8 And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.
9 Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.
10 And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and iniquities, to the knowledge of their Redeemer?
As the prophet Alma delivered the sacred records of his people to his son Helaman, he emphasized to his son the importance of these records. As he states in the passage above, this spiritual history served the following three purposes:
- They had enlarged the memory of the people. Remembering God and remembering our duty toward him is essential to our discipleship, as Alma emphasizes to his son several times in this chapter (Alma 37:13-14, 32, 35). A written spiritual history functions as a memory enhancer. It allows us to re-engage in the spiritual experiences of the past and to review the principles we have learned in an unchanging format.
- They had convinced many of the error of their ways. As we compare our lives and our beliefs with the word of God, we are able to identify areas in our lives where we need to repent. We may need to change our behavior. We may need to change our beliefs. The scriptures give us the opportunity to identify those areas and to begin the process of change.
- They had brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God. God’s ways are higher than our ways, and so we need to be taught His ways. The scriptures provide us with knowledge which we can only gain by revelation from God. In particular, the scriptures teach us how to approach Christ so that He can free us from our sins.
Today, I will be grateful for the power of the scriptures. I will remember that the scriptures can enlarge my memory of spiritual truths, help me identify areas I need to change, and teach me how to receive the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life.