Therefore, I Shall Forbear – Alma 37:11-12

11 Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.
12 And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.
I admire Alma’s restraint. On several occasions in his writings, we get a glimpse of his enthusiasm for gospel learning and his eagerness to seek answers to important questions. Sometimes, as in the passage above, he approaches the boundary between what he knows and what he only suspects. On those occasions, as a conscientious teacher, he clearly identifies his opinions and reiterates his testimony of the truths he does know. I’m impressed with the self-awareness and the self-control in the words “I shall forbear.” Consider also the following examples (italics added by me):

Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven.
But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works (Alma 40:20-21).

Behold, I do not say that he will come among us at the time of his dwelling in his mortal tabernacle; for behold, the Spirit hath not said unto me that this should be the case. Now as to this thing I do not know; but this much I do know, that the Lord God hath power to do all things which are according to his word (Alma 7:8)

Today, I will follow Alma’s example of self-discipline in teaching. When I have the opportunity to share the gospel, I will share the truths I know with conviction, and I will be careful not to misrepresent my opinions as facts.

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