Tue - Jan 13, 2009 : 02:40 pm
Alma : 8 - Christ-like Love
It's good to be back. I feel like I really got a lot out of this chapter. It could be simply because this chapter has a couple of verses which always seem to prick my heart. Maybe, maybe not. Anyway...
It seems this chapter is all about love. One of the verses found here is so poignant, it pricks my heart every time I read it. Verses 13 and 14:
13 Now when the people had said this, and withstood all his words, and reviled him, and spit upon him, and caused that he should be cast out of their city, he departed thence and took his journey towards the city which was called Aaron.
14 And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul, because of the wickedness of the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him...
This really touches me in that Alma didn't know any of these people. In fact, at the beginning of the chapter, it almost makes it seem like he didn't even know Ammonihah existed. This being the case, I'd like for you to put yourself in his situation.
He goes to a city, tries to teach them the Gospel of Christ, is spit upon and contended against, and ultimately thrown out of the city. Now I ask, would you love these people so much so as to make your soul feel pain?
When I ask myself that, my response is always something to the effect of, "Nope. When people spit on me and curse at me, want nothing to do with me, and end up throwing me out of their house - I usually don't care too much for those people, and never want to see them again." Most people I know would feel the same.
Alma had an entirely different perspective. My guess is that so much was the love he felt for all mankind, that no matter who he was teaching, he knew that they were a child of God - a God who loved them so much that he gave the life of his only perfect son, just to give them a chance to live with Him again. Now, with that perspective, I can see why Alma was so weighed down with an anguish of soul for these people.
Now, just because I can understand that, does that mean I automatically feel the same way? Unfortunately, no. I believe working up to that level of love requires much, much more sacrifice and study than I'm currently achieving.
Wow... What that must have been like to love a people who actively hated what he was teaching them.
I guess pain through love is somewhat of a Christ-like attribute. One I can definitely work on in myself.