Hmm... What could "prosper in the land" possibly mean? This is something I've fought with recently, while think about prosperity in general. When someone says, "That guy has really prospered", or "she is really prosperous", what could it possibly mean?
Some things in the scriptures are mentioned once or twice, and some things are mentioned all over the place. The exact phrase, "prosper in the land" is mentioned 22 times
in the Book of Mormon. After reading the first 3 instances, it seems to mean be kept safe
, or possibly, have lots of kids
. It seems the word multiply
is also used quite often in conjunction with prosper
After studying all 22 references, it seems that in most instances, if not all, it means something like, increase in prosperity
, or improve upon one's standing in life
I guess I'm hammering this down a bit more than I should, primarily because I sincerely believe that the scriptures should be understood as they were meant to be understood. And understanding the scriptures comes by the Spirit of God and through studying, pondering, and praying.
It also makes little sense why God would use a phrase such as "prosper in the land", which has some obvious connotations, if those connotations weren't taken into consideration when using them in the first place. Especially if the phrase is used 22 times throughout the Book of Mormon!
Anyway... I'm fairly certain I'm going to the opposite extreme of what this phrase really means, and after doing my studies, I believe the accurate interpretation is simply "improving upon one's life." - and that can have all sorts of different meanings.
Anyway... I didn't mean to get off on such a tangent, but the emphasis Alma puts on the first verse of this chapter (I swear
unto you..), got me thinking about all this.
I guess we should go on to verse 2 now. :)
Verse 3 deserves just as much, if not more, fanfare than verse 1 did. Man, it is so, so, so, so, so nice to believe in a God whose prophets can make such declarations as, "...whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
" That, my good friend, is a promise made by God. This means that if you're not being supported in your trials, troubles, and afflictions, then you, my dear boy, are the one who isn't putting your trust in God. We fail, God does not.
Man, that verse just makes me feel wonderful. As sure as the sun, God will support those who put their trust in Him. I guess Satan doesn't do quite as good a job.
Then, of course, the wonderful story comes of Alma and his experience with the Angel, and his conversion. What a great story.
Seems like the ending verses are just like the beginning ones. The last verse even contains the words, "prosper in the land".