16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
17 And he said unto Alma: Thou shalt go before this people, and I will go with thee and deliver this people out of bondage.
Faith – Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth.
Patience – The suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. patience may spring from constitutional fortitude, from a kind of heroic pride, or from christian submission to the divine will (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary).
After Alma and his people organized a church and established a city, everything seemed to be going very well. Mormon tells us that “they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam.” But he adds ominously, “Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith” (Mosiah 23:20-21).
Alma and his people soon found themselves in captivity. When they tried to pray, their captors threatened them with death. So they prayed silently and received quiet assurances that they would be delivered–eventually. Mormon tells us that the Lord strengthened them so that they could bear their burdens more easily and that “they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord” (Mosiah 24:10-15). Finally, after demonstrating their faithfulness over time, the Lord provided the blessing they had been waiting for. As we read in the passage above, “so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.”
Patience is not begrudging resignation. It is also not detached indifference. As Neal A. Maxwell taught, “[Patience] is caring very much, but being willing, nevertheless, to submit both to the Lord and to what the scriptures call the ‘process of time'” (“Patience,” BYU Devotional Address, 27 November 1979).
Patience and faith go together. Faith would not be worth very much if it were transient, lasting only a short period of time. Thus “you receive no witness until after the trial of your faith” because you can only demonstrate the depth of your faith by sustaining it over time. (See Ether 12:6.)
Today, I will exercise faith in the Lord by being patient. I will strive to face difficulties and delays “with a calm unruffled temper” and “without murmuring or fretfulness.” I will remember that patience is a companion of faith and that blessings will come as I develop and exercise both of these virtues.