“The Preaching of the Word”: Alma 31:5

Early in his ministry, when Alma was troubled by inequality among his people, he resigned his position of political authority and dedicated himself to his ecclesiastical role. “And this he did…that he might preach the word of God unto them…seeing no [other] way that he might reclaim them.” He had tremendous confidence in the power of the gospel to change hearts and minds, including the expectation to “pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people” (Alma 4:19).

Nine years later, Alma was alarmed by a group of people called the Zoramites. Politically, they were distancing themselves from the rest of the nation. Internally, there was tremendous inequality and oppression of the poor. Once again, Alma believed that preaching the gospel was the most effective way to resolve the problem:

And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God (Alma 31:5)

President Russell M. Nelson listed a few things that the word of God has power to do:

When I think of the Book of Mormon, I think of the word power. The truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls (“The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like Without It?” General Conference, April 2017).

And Douglas D. Holmes has discussed some of the effects that the word of God can have in our lives:

These words are more than ink on a page, sound waves in our ears, thoughts in our minds, or feelings in our hearts. The word of God is spiritual power. It is truth and light. It is how we hear Him! The word initiates and increases our faith in Christ and fuels within us a desire to become more like the Savior—that is, to repent and walk the covenant path (“Deep in Our Heart,” General Conference, April 2020).

Today, I will remember the power that the word of God can have in our lives. Like Alma, I will trust the power of the word of God to increase faith, motivate repentance, and strengthen me and others to face the challenges of life.

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