Alma 16 – Prepared Hearts

The tenth year ends. And in the eleventh year, a cry of war sounds throughout the land. The Lamanites make a surprise attack, and before the Nephites can gather an army, they wipe out the city of Ammonihah and take captives from around the borders.  

The chief captain of the Nephites is named Zoram. He seems to be a good guy, because him and his two sons, Lehi and Aha, consult with Alma, the high priest, on where to send their armies to recapture their people the Lamanites took.

Alma inquires of the Lord on the matter (6) and receives a very specific answer. He tells them where to go to meet the Lamanites and that the Lord will deliver the hostages. Zoram and his sons go and retrieve their people, and not one of the hostages is lost.

That ends the eleventh year of the reign of the judges (9). The city of Ammonihah has been totally destroyed, “yea, every living soul of the Ammonihahites was destroyed, and also their great city, which they said God could not destroy, because of its greatness. (9) “But behold, in one day it was left desolate…” (10)

Not only was it destroyed, it was left desolate. Their dead are covered up in shallow graves.

And now so great was the scent thereof that the people did not go in to possess the land of Ammonihah for many years. And it was called the Desolation of Nehors.”

Alma 16:11

The Lamanites don’t come again to war against them for three more years. Alma and Amulek continue teaching repentance to the people “without any respect of persons, continually.” (14)

And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hears to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming.”

Alma 16:16

How do we prepare our hearts to receive God’s words?

There was no inequality among the people during these years, which suggests they were caring for their poor and needy, sharing of their bounty so none went without.

Do I do all I can to help the downtrodden around me?

They had the Spirit prepare their minds first, and then their hearts. To me, that suggests spiritual study, actually opening up the scriptures that contain God’s words and reading them to search for truth.

Do I do that?

The next verse shows the results of a prepared heart.

That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.”

Alma 16:17

They are humble and full of faith. They receive spiritual truths with joy and enter into the rest of the Lord.

How do you think the rest of the Lord would feel like?

The priests go about preaching against all manner of evil (18) and telling the people that Christ will appear unto them after His resurrection. The time period is about 78 years before Christ will be born of Mary in the old world. This prophesy brings them “great joy and gladness.” (20)

Is my heart prepared to Hear God with great joy and gladness, because He has promised that He will reveal truth to us if we believe in His Son Jesus Christ.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

Moroni 10:4-5, Book of Mormon

 ~~~

Resources

Come Follow Me Manual – Book of Mormon 2020

Alma 16 – Book of Mormon

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