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


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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.

 

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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.

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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!
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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.

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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?

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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!
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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.

 

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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.

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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. 

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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? 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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

 

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