17 April 2019

Alma 58:11

We have a Sunday Jar filled with ideas on different ways that we can spend time together after church. The activities vary from playing a board game together, taking a walk or exploring a new area of town, learning something new, indexing family history information, or even memorizing a scripture. When Scott was a missionary for our church, he chose to memorize a lot of different scriptures that would help him relate the scriptures to personal experiences of those he was teaching. Since we have been married, we haven't memorized many scriptures together. One Sunday earlier this year, we decided that we had some extra time to ourselves on a Sunday afternoon and we would choose one of our Sunday Jar activities - which of course was to memorize a scripture, since I'm bringing it up now.

Scott and I discussed whether there were any scriptures that we wanted to memorize together that we hadn't memorized already. Scott couldn't think of any off-hand, so I turned to my Gospel Library app for scriptures that I had tagged to come back to later and ponder more. One of those scriptures was in the book of Alma within the Book of Mormon.

11 Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

Background to this scripture - Alma and his people are in the middle of a war, and while Alma is a prophet, he had volunteered to serve in the military, commanding an army of young men. Conditions for that little army weren't great - they were hungry and needed more provisions. These young men weren't experienced fighters and needed more men to strengthen their ranks. There was a lot of pressure to maintain their homeland villages that they had been able to capture back from the enemy. Because of these pressures, the young men became fearful, as I imagine was their leader who wasn't a trained military man. But he and his little army were men of faith, and they turned to God in prayer for assistance.

As I was studying the scriptures, this verse had stood out to me as a message of hope and potentially a pattern of how our Heavenly Father answers prayers in the midst of turbulent times - not necessarily immediate relief, but with feelings of peace, a boost in faith, and hope for a solution.

The timing could not have been better to work on learning and memorizing this scripture as we debated two potential job offers. The answer to this employment dilemma wasn't initially clear, and this verse reminded us to be prayerful and look for God's assurances to guide us.