It Was the Cause of Great Sorrow to Alma – Alma 31:2

2 For it was the cause of great sorrow to Alma to know of iniquity among his people; therefore his heart was exceedingly sorrowful because of the separation of the Zoramites from the Nephites.
(Alma 31:2)

I can think of a number of possible reactions when we see others doing something wrong. Depending on the context, we might feel resentful, particularly if it looks like they’re “getting away with it.” We might feel some aversion, a desire to distance ourselves from them. We might feel angry and even vindictive, particularly if their actions are harming someone we love.

Alma felt sorrow. He knew that the wickedness of the Zoramites was not only causing pain to the Nephites but was causing pain to the Zoramites themselves. He loved them and wanted them to avoid that pain.

When we are baptized, we promise that we will “mourn with those that mourn” and “comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9). In other words, we promise to empathize with others: to feel sorrow when the people around us are unhappy, and to do something to ease their pain. Alma felt genuine empathy for the Zoramites, and his first inclination was to do whatever he could to help them see more clearly so that they could overcome their sins and stop feeling this pain.

Today, I will strive to follow Alma’s example of empathy. When I perceive that someone is making a mistake, I will feel sorrow, not anger, and I will strive to help them, not to condemn them.

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