Journey through the Book of Mormon: Alma 17 (Still his Brethren in the Lord)

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.

4 And they had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites, having had much success in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, by the power of their words many were brought before the altar of God, to call on his name and confess their sins before him.

I love how this chapter describes the joy of Alma at seeing his fellow converts still active and strong in the Church. It is so wonderful to see those who entered into the waters of baptism with you staying strong. It is a similar feeling to what a missionary has when he looks onto someone he taught and baptized. There is an unparalleled joy.

 And there is also an unparalleled sadness when those we love leave the church and are no longer are our brethren and sisters in the Lord. Lately, I’ve been grappling with sad news as friends have been leaving the Church. It always makes me wonder what more I could have done to help and encourage them.

What I’ve noticed is that one of the most glaring warning signs is when the light of missionary fire leaves the eyes of these concerts. When they first join, they write, blog, preach, and prophesy or Christ and his Church. They long to shout as an angel and tell all the world of the truth. They are zealous like the sons of Mosiah. But in time, they lose that fire and begin to instead find cause to complain or criticize the church. The beauty and power they felt becomes commonplace and forgotten. 

The sons of Mosiah stayed strong because they never lost that spark. They never forgot their miraculous conversion or the joy they felt. And they kept their faith strong through diligent study and through sharing their light with others.

If I could give one peace of advice to my friends who have joined but are beginning to waver, it would be this: remember always what you felt when you were baptized, and strive with all your heart to share that with others. I believe that these two things will keep anyone on the right path.


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