13 And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy; and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved.
Alma consistently sees things with an eternal perspective. Is it good to be poor? Is it good to be persecuted? Of course not, and yet for this group of people, poverty and persecution are a tremendous blessing. Why? Because those circumstances are activating humility in their hearts and are teaching them wisdom. Consider the formula Alma provides in verse 13:
The blue boxes represent our choices in the process:
- We can be compelled to be humble, but what will we choose to do at that point? Humility sometimes leads to repentance, but not always. Mormon was encouraged when his people began to sorrow because of their afflictions. “But behold,” he wrote, “this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin” (Mormon 2:13). The choice is ours.
- Repentance always leads to mercy. Heavenly Father is perfectly reliable. But that mercy will only lead to salvation if we continue along the path that we have started. As Nephi taught, “unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved” (2 Nephi 31:16).
Today, I will remember the role of my agency in receiving the grace of God. I will choose to repent and to endure my trials faithfully, so that I can receive wisdom and mercy, and can move forward along the path toward salvation.