(This is a duplicate post from my family blog)
Last week Darren and I were reading in the Book of Mormon about Alma's mission to the Zoramites. We were reading chapters 11 and 12, where Alma and Amulek are being questioned by Zeezrom and Antionah. I love these chapters! Alma and Amulek are amazing missionaries! I've always loved how Alma (the senior companion) testifies of and reiterates what Amulek (the junior companion) teaches, but last week I found several new things to love about these chapters.
In Alma 12:7 Mormon points out that Alma and Amulek "knew the thoughts and intents of [Zeezrom's] heart; for power was given to them that they might know of these things according to the spirit of prophecy." The spirit of prophecy is a gift of the spirit, (1 Cor 13:2, AoF 1:7, Alma 9:21) which I just taught about in Sunday School a few days before we read this verse!
As we were reading chapter 12 Darren observed that all of Alma's answers to Zeezrom and Antionah's questions were short and direct. We timed Alma's responses while I read them out lout. Alma taught principles such as having a prepared heart in one minute, and doctrines such as physical death vs. spiritual death in under four minutes. These four minutes aren't exactly just an overview of the doctrine either. It's powerful stuff! Many of the scriptures we used to teach this principle in the mission field are found within these verses. I think we (as a people) talk about fluff too much when we are trying to say important things. Comments in Sunday School sometimes run up to three minutes long, which, if not done carefully, can totally take over a teacher's lesson and throw it off course. Ok, sorry... that's a tangent. I have opinions about class comments. Comments are powerful tools that most people don't develop or use well. But more on that another time. Alma is an awesome teacher. He answers questions right away and doesn't beat around the bush and preface the answer with back story or unnecessary explanations. He is a great example to me!
Darren and I also had a brief discussion about Alma 12:10 which says that anyone can learn all the mysteries of God. I have a long way to go to get started, but I believe there are people on the earth right now who know a lot more about heaven and eternity than the rest of us. But they can't tell us, because we're not prepared. (See also 1 Nephi 10:19)
Not all of our family scripture readings generate so many thoughts and insights. But for us, at this time, Alma chapter 12 was great!