Friday, February 5, 2010

Alma - Chapter 17

Isn't this the most wonderful story.  I love the expample of faith, courage, service and integrity Ammon displays.  While his desire is to share the gospel, it is clear that Ammon's service wasn't tainted by ulterior motives.  He would do right by the King regardless of the outcome.  How often do we step up to the plate with a non-member friend, only to dump him if he doesn't immediately respond.  How many Amway salesmen have you known, who made out to be your best buddy, but because you rejected his business opportunity, quickly became the same mere acquaintance he was before he set his greedy sights on you.  I've known member missionaries like that.  A state that is entirely opposite the spirit and approach Ammon showed us.

Part of what made Ammon set such a fine example is explained in these verses:
5 Now these are the circumstances which attended them in their journeyings, for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit.
9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.

10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.
11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.
I like the expression "labor in the Spirit."  These brethren were Missionary Olympians.  If you or I were bound for the Olympics this week we would have spent hours and hours in preparation.  We'd have focused our lives, in training and skill development.  We would have worked hard to be ready for our competetive mission.  Ammon and his brethren took their mission just that seriously.  They wanted to be fully in Spiritual Shape for the big event.  I have to admit that I have not prepared for much of anything with that kind of earnestness - and it shows.  It shows in the kind of results I've experienced.  It is obvious that we must develop, nourish and train our physical selves, why would it not be so with our spiritual selves as well.

It's time to get in shape.

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