An Angel of the Lord Chastizes Alma the Younger and the Four Sons of King Mosiah -by Gary L. Kapp
This painting is a depiction of a remarkable answer to fervent prayer on the part of two fathers, Alma, the High Priest of the Ancient American land, Zarahemla, and his close associate and king, Mosiah. Alma, the younger and the king's four sons had gone through the kingdom secretly trying to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ and were having success.
These two fathers' prayers of faith were fully rewarded by the Lord. In our book of books, the Book of Mormon, we read what happened: Mosiah 27:11-37 (you most likely will choose not to use the Listen function provided you because this scripture begins with verse 1.)
Having just read that, you will have learned that because of their experience with the angel of God, all five of these young men made a complete turnabout in their lives. Alma became a great prophet and government leader. The sons of Mosiah, after pleading long and hard with their father for his permission to serve as missionaries to their nation's chief enemies, the Lamanites, were granted that opportunity. They became valiant and successful missionaries. They all remained faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ for the rest of their lives.
As a teenager in my hometown of Roseville, California, I first heard that Book of Mormon account at a fireside at the home of a family in our LDS ward. I was surprised that such a great prophet as Alma, could have once been an evil sinner.
I was old enough to know what sin could do to a person, namely, to me. I thought it amazing that one could make such great changes in themselves as Alma did. It actually gave me hope that I could be forgiven for my sins if Alma had been forgiven for all the greater evil He had done. I learned from Alma's experience that it was through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ that his and my redemption became possible. What comforting assurance to each of us!
The above-mentioned Book of Mormon account gives us the basic history of what happened when the prayers of the two fathers were answered. In Alma, Chapter 36 Alma the younger tells one of his sons about this experience. This account gives you Alma's first-hand account of this astounding event. You can read that entire chapter from your own copy of the Book of Mormon or by clicking: Alma 36:1-30
Just in case you decided not to do that much reading now, let me quote here a key thing Alma told his son in it: Alma 36:
15. Oh thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.
16. And now for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
17. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
18. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more.
20. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!There are other very sensitive, touching words spoken by Alma then, but I may be keeping you too long. If you desire to read it all, go back above and click on Alma 36:1-30 and read it.
THERE IS HOPE FOR EACH OF US NO MATTER WHAT EVIL WE MAY HAVE DONE!
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