22 January 2015

Alma 38: Bridle your passions, Shiblon!

Chapter 38 is another boring chapter, so I'll go through it pretty quickly. If you remember, in Chapter 37, Alma is just giving each one of his sons a bunch of advice in a big monologue (like Polonius does to Laertes in Hamlet, only less poetic.)

He has already given his speech to Helaman, so now he moves on to his next son, Shiblon. Shiblon doesn't get any gold plates or anything, so this chapter is quite a bit shorter. All Shiblon gets is a measly 15 verses, some of which I've skipped because they don't add much of anything to his speech.
Alma doesn't even appear to be trying very hard -- He says right from the get-go that he's just repeating to him what he already told Helaman.

Keep God's commandments. If you don't, he'll abandon you. 

My son, give ear to my words, for I say unto you, even as I said unto Helaman, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from his presence. Alma 38.1
And now, my son, I trust that I shall have great joy in you, because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God; for as you have commenced in your youth to look to the Lord your God, even so I hope that you will continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end. 38.2
But don't think that I'm just telling you stuff that I believe. This is stuff that God told me directly, through his spirit and by sending an angel messenger, with whom I spoke with face-to-face. 

Now, my son, I would not that ye should think that I know these things of myself, but it is the Spirit of God which is in me which maketh these things known unto me; for if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things. 38.6 
But behold, the Lord in his great mercy sent his angel to declare unto me that I must stop the work of destruction among his people; yea, and I have seen an angel face to face, and he spake with me, and his voice was as thunder, and it shook the whole earth. 38.7

I'm telling you this so you can be wise, and so that you know that the only way to be saved is through Christ. In case you missed that before. 

And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness. 38.9
Also, keep teaching, and be diligent and temperate.  
And now, as ye have begun to teach the word even so I would that ye should continue to teach; and I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things. 38.10
Don't get too proud, and don't start bragging about your wisdom or your strength. 
See that ye are not lifted up unto pride; yea, see that ye do not boast in your own wisdom, nor of your much strength. 38.11
Be bold, but not too overbearing, and hold in your passions while still being filled with love, and keep busy. 
Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness. 38.12
Pray because you mean it, not just to be seen praying, like the Zoramites do. 
Do not pray as the Zoramites do, for ye have seen that they pray to be heard of men, and to be praised for their wisdom. 38.13
Don't brag to God. He hates that. Be humble and apologetic, always. Acknowledge your unworthiness to God at all times
Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy—yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times. 38.14
And that's all I have to tell you. God bless you, son. Go teach the word to the people and be at peace. Oh, and lay off the bottle, ya filthy animal! 
And may the Lord bless your soul, and receive you at the last day into his kingdom, to sit down in peace. Now go, my son, and teach the word unto this people. Be sober. My son, farewell. 38.15

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