Bridle All Your Passions – Alma 38:12

12 Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.

Alma encourages his son Shiblon to do three things in this short verse:

  1. Be bold without being overbearing.
  2. Bridle all your passions, so that you can love others.
  3. Keep yourself busy.

I have usually heard this verse quoted in the context of the law of chastity, but I decided today to think of the word “passion” more broadly. I can easily become focused on a goal or on a project to the detriment of my relationships with other people. As a creative person, I love to immerse myself fully in an activity: to get “into the zone.” But I also recognize that the very passion which brings me joy and helps me be successful can distance me from the people around me if I don’t keep it in check.
Today, I resolved to discipline myself in that way: to work hard and to be bold, but pay attention to the people around me and adapt to their needs. It’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve been happier and more productive as I’ve made an effort to be more adaptive and collaborative. We completed several projects around our home, including painting the basement, and I believe that I have participated more effectively than usual in today’s family projects because of my concerted effort to bridle my passions today, so that I can be filled with love.

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