Don and I have started our second semester with the Pathway program. This semester we are studying the second half of the Book of Mormon: Alma 30 – Moroni 10. We also have a relatively easy math class. As part of our religion class, we are required submit an assignment every week called “Putting it All Together”. We have to choose a topic we have studied in the lesson for the week, reflect on what we have learned, and then create something that “puts what you are learning all together”. This week, and probably in many weeks ahead, I will be posting on my blog about something I have learned.
As part of our class on Thursday nights we work as a group on an activity that is directed by one of the other students. This week my group studied Alma 31:15-35 and “Praying with Sincerity and Faith”. This is the topic that I want to try to put my thoughts about and my learning all together in this post.
Chapter 31 in the book of Alma is about Alma’s mission to reclaim the apostate Zoramites. Alma, along with his brothers and sons, went to preach to the Zoramites because the Zoramites were dissenters from the Nephites. They had the gospel but then they made a lot of mistakes and became apostates. They didn’t keep the commandments, they didn’t pray daily, they denied Christ and worshiped once a week with set prayers.
In fact, in verses 15 to18, we can read a Zoramite prayer which they would cry out loudly while standing on top of a tower, called a Rameumpton, in the middle of their church with their hands stretched toward heaven. This prayer is filled with the words “us”, “we”, and “our”, showing the selfish nature of the Zoramites. They also deny Christ in verse 16 by saying that God had made it known to them that there won’t be a Christ. Alma and his brothers and sons had never seen this kind of worship before and they “were astonished beyond all measure”. Alma was saddened by the Zoramites and their pride and materialism so before he began to teach them, he prayed.
Alma’s prayer shows a strong belief in Christ. In every verse he cries out to the Lord. He knew that teaching the Zoramites would be a challenge and in his prayer he asks for help. He tells the Lord that his “heart is exceedingly sorrowful” and that their wickedness “doth pain my soul”. He doesn’t want the Zoramites to suffer in their wickedness anymore. He then asks for strength, patience, wisdom, and comfort as he tries to bring the Zoramites back to the Lord.
As I read Alma’s prayer in verses 26 to 35, I feel his love for the Zoramites and his faith in the Lord. He is sad at what the Zorzmites have become and he wants them to have the blessings of being righteous again. His need for specific qualities that will help him are asked with the faith that he will be given them. His prayer is powerful and sincere.
I know that my own prayers need to be more like Alma’s. When I pray, I need to remember to be sincere and truthful about my needs. I also need to have faith in my Heavenly Father’s abilities and timing. This is a struggle but the comparison of the Zoramite prayer and the prayer of Alma shows how important it is.