Jump to content

Alma 29:3 - content vs. misguided ambitious faith?


Recommended Posts

Looking for some insight into Alma 29:3 -

But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

Seems like if Alma's faith grew he would naturally pray for not only his people but the Lamanites, and then others (people in Jerusalem and Middle East, Lost Tribes, etc.).

But then he chides himself for wanting to do that.

What's the problem here?

Should he trust God to have called Prophets to cry repentance to all those other people so Alma should just "stay in his lane?"

When you pray and you're really feeling the Spirit, what would be incorrect about praying for your family, ward, stake, the whole church, the whole world - to be blessed with health, prosperity, a greater acceptance of the restored gospel?

I guess we should focus on the jurisdiction of our own callings but honestly I pray for things I'm quite sure God laughs out loud at, not to mention when I pray for others outside of my stake, church, etc.

 

Link to post
1 hour ago, nuclearfuels said:

Looking for some insight into Alma 29:3 -

But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

....................................

He is having second thoughts, and realizes that he needs to be humble.

Link to post

In my opinion, if Alma "sinned", it was in the original sense of the word:  He "missed the mark", such as when an archer misses the bulls-eye.  Imo he did not "sin" in the more modern sense of the word; that is, he did not offend God and do something that made him worthy of condemnation. 

Let me quote Alma, highlighting a few things where I think he may have "missed the mark".  The first three verses of Chapter 29:

"O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

"Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

"But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me."

Alma may have been mistaken to wish for missionary superpowers.  God generally doesn't conduct shock-and-awe campaigns to impress us into submission to his will.  Apparently he would rather see us change from within, as we learn correct principles and listen for the still small voice, so that the mighty change takes place where it needs to, which is within our hearts. 

 

Edited by Eek!
  • Like 2
Link to post
2 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Looking for some insight into Alma 29:3 -

But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

Seems like if Alma's faith grew he would naturally pray for not only his people but the Lamanites, and then others (people in Jerusalem and Middle East, Lost Tribes, etc.).

But then he chides himself for wanting to do that.

What's the problem here?

Should he trust God to have called Prophets to cry repentance to all those other people so Alma should just "stay in his lane?"

When you pray and you're really feeling the Spirit, what would be incorrect about praying for your family, ward, stake, the whole church, the whole world - to be blessed with health, prosperity, a greater acceptance of the restored gospel?

I guess we should focus on the jurisdiction of our own callings but honestly I pray for things I'm quite sure God laughs out loud at, not to mention when I pray for others outside of my stake, church, etc.

Joseph Smith taught,  “Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.” (History of the Church, 4:227). it seems in his introspection Alma was simply realizing he was unrealistically aiming to do more in this area than was wise or in order.

  • Like 2
Link to post

Where is the between trusting G-D, thy will be done, believing 3 very thing is as it should be... vs being horrified at the pain and suffering in the world, wanting everything changed - and if I can't change it, why doesn't G-d?

Link to post
1 hour ago, changed said:

horrified at the pain and suffering in the world, wanting everything changed - and if I can't change it, why doesn't G-d?

Either God is indifferent, or God is incapable, or God's ways are not our ways, and God's thoughts are not our thoughts.

Consider this possibility:  Nothing that is temporary has real value.  And everything that is eternal does.  If we value the temporary, we are valuing the valueless, and inevitably we will be disappointed. 

We are called to love our neighbor, to let our light shine, and to be part of the solutions instead of part of the problems.  But here's the thing:  The problems are temporary because the world they exist in is temporary, but the love we give and receive, and the light we seek and share, those things are eternal.  So they will outlive all the crap of this world. 

The love we give and receive, and the light we seek and share, those are among our treasures which are laid up in Heaven.  There is nothing in this world the Atonement cannot heal, and healing is one of Christ's missions.  So if only the eternal is real, then even the smallest loving thought is more real than all the crap of this world combined

 

Edited by Eek!
  • Like 1
Link to post

God knows what Alma's needs and motivations should have been.

This is for Alma to know, and a lesson to us that for given individual in a given situation, this applies.

Another individual, another situation, other advice might be appropriate.

I would not generalize one person's situation to everyone.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
3 hours ago, nuclearfuels said:

Looking for some insight into Alma 29:3 -

But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

Seems like if Alma's faith grew he would naturally pray for not only his people but the Lamanites, and then others (people in Jerusalem and Middle East, Lost Tribes, etc.).

But then he chides himself for wanting to do that.

What's the problem here?

Should he trust God to have called Prophets to cry repentance to all those other people so Alma should just "stay in his lane?"

When you pray and you're really feeling the Spirit, what would be incorrect about praying for your family, ward, stake, the whole church, the whole world - to be blessed with health, prosperity, a greater acceptance of the restored gospel?

I guess we should focus on the jurisdiction of our own callings but honestly I pray for things I'm quite sure God laughs out loud at, not to mention when I pray for others outside of my stake, church, etc.

Jesus prayed for others - that Satan not have them.

However, one of the ten commandments is not to covet that which is thy neighbors. Maybe this includes callings. Don't covet thy neighbor's calling. I believe God has called a limited number of prophets/revelators. Angels are messengers of God. This is a job given them, so falls in the same category. if God wanted him to appear as an angel, He would make it known. So, it is probably wrong to covet a job given to someone else. However, I think his desire is in the right place, and he did not sin in his desire to spread the word of God. He just wanted more power than God had allotted to him. Whether this is an actual sin against someone specific is debatable. Wishing to be an undefeatable angel rather than a mortal man just means Alma is realizing his limitations, and the limitations God has given man in general. Trying to make everyone accept the gospel through a great manifestation is not God's plan, or He would do it. Instead, He limits us to our power of persuasion, which Alma realizes is not as effective as he would like. In effect he is trying to alter God's plan. This is rather presumptuous of him.

Link to post

Alma seems to be compelled to have a more stoic mindset. I can relate.

Perhaps the problem lies in the “wish” rather than taking action.  What is wishing if not wanting something but not doing anything about it?

Great question/thread.

Link to post

Has anyone actually read the context?

1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
            2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
            3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

 

Clearly he was concerned with pride. He wanted to be the world's best missionary, but had to be content with the abilities God gave him

Context folks,context. 

Link to post
16 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Alma seems to be compelled to have a more stoic mindset. I can relate.

Perhaps the problem lies in the “wish” rather than taking action.  What is wishing if not wanting something but not doing anything about it?

Great question/thread.

Why? 

Link to post
15 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Why? 

Just to be clear, my response is my opinion, and there are likely scriptures and teachings that could illustrate a counter point:

I don’t think praying for something or asking for something that you’re not working towards or for is healthy:

God - make me thinner.

God - make me happier.

God - make me a better father.

Putting the onus for change on a wish or a prayer without action on my part just seems weak. Wish-like.  Replace “make me” with “I wish I was” in any of my examples above, and the meaning/intent doesn’t change, unless there is thought and action behind it.

My only perspective on your intelligent question is that perhaps Alma felt guilty for merely “wishing” he could do more instead of doing more with what he had.

  • Like 1
Link to post
31 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Has anyone actually read the context?

1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
            2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
            3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

 

Clearly he was concerned with pride. He wanted to be the world's best missionary, but had to be content with the abilities God gave him

Context folks,context. 

Yes, i read the verses in context.  It's a very popular few verses, especially with missionaries.

  • Like 1
Link to post
16 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

My only perspective on your intelligent question is that perhaps Alma felt guilty for merely “wishing” he could do more instead of doing more with what he had.

The only reason would be pride, and only he knew if that was the case.

Seems like a private matter to me.

Link to post
On 5/31/2018 at 5:12 PM, mfbukowski said:

The only reason would be pride, and only he knew if that was the case.

Seems like a private matter to me.

Not when he put it in scriptures to be read and studied by others...

Edited by Calm
Link to post
1 hour ago, Calm said:

Not when he put it in scriptures to be read and studied by others...

Read the context, it's clear.

I suppose we just disagree

 

Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Bernard Gui
      Something I wonder about...
      In 3 Nephi 12, Jesus says to the people at the temple,
      How are they more blessed if they believe the words of the eyewitnesses? Those who witnessed, believed, and were baptized also received forgiveness and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. I understand the implication that greater faith is required, but in what way are they “more blessed”? Is this a quantitative or qualitative increase? 
      Those who were at the temple already had their faith sorely tried. They survived persecution, threats of death because of their faith, cataclysmic destruction, and days of darkness. They were allowed to see and touch the risen Savior. That in itself is an incomparable blessing reserved for very few mortals. Their obligation then was to be His witnesses. Without them, we would not know of the Resurrection. 
      I understand that signs do not necessarily lead to faith. Many who see signs never believe or fall away, but none of these Nephites nor the disciples in Jerusalem who saw and touched the risen Lord fell away. Sister Gui suggested it means those who hear the testimony of the witnesses and believe are more blessed than those who hear the testimony and don’t believe. It seems to me, though, that the Savior is comparing two groups - the witnesses and those who believe the witnesses - and the latter are the more blessed. 
      On two other occasions, some people are declared more blessed. 
      1. Those who humble themselves without compulsion.
      2. The three Nephite disciples who desired to tarry.
      However, speaking to Thomas, the Lord said,
      In this instance, those who believe without seeing are not more blessed. 

      I understand how these people are more blessed because of their faith. What do you think the Savior meant in 3 Nephi 12?
    • By Calm
      https://www.uvu.edu/religiousstudies/heavenandearth/


      Heaven & Earth
      Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation and Faith
      February 22nd - 23rd, 2018
      Classroom Building, Room 511
      Utah Valley University

      click here for a pdf version of the program 
       
      Description
      The relationship between science and religion has been among the most fiercely debated issues since the Copernican revolution displaced traditional wisdom regarding the nature of the cosmos. Some have argued  for a sharp division of labor while others have sought to harmonize spiritual and empirical truths. From its beginnings, Mormonism has wrestled with the implications of modern science and has produced a variety of  theological responses. This conference will explore the landscape of Mormon thought as it relates to the relationships between science, theology, scriptural narratives, and LDS authoritative discourse. It will also examine abiding questions of faith, reason, and doubt and the reactions against the intellectualizing forces that bear on the truth claims of Mormonism.  
        Keynote Speaker
      Molly Worthen
      Assistant Professor of History
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      author of Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism Eugene England Lecture
      Steven L. Peck
      Associate Professor of Biology
      Brigham Young University
      author of Science the Key to Theology Conference Participants
      Philip L. Barlow
      Leonard J. Arrington Chair in Mormon Studies & Culture
      Utah State University
      author of Mormons and the Bible: The Place of Latter-day Saints in American Religion
        Brian D. Birch 
      Brian D. Birch, Director, Religious Studies Program
      Utah Valley University
      series co-editor, Perspectives on Mormon Theology
        David Bokovoy
      Online Professor of Bible and Jewish Studies
      Utah State University
      author of Reading the Old Testament: Genesis - Deuteronomy 
        Matthew Bowman
      Matthew Bowman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
      Henderson State University
      author of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
        Deidre Nicole Green
      Postdoctoral Fellow
      Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
      author of "Becoming Equal Partners: Latter-day Saint Women as Theologians” 
        Jamie L. Jensen
      Associate Professor of Biology, Brigham Young University, author of “Influencing highly religious undergraduate perceptions of evolution:  Mormons as a case study” 
        Boyd Jay Petersen
      Program Coordinator for Mormon Studies
      Utah Valley University
      author of “One Soul Shall Not Be Lost': The War in Heaven in Mormon Thought" 
        Jana K. Riess
      Senior Columnist
      Religion News Service
      author of The Next Mormons
        David W. Scott
      Professor of Communication
      Utah Valley University
      author of “Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark?"  
      Ben Spackman
      History of Christianity & Religions of North America Program
      Claremont Graduate University
      author of “Truth, Scripture, and Interpretation: Some Precursors to Reading Genesis”  
      Co-Sponsors & Partners
      Religious Studies Program, Utah Valley University College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Utah Valley University
    • By hope_for_things
      As an orthodox Mormon, when I have questions and critiques on topics that I hear at church or read about, I'm frequently told that it all boils down to just having faith, especially when people don't have good answers to my questions.  Terryl Given and Fiona Given's even articulate this idea in their book, The Crucible of Doubt, about how when presented with information on both sides of an issue, that this is precisely the point of God's plan so that we are able to choose and exercise faith.  
      Here is my question, what are we supposed to have faith in exactly?  Should I have faith in the historicity of an event described in the BoM?  Should I have faith that a talk given in conference by a church leader is an inspired talk that accurately reflects the mind of God?  Should I have faith that the words written in the Sunday school manual are inspired by God?  Should I have faith that the interpretation of scripture espoused by my high council representative is the one true interpretation?  What exactly should I have faith in?  
      From my reading of scripture, particularly the Bible and the BoM there is a repeating theme that humans continue to mess things up. In the bible, some of the worst offenders are often the prophets.  They are constantly falling short of the divine will and making big mistakes and getting chastised by God.  Many passages warn against trusting in the arm of the flesh. 
      So this brings me back to the question of faith, and I wonder if all the times that my fellow Mormons encourage me to just have faith, if they aren't actually are giving me really bad advice.  I'm thinking from the experiences I've had and the examples throughout history, that the thing I need to put my faith in is God directly, and not in humans or scriptural interpretations.  Maybe having faith in a church leader is not the purpose of faith at all.  Maybe having faith in a traditional church truth claim is also not the point of faith.   Faith in God, directly is not the same thing as faith in the church or faith in scripture or faith in authorities.  Faith in God seems like the only kind of faith that really can work. 
      Thoughts? 
    • By nuclearfuels
      So if you were called over a period of 8 years in let us say a certain calling which you had reservations about but accepted anyway, at what point would you say no to future callings in the same certain calling area?  If you said no to such a calling and then received a similar calling a few months later, what would you think? Not enough adults to call or inspiration coming back again?  In all honesty when Auxiliary leaders make recommendations for certain callings in ward council/correlation mtg, is there further prayer/consideration/Spiritual guidance by Ward Leaders?  I believe so and I hope so; just seems strange to get a calling quite similar to one I said no to a few months earlier.
      I've heard that Sunbeams coteacher in a former ward I was in received seven no's in response to callings and I can't judge anyone who turned it down as I wasn't part of those callings' issuance.  A friend of mine in college turned down a Primary call since she was a homemaker with three boys and said she needed a break.
      The non-linear part makes sense; we all don't progress in the same order of callings...BUT it seems odd to me to have received such a similar calling in multiple wards over many years, in a chartered organization that I do not support.
       
    • By hope_for_things
      I recently attended the Spirit of Dialogue conference at UVU and they are celebrating their 50th anniversary. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/50th-anniversary/spirit-of-dialogue-conference/
      It was a great meeting with wonderful guests.  One of the highlights for me was the last session, a discussion between Marlin Jensen (former church historian and emeritus status GA) and Gregory Prince.  The audio is posted at the above link.  He said something that I've been pondering about ever since the meeting.  In talking about the essays and the challenges that the information age presents to members he said:
      The part in bold is what I've been struggling to understand.  He mentioned meeting with many people over the years who're struggling with their membership.  Why is belief so important to him, and why is it a choice?  Why is it more important than who you choose as your spouse?  Why is belief the most important choice we will ever make in this life?  I don't get it.
      I have some thoughts, but I wanted to ask to the group.  Thanks
×
×
  • Create New...