In this second half of Amulek’s speech, he makes a good point. He says if they do all these things—repentance, prayer, and exercise faith—and then “turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.” (28)
What kind of prayers am I offering?
- Do I pray that people will be blessed and hearts lifted, and then stand up from my bed and go about the rest of my day never thinking of anyone but myself?
- Do I pray for revelation, but not open up the word of God to study or learn from it?
- Do I pray for health, and then go eat a bag of potato chips and half a carton of ice cream while I binge watch the latest TV series on Netflix?
- Do I pray for peace and then slander and ridicule others on social media who do not agree with me?
- Do I pray that hunger and suffering will be relieved from the world but never bother trying to figure out how I could help, even just a little?
Amulek goes on to say: “Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.” (29)
Let us be of worth by smiling, lifting up others, instead of tearing them down, seeking ways (every small effort counts) to eliminate hunger, sadness, suffering, and other needs of our brothers and sisters around us.
We all lived with God before this earth life. We are all spiritual brothers and sisters. So, don’t look down on anyone. Help them. Work to see the best in those around you, and in doing so, you will start to see the best in yourself as well.
Amulek tells them to bring for “fruit unto repentance.” (30) Helping others is that fruit we can see. It is evidence of a soft, humble heart that has been touched by the Savior’s Atonement.
Amulek urges them to not harden their hearts any longer “for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.” (31)
Immediately. I love that thought.
As soon as we repent and let the Savior soften our hearts, His plan of redemption works in our life. He doesn’t make us wait. We can be cleansed immediately.
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”Alma 34:32
Amulek tells them bluntly to “not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us [a gift] to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.” (33)
He suggests that the reason we can’t put off repentance is that the “same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the tie that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world” (34)
Then he goes on to say that “The Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell.” (36)
Amulek tells them to “contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.” (38)
Contend not against the Holy Ghost.
To me this means not doubting promptings or justifying wicked behavior when we feel that small voice tell us to stop doing something bad or to do something good. When you contend with a person, you argue or fight against them.
When I get promptings, do I argue or try to justify why I shouldn’t obey?
Receive the Holy Ghost.
We are meek, humble, and willing to trust God. Open to His direction and counsel.
Take upon me the name of Christ.
One of the three baptismal covenants I have made. Do I reflect Christ in all my thoughts, deeds and words?
Humble myself to the dust.
This denotes putting away every ounce of wicked and selfish pride, and being willing to do God’s will, not mine.
Worship God wherever I am.
Don’t just worship Him on Sunday or when I say my prayers. My thoughts and praises can happen constantly in my mind throughout each day.
Live in thanksgiving daily.
That means my eyes are open to see all He blesses me with. Gratitude can bring joy even when trials abound. Gratitude keeps our hearts soft and our eyes open to eternity
Be watchful unto prayer continually.
This is covered in verse 39. Communication with God will help me not be led away into temptation and be overcome by him.
But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.”Alma 34:41
Endure trials, afflictions, and ridicule with faith that God will bless us in the end. Be patient with His timeline. Patience is brought up over and over again in regards to afflictions. Be patience in afflictions. This is why we came to earth, to be tried.
Have firm hope in Christ
Be patient and be cheerful because of our hope in Christ—that someday, our afflictions will end and all will be set right.
All of these attributes and traits are fruits of repentance. They become part of our nature the closer we come to God through Christ’s Atoning power.
The world tells us to worry only about ourselves and do whatever it takes to get to the top, even if we need to shove others down around us. But those are bitter fruits of the evil one.
These traits–helping others, seeking the Holy Spirit, having patience and love, taking Christ’s name upon us, being humble and praying, thanking God for all we have–those are the fruits that are sweet and most delicious to our souls.