18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
There are several stories in the Book of Mormon in which an individual experiences a profound transformation through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Alma’s experience is striking to me for several reasons:
- Even though it was prompted by an angelic messenger, Alma makes clear the role of his agency. The turning point was not the appearance of the angel; it was his decision to pray for help.
- The relief came immediately, as soon as he asked the right question. Because he had been taught about the Savior, he knew what to do when the crisis came.
- Just as we saw yesterday with King Lamoni, Alma experienced both “light” and “joy” simultaeously. That is, the power of God illuminated both his mind and his heart.
I’m grateful for Alma’s example of prayer and of reliance on the saving power of Jesus Christ. Today, I will pray in faith, knowing that my Heavenly Father can and will bless me when I reach out to Him for help.