5 And I trust, according to the Spirit of God which is in me, that I shall also have joy over you; nevertheless I do not desire that my joy over you should come by the cause of so much afflictions and sorrow which I have had for the brethren at Zarahemla, for behold, my joy cometh over them after wading through much affliction and sorrow.
6 But behold, I trust that ye are not in a state of so much unbelief as were your brethren; I trust that ye are not lifted up in the pride of your hearts; yea, I trust that ye have not set your hearts upon riches and the vain things of the world; yea, I trust that you do not worship idols, but that ye do worship the true and the living God, and that ye look forward for the remission of your sins, with an everlasting faith, which is to come.
Everyone wants to be trusted. We feel empowered and motivated to be better and to do more when we feel that other people trust us, especially the people we respect and admire. I remember how energized I felt as a missionary when my mission president was willing to trust me with difficult assignments.
As Alma spoke to the people of Gideon for the first time, he led with trust. By his own admission, he didn’t know where they were spiritually. Furthermore, he had just come from Zarahemla, where he needed to call the people to repentance and set in order the church. Arriving in Gideon, he gave the people the benefit of the doubt and assumed the best. He spoke of his “great hopes and much desire” that they were humble and righteous. And then, five times he said, “I trust.” He trusted that they were humble and righteous, and that they believed in God and worshipped Him. At the end of the talk, he told them that the Spirit had confirmed that his trust was well-placed, that they were walking humbly and righteously.
In October, 2012, President Monson counseled priesthood leaders to express confidence in those they lead:
We need to be told that we amount to something, that we are capable and worthwhile. We need to be given a chance to serve…. We must develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become (“See Others as They May Become“).
Today, I will make a conscious effort to express confidence in those around me, especially my children, to give them the benefit of the doubt, and to see them not only as they are but as they can become.