A common theme in our reading assignment this week was watching disciples of Christ be willing
to let go of all of their worldly desires and essentially " lose themselves " in the service of God. ( JST, Mark 8:37-38 )
We watched Alma give up the judgement seat in order to go on a mission and teach baptism and repentance. ( Alma 4)
We watched Amulek leave all of his gold, silver, family and possessions for the word of God. We watched him be rejected by those who were once his friend , and also by his own father and his kindred. ( Alma 15:16 )
We then saw Alma reunite with the sons of Mosiah; and learned that after fourteen-years they were still on their mission to serve God; even though they had an opportunity to have position in their father's kingdom.
The faithfulness and deep love that these disciples of Christ showed to Him; reminded me of the opposing decision of The Rich Young Ruler whom was asked of Christ Himself to sell all that he had and come follow Him, when he asked how to gain eternal life? ( Mark 10:17-23 ) as he did not follow and let go of his worldly status and life for the Lord.
Had Alma, The sons of Mosiah and Amulek decided not to give up their worldly desires they may not have experienced " many afflictions; both in body and mind, such as hunger, thirst, fatigue and much labor in spirit. " ( Alma 17:5 )
They would not have been subjected to watch innocent women , children and scriptures be burnt. ( Alma 14: 8 )
They would not have been "
bound; smote on their cheeks; mocked for many days; withheld from food and water that they might thirst." ( Alma 14:22 )
But, they would not have been doing what they were asked to do by God, like we learn from the recent conference talk titled " The Cost and Blessings of our Discipleship" by Elder Holland.
He reminds us that; all of us as members of His church, " may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous stand in high school, or to go on a mission? " But , the alternative is worse, " to have our houses left unto us desolate. Desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations."
Throughout these trials a stronger faith is born; and the hand of the Lord does shine down upon us as we also did witness as " the Lord did grant Alma and Amulek power, and their bands were loosed and the prison fell to the earth." ( Alma 14:28 )
And these " brethren in the Lord " did experience moments that they did " rejoice exceedingly " ( Alma 17:2 )
And, I have no doubt that these disciples of Christ are joyfully still working for our God; and as President Monson said, " The Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives."
We might not have been told we should leave our jobs as Alma was. We might not be in the time in our lives that we can go or are supposed to leave on a full-time mission, but we have been asked to do something by the First Presidency; whom speaks for the Lord. This month they said to us;
" During this Christmas season and always, may we give to Him by loving as He loves. May we through simple acts of kindness, charity and compassion fill the world with the light of His loved and healing power. "