What Does It Mean to Be “Easy to Be Entreated?”

After calling the people of Zarahemla to repentance, the prophet Alma traveled to the city of Gideon. He was pleased to find that the people of Gideon had humbled themselves and that they were not in “the state of dilemma” that the people of Zarahemla had been in. “I perceive that ye are in the paths of righteousness,” he said (Alma 7:18-19).

But he still had some advice for them. Among other things, he told them that they should be “easy to be entreated” (Alma 7:23).

Years later, the prophet Nephi lamented the stubbornness of his people and longed for an earlier day when people were “easy to be entreated” (Helaman 7:7).

And the prophet James would later advise the saints that “earthy” and “sensual” people indulge in “envying and strife,” while people who are in harmony with heaven are “easy to be entreated” (James 3:13-17).

To entreat is to “ask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something.” When someone entreats you, they really need your help. I’ve thought today about what I can do to make it easier for people to entreat me. Here are my thoughts:

  1. When one of my children asks me for help, I am often in the middle of something. Or at least I’m painfully aware of my long list of urgent tasks. It’s so easy to say, “I’m very busy. I can’t help you right now.” Perhaps that is sometimes the right answer. But am I doing that too often? Is a request from my child more important in the long run than the next item on my to-do list?
  2. At work, I can justify closing my office door to complete a project which requires my concentration. Sometimes this is necessary, but would it be easier for my employees to talk with me if my door were open more often?
  3. When I accept an assignment, do I fulfill it quickly and reliably? If the other person has to remind me what I agreed to and ask when it will be done, have I made it more difficult for them to make other requests?
  4. Am I a “spiritual first responder?” When I feel inspired to do something, do I act on the prompting immediately, or do I wait for a second or a third nudge?
  5. Have I filled my schedule with so many projects, activities, and obligations that I have no time to serve the people around me? Can I carve out more space in my schedule so that there is room for people to ask for my help?

Today, I will slow down a little, simplify my calendar, value the face time I have with family and others, and prioritize their needs over my to-do list. I will be more responsive to requests from others and to promptings from God. I will strive to be “easy to be entreated.”

11 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Be “Easy to Be Entreated?”

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    1. We get “easy to be untreated” from the Greek word eupeithes which interpreted means “good for persuasion”. I believe a wisdom that is from above ( James 3:17) teaches us to be persuaded. People can approach us and we can reasonably listen to what they have to say. That’s not to say they can talk us into things contrary to Gods word, however. Just a thought.

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      1. Thank you for the insight. I suppose that a person who is hard-hearted can’t be persuaded of anything. But when we are humble, we are persuadable. (Not gullible, as you point out, but open to considering new evidence and other points of view).

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  1. I was just studying this phrase in James and stumbled across your post. Great insights. In modern terms, I think that being “easy to be entreated” means to be approachable.

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    1. Thanks for the comment! I like your concise definition of the phrase. I agree that being approachable is a good way to paraphrase this admonition and is a worthy goal.

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  2. Hi Paul, I just read Alma 7. I to wanted a better understanding of “easy to be entreated “. I really like what you said about being “a spiritual first responder”. Often people ask “let me know what I can do to help” when visiting someone going through a trial. Maybe someone going through a trial lacks humility to ask or doesn’t know what they need. I like the idea of praying and receiving a prompting (revelation) to know how to help.It ties in with President Nelson’s first talk about revelation..

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I agree that people often won’t ask for the help they need, and the Lord can help us know what to do if we are willing to listen and respond. Thank you for sharing your impressions!

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