Alma the Younger

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    Alma, the younger, was an unbeliever. Many times he had heard his father, Alma, urge the people to love God and keep the commandments. But he would not really listen, for he did not care about humbling himself nor about helping his neighbors. He did not want to go to church and worship God. There were many of the young people at that time who did not believe the words of their fathers; they would not be baptized or join the true church.

    Alma, the younger, was a good speaker, and with sweet words and much flattery he stole away the hearts of the people and led many of them away from the Church. He had four friends, the sons of Mosiah, who felt as he did. With Alma as their leader, they found excitement in doing wrong.

    The Lord loved Alma and his friends, but he did not like the things they were doing. One day as they were going about secretly trying to destroy the church of God and to lead away the people of the Lord, an angel appeared to them. The angel descended as it were in a cloud, and he spoke with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth where they stood to shake. And so great was their astonishment that they fell to the earth and could not understand what was said to them. The angel called again, “Alma, stand up and listen! Why do you persecute the church of God?”

    Alma could say nothing. The angel continued: “The Lord has heard the prayers of his people and also the prayers of your father, Alma, who has asked with much faith that you might see the truth. For this purpose, I have come to convince you of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith. Now, how can you dispute the power of God? I am sent from him to tell you to change your ways and seek to destroy the church no more.”

    Alma and the others with him fell again to the earth, and Alma’s astonishment was so great that he became dumb and could not open his mouth. And he became so weak that he could not even move his hands. His friends lifted him up and carried him, helpless, to his home. There they laid him before his father and told all that had happened to them. The father rejoiced, for he knew that all that had happened was because of the power of God.

    Then Alma, the elder, called all the people together that they might see what the Lord had done for his son and for those who were with him. And the people and the priests fasted and prayed that the Lord would bless Alma, the younger, and open his mouth that he might speak, and also that his limbs might receive their strength—that the eyes of the people might be opened to see and know of the goodness and glory of God.

    After two days and two nights Alma stood up and began to speak. And Alma said, “I rejected my Redeemer and denied the truths taught by our fathers; but I have repented of my sins and have come from darkness into light. The Lord remembers every creature of his creating, and he is God.”

    From this time on Alma and the four sons of Mosiah became missionaries. They brought many to the knowledge of the truth and declared to all the people that the Lord does truly reign.

    [illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Harston