Saturday, December 29, 2012

Alma 18:39-42 - The Element of Time

Dear Magdalene, 

Tonight while we were reading scriptures, we read about Ammon and Lamoni, the Lamanite king, and his wife.  (I'm sad we don't know her name, but maybe we can call her Magdalene too?)  One thing that I noticed, which I never noticed before, was an element of time.

The other day, when I wrote Josten, I mentioned how after receiving a Priesthood blessing when I had mono, I had to wait for time to pass.  I wasn't "healed" instantly.  Tonight when reading about Lamoni, I realized there was more time involved in this story than I initially thought.

Previously, I thought Ammon had been expounding his faith to the king, and then the king thought about it a moment, and instantly fell to the ground.  That's kind of the way we talk about it in Primary, when we reenact the story, isn't it?  Tonight, I realized there was more time involved than I ever thought about.

It says in the verses that we read, how Ammon basically expounded everything he could about the gospel of Jesus Christ, from the beginning of the world, to "all the works of the Lord".  (Alma 18:39)  He told him everything – probably more than I've ever thought to teach you.  After that, here's what it says:

40 And it came to pass that after he had said all these things, and expounded them to the king, that the king  believed all his words.
Did you catch that?  The biggest word that stuck out to me tonight was "after".  After Ammon had said all these things.  I always thought that what happened next happene while Ammon was standing there.  But it seems like the king needed a little bit of time to have the following happen:

41 And he began to cry unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, have mercy; according to thy abundant mercy which thou hast had upon the people of Nephi, have upon me, and my people.

He began.  This doesn't seem to be a once and done thing.  And perhaps it wasn't just audible crying, or sobbing crying.  I would like to think that these were intense thoughts, which reached to the heavens, not in volume, but in sincerity.  They were not "Heavenly Father thank you for this day thank you for this food please bless it..."  This was thoughtful, heartfelt prayer.  You give heartfelt prayers, but sometimes I think it would be good for all of us if we tried slowing down a bit, and really thinking about what we're saying.  And when we're alone in our prayers, we can try to truly "cry" unto the Lord.  You know how you cry to me when things aren't fair?  Or when you get hurt or scratched, or when your heart hurts?  This is the same kind of crying we can do with God.  He listens, and He can help us, even better than I can help you.

It's also important how Lamoni prayed here as well.  Notice what he said, because what happened next is marvelous.
42 And now, when he had said this, he fell unto the earth, as if he were dead.

A few verses later, Lamoni's wife calls Ammon in to talk to him, and what surprised me tonight was that if Ammon had been there when Lamoni had fallen to the earth, he would have already known what was going on.  But it seems that the only way he knew, when he came to talk to the queen, was through inspiration.  So it seems, that Lamoni took some time to ponder, think about, and then truly cry to the Lord about what he had learned.

Time is really important.  Sometimes we expect answers so immediately.  But if we were to get all the answers immediately, what would we do with the rest of our time here?  We could have all the answers given to us when we're babies, and then live out the rest of our lives in bliss.  That might be fun, but it doesn't seem to work like that.  There is importance in the element of time, and it seems that the faster we use what we learn in the time we have, the faster we grow.

Another thing about time – it's one of the few things in this life that you can never buy more of.  You have to use it wisely.

There's so much more in these few verses, but we'll save that for another day.

Marvelous, eh love? :)

~Mom <3  

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