The Unexpected Success of Alma over Amulon

In the scriptures are many stories where God delivered his people without the people even having to fight. I wrote an post, God Will Fight Your Battles, that refers to many of these accounts.  I have been thinking about the principles in my last post, Unexpected Success, and how these principles are seen in these accounts.  One of these is the account of Alma and Amulon in Mosiah 23-24 in the Book of Mormon.

Alma had left the wicked society of King Noah. He and the people that went with him established a peaceful community. However, his peaceful city was discovered by Amulon, one of King Noah’s wicked priests who was now in league with the Lamanites.  As they approached Alma’s city, the people were afraid. The natural man response might have been to fight, resist, or do something to stop the bad guys.  However, Alma told his people to not fear, and that God would deliver them.  They all prayed that God would deliver them, and then Alma went and delivered he and his people into the hands of Amulon.  He didn’t even try to stop or resist this invasion. Sounds kind of wimpy to me… at least from the natural man perspective.

Life at this point was not easy for them, their lives were threatened, they were forced to labor as slaves. The account says that “so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.” Then they were told anyone caught praying would be executed.  I think it would have been easy to have a lot of fear, to feel hopeless.  Perhaps some wanted to fight t he occupying army.  But “the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions saying: Lift up your head and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them  out of bondage.” (Mosiah 24:13).  Then it describes how the Lord did comfort and strengthen them, and “they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” (Mosiah 24:15).  Then a miracle occurred, the Lord told them that he would deliver them the following day and that they should prepare to leave that night. As they arose the next morning their task-masters were in a profound sleep, and Alma and his people were free to simply walk away.

Notice how Alma and his people line up with the principles I outlined in Unexpected Success.

  1. I wasn’t worried about failure, I felt no stress or pressure.
  2. I was looking forward to it, even though I wasn’t good enough.
  3. I knew I would be OK even though I would likely fail.
  4. I knew that I was not good enough to succeed! And I was still at peace with myself.
  5. God can do it, whatever “it” is. There is nothing too hard for the Lord.

As I have studied the account and these 5 factors, I think the people met all of these… except I’m not sure about #2.

The account tells us that they “hushed” their fears. They submitted to the Lamanites and to the will of God, knowing they could not deliver themselves. They submitted cheerfully and with patience to the will of the Lord.  I don’t think it would have been possible to be cheerful and patient in this situation if they did not have great faith and hope that God would deliver them, that it was OK to be where they were and that it was all working towards a greater good. Being cheerful indicates they were connected to the Spirit of the Lord, and they knew that the will of the Lord would be done.  I think hushing their fears and yielding their natural man strength to the Lord, allowed a much greater power to work for them.

They did not have to “fight” to change things. They did not try to force anything, and they trusted in God’s purposes and timetable.  I would say that they were at peace while in bondage. Thus the Lord was able to perform the unexpected miracle of causing the task-masters to sleep in. A very simple solution from God’s vantage point. God was able to deliver them even though they did nothing to deliver themselves, except yield to God.  They did not “earn” deliverance by trying every possible strategy to escape. Sometimes we think God will only help once we have exhausted all of our resources and tried everything. As if he will only help after we have failed in every possible way. But these people didn’t even make one attempt to escape. There is great power in letting go of all fear, yielding everything to God, acknowledging that we can’t do it, being at peace (cheerful) in the present, and being patient because the Lord’s timing is for the greatest good, All of this allowed the Lord to provide the miracle they could have never orchestrated on their own.

What miracles will appear in our lives as we follow this pattern? In Brent Satterfield’s book, “Faith to Produce Miracles” these principles are explained in greater depth, I highly recommend it.

If you have any insights or thoughts to share, please do!

 

Advertisements

About Arden Compton

I love helping people be the best that they can be. Addiction, stress, limiting beliefs & emotions, and bothersome memories are my specialties. I am happily married to my wife Cheryl, we have 7 robust, growing children. I like to ballroom dance, play volleyball, and enjoy the beauty of nature!
This entry was posted in All things are possible, Faith, Grace, trust in God and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Unexpected Success of Alma over Amulon

  1. Here is a quote from Stephen Palmer that goes along with what you are saying: Spirit said to Mind, “I keep giving you inspiration and ideas of things to try. Books to write. Businesses to launch. Products to develop. People to serve. Why haven’t you acted on any of them?”

    Mind said, “I’m afraid of going out on a limb and taking risks. I worry that things won’t work out, that I’ll fail, and that I won’t be able to handle the consequences of failure.”

    “Ah, said Spirit, “you haven’t yet learned basic trust.”

    “Basic trust? What do you mean by that?” asked Mind.

    “Basic trust is the deep, innate knowing that life is fundamentally benevolent — that everything that happens is for your ultimate benefit. It is faith in action. It is leaping with complete trust that a net will appear — and if a net doesn’t appear, it is for your own good.

    “Meditation teacher Phillip Moffitt put it this way:

    ‘Innate trust is based on the understanding that if you live mindfully moment to moment and have the intention to act according to your values even in difficult or confusing situations, your life will unfold in the most harmonious manner possible…You surrender measuring your life by future outcomes, concentrating instead on how well you are able to be present in this moment.’

    “Basic trust is a complete surrendering to life as it is, letting go of fear and anxiety, tuning into your essential nature, and acting without effort.

    “The irony is that you haven’t tried any of my ideas because you think all of them will be too hard. Yet that very thought is precisely what has made you work so hard your entire life.

    “Your problem isn’t that you’re unwilling to do hard things. On the contrary, your problem is that you work too hard and strive too much. Everything you do is effort because you’re unwilling to surrender your delusions and attachments — your fear of what might happen and your attachment to what you want to happen.”

    Mind stiffened defensively. “What’s wrong with working and striving? Anything worth accomplishing requires effort.”

    “‘Take no thought for your life,’ Spirit quoted, “‘what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink…Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them…Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? …Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’

    “What do you think Christ meant by that?”

    “I dunno,” Mind shrugged. “Sounds like a bunch of mystical mumbo-jumbo to me.”

    “Nature works but it doesn’t work,” Spirit patiently explained. “A flower doesn’t try or strive to be a flower — it just is a flower. Basic trust is tuning into your inner nature and, like a flower, simply being who you are versus trying to be something.

    “When you are in attached striving mode, you are fighting against your nature. You are not trusting in the universe to supply everything you need. You play all kinds of manipulation games to get what you want because you’re so desperately afraid that you won’t be taken care of.”

    “You call it fear,” Mind protested, “but I call it responsibility. Without working hard I would be an apathetic loser, a couch potato, a leech living off the efforts of other people.”

    “Is that really who you are underneath all your egoic striving?” Spirit asked gently.

    “I don’t know,” Mind conceded.

    “Exactly,” Spirit laughed. “But trust me — I do know who you really are, and it’s not that.”

    Mind thought for a moment, trying to find the loopholes, as usual. “Okay, you say that when I live from basic trust my life is effortless. So does that mean that every time I encounter opposition, I’m off track?”

    “Good question,” Spirit said. “Basic trust doesn’t mean you won’t encounter obstacles when you’re on the right path. It isn’t about the obstacles themselves — it’s about your attitude towards them.

    “Basic trust says, Whatever happens is for a benevolent reason.’ It is understanding that obstacles get placed in your path for a reason, and that reason is to help you in some way.

    “When a flower root encounters a rock, it doesn’t say, ‘I’m off path.’ It simply grows around the rock — and it does so without trying or striving.

    “If you’re trying too hard, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re off path. It could mean exactly that: you’re trying too hard.

    “When you feel like you’re trying too hard it’s usually because your attitude isn’t right in relation to your obstacles. You’re frustrated by them. You’re feeling entitled to a path with no obstacles. That’s not basic trust.

    “Dealing with obstacles doesn’t have to mean hard work and effort and striving. You can deal with obstacles with a cheerful, effortless attitude.”

    For the first time in a long time, Mind was completely silent.

    “Okay. I think I get it,” he finally said. “So how do I actually do it?”

    Spirit smiled and said, “Leave that to me.”

    Like

    • Arden Compton says:

      Those are some great thoughts. The only variation I would make is that I am not looking to the Universe to provide, it is God that provides.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s