I Ought to Be Content – Alma 29:3

3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

The hymn “School Thy Feelings” teaches us not to smother our emotions, but nevertheless to “let wisdom’s voice control.” In this chapter, Alma demonstrates how he governs his feelings:

  1. He explicitly identifies emotions that are not good: “I do sin in my wish.” “I ought to be content.” “I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God.” (verses 3-4)
  2. He recalls the truths he knows, and he challenges feelings which conflict with those truths: “Seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?” (verses 5-8)
  3. He guides his mind through a series of thoughts designed to evoke appropriate and positive emotions, including:
    • reviewing his purpose (verse 9),
    • remembering how the Lord has blessed him (verse 10),
    • remembering how the Lord has blessed prior generations (verse 11-13),
    • finding joy in the success of his friends (verses 14-17).

Today, I will follow Alma’s example. I will identify and acknowledge inappropriate emotions in my own heart, and I will take responsibility to replace them with appropriate ones. I will also remember the power of worthy goals, gratitude, and unselfishness in overcoming negative emotions.

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