14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
What if Alma’s questions were added to the temple recommend interview? Can you imagine sitting across from a bishop and having to answer questions like the three above? Think about some of the other questions Alma asks later in the chapter:
- “Can ye look up to God…with a pure heart and clean hands?” (v. 19)
- “Are ye stripped of pride?” (v. 28)
- “[Are ye] stripped of envy?” (v. 29)
- [For those members who say yes to the questions in the verse above]: “Can ye feel so now?” (v. 26)
I remember how I felt when I first heard President Ezra Taft Benson’s talk, “Beware of Pride.” I was motivated to repent and to improve myself. I recognized that I fell short of what I should be, and I wanted to do better.
I feel the same way as I study Alma chapter 5: I still have so much to learn about myself, so far to go in developing Christlike attributes and desires. But the distance between my current state and my potential is energizing and motivating, not depressing. Alma’s words remind me that I’m still on a path, and I need to keep moving forward.
Today, I will be grateful for the growth I have experienced as I’ve walked the path of discipleship and I will be mindful of the distance I have yet to travel. In the words of Robert Frost, I will remember that “I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” (“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923).