Alma 32b – Plant the Word

The WORD is referred to again in this part of Alma chapter 32.

“We will compare the WORD unto a SEED.” (28)

When I was younger, I always heard that faith was the seed we had to plant in our hearts and nourish. But this verse is quite clear that the WORD is the SEED. Faith isn’t a noun, it’s a verb. The Word is the noun to be planted in our hearts. Faith comes into play after we do this.

Now, if ye give place, that a seed [or the word] may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed [or true words—the truth], if ye do not cast is out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts [those words we have heard—we will be pondering them, thinking about them, wondering about them, forming questions about them]; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must be that this is a good seed, or that the WORD is good, for it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.”

Alma 32:28

This belief in the good WORD of God increases our faith as we feel the deliciousness of truth. As the seed, or word, sprouts and grows within us—our testimony increasing—we come to know that it is good and our faith increases.

And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed [or word], and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.

And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing [whatever word you have considered and pondered and acted upon], and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that our understanding doth begin to be enlightened [this happens by the Spirit] and your mind doth begin to expand.”

Alma 32-33-34

But Alma says after all this they must not lay their faith aside “for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed [word] that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.” (36)

And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up and bring forth fruit unto us. And now, behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.

Alma 32:27

How do we nourish the good word of God in our lives?

Alma mentions ‘with great care, that it may get root.’

Our faith and testimony of God’s words does not thrive under passive care or outright neglect.

The alkaline clay soil in my yard is the worst soil I’ve ever dealt with, for growing things. If I want anything to grow in it, I have to amend the soil, add nutrients and compost to help it breathe and drain properly.

It’s the same with my testimony. I can’t just expect it to grow if I don’t take great care to nourish it. What are my weaknesses or deficiencies? Figure these out, then work to amend my soul and add nutrients, so that the word may grow in me.

I can’t just plant seedlings in my yard and expect them to grow, even with all the soil amendments. I must take great care to water it properly—not too much, not too little. I must make sure it gets sunshine, trimming so that the root can take hold properly and send out runners.

If we neglect our soil—our testimonies—when trials come, they will wither up and die, not because the word of God was bad, “but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.” (39)

And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.”

Alma 32:40

Here is where faith comes into play, regarding the word.

But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.”

Alma 32:41

The next verse tells about the precious fruit we can expect to reap if we nourish our testimonies in faith.

It “is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all this is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.”

Alma 32:42

Hope and belief push us to experiment upon the WORD of God so we can exercise faith to KNOW spiritual things for ourselves. The Holy Ghost gives us knowledge as He enlightens our understanding of spiritual and godly principles and makes our mind expand.  

Don’t stop nourishing your roots.

Someone can have great knowledge of the gospel. They can have visions, revelations, and be firmly rooted in Jesus Christ, like a hundred foot tall tree in an ancient forest. But if we don’t nourish that tree (and the bigger the tree, the more nourishment it needs), it will wither and die, or get knocked down in one of Satan’s storms.

And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.”

Alma 32:40

~~~

Resources:

Come Follow Me manual – Book of Mormon 2020

If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these comments.

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