Alma teaches that humility before God always brings blessings, but the blessings are greatest for those who humble themselves rather than being humbled by outside circumstances and events.
“…He that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble…Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word of God, or even compelled to known, before they will believe.” (Alma 32:15-16)
-What does it mean to be compelled to be humble?
-If Christ’s Second Coming were to occur tomorrow, how many would be quickly compelled by outside circumstances to face their true standing with God?
-Is intentionally humbling oneself before God day in and day out (e.g. by keeping His commandments, serving others, having meaningful prayers, and studying His gospel) the only way not to be eventually compelled to be humble by circumstances and events?
Alma invites those who desire a Good Shepherd to forsake wickedness and become part of His people.
“…I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous, that the word of God may be fulfilled, which saith: The names of the wicked shall not be mingled with the names my people. For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand. And now my brethren, what have ye to say against this? I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not, for the word of God must be fulfilled.” (Alma 5:57-58)
-How does a person come out from among the wicked?
-How common are unclean things and unclean practices among the various cultures found throughout North America (for instance).
-Can unclean things and unclean practices be found regardless of where you live and what culture you are a part of?
-Are all those who have some involvement in unclean things necessarily wicked? Is true wickedness more likely to fester in unclean environments (even if it might be overbearing to say that everyone who touches that environment in any way is wicked)?
-How many touches does it take to be drawn into true wickedness?
-What does it take to move from wickedness to righteousness?
-What does it mean to be righteous?
-What does it mean to be granted an inheritance at God’s right hand?
The prophet Jacob describes the power that comes to those who are pure in heart, look to God with firmness of mind, and pray with exceeding faith:
“…I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.” (Jacob 3:1)
-What does it mean to be pure in heart? How can one obtain purity of heart?
-Do some expect remarkable blessings without looking to God with firmness of mind and without praying with exceeding faith?
-Do some keep their head bowed stubbornly in sorrow rather than receiving the pleasing word of God and rejoicing in the power of His love?