love that was felt by the people that led so many to repent and return to the way of righteousness. The people knew that Alma sincerely desired their joy and well being. They knew he was not out for power or personal gain. And so, they heeded his call to repentance.

I think we can learn a lot about how to approach our friends and neighbors who have left the church or the way of righteouessness. First, we need to sincerely love them. They need to know we truly care about them. If we do that, then we will better be able to share with them our concern and our desire for their well being. On that foundation, the spirit can communicate with them and help them repent and return.

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