“I Have Spoken Unto You Plainly” – Alma 5:43

From the beginning of the Book of Mormon, Nephi set the standard: in this book, the word of God would be preached in plainness.

  • In the opening chapter, Nephi’s father, Lehi, sees a vision which “[manifests] plainly” to him “of the coming of the Messiah” (1 Nephi 1:19).
  • Nephi later foresees a time when corrupt individuals would intentionally remove “plain and precious” truths from the scriptures, causing others to “dwindle in unbelief” (1 Nephi 11:20-40).
  • Nephi testified that God “doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men” (2 Nephi 26:33).
  • Nephi also said, “My soul delighteth in plainness,” (2 Nephi 31:3) and, “I glory in plainness” (2 Nephi 33:6).

Following Nephi’s example, Jacob, Enos, and King Benjamin all made it a point to teach the gospel plainly (2 Nephi 9:47, Jacob 2:11, Enos 1:23, Mosiah 2:40). Every one of them recognized that clarity was key, that they needed to raise their voices with confidence and with precision, so that their people would understand what God wanted them to do.

When Alma resigned as chief judge, his intention was to dedicate himself to declaring the word of God. He saw his people drifting from the path of discipleship, and he knew that their suffering could only be alleviated by following the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ ( Alma 4:19).

In the city of Zarahemla, he delivered a heartfelt sermon, speaking “in the energy of [his] soul.” Near the end of the sermon, he said, “I have spoken unto you plainly that ye cannot err” (Alma 5:43). He knew that “plainness of speech” would send the message that the people needed to hear.

As President Russell M. Nelson recently taught:

The adversary is clever. For millennia he has been making good look evil and evil look good. His messages tend to be loud, bold, and boastful.
However, messages from our Heavenly Father are strikingly different. He communicates simply, quietly, and with such stunning plainness that we cannot misunderstand Him.
(“Hear Him,” General Conference, April 2020)

Today, I will speak plainly. Particularly when I have the opportunity to teach the gospel, I will strive to teach true principles with simplicity and with accuracy. I will strive for clarity, so that my messages can be beneficial to others.

 

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