The King of Glory Shall Come In

Alma urged the people of Zarahemla to prepare themselves for a glorious event:

Repent, all ye ends of the earth, for the kingdom of heaven is soon at hand; yea, the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion. Yea, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, that the Spirit saith: Behold the glory of the King of all the earth; and also the King of heaven shall very soon shine forth among all the children of men.

Alma 5:50

These words are reminiscent of the following psalm:

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Psalm 24:7-8

This psalm likely commemorated a historical event: the arrival of the ark of the covenant at Jerusalem. (See 2 Samuel 6:15, 17-18.) But it also anticipated a future event: the literal arrival of God on the earth.

Alma looked forward to the Savior’s coming with enthusiasm:

We only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels, of his coming; for the time cometh, we know not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day; but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice.

Alma 13:25

Alma did not live to see the arrival of the glorified Savior on the American continent. That privilege would fall to his great-great grandson, Nephi. (See 3 Nephi 11:18-20.) But Alma models something important in this passage: We can feel joy today because of a future event that is certain to happen. We need not wait until the event occurs to feel that happiness.

George Frederick Handel captured that feeling of joyful anticipation in his setting of the passage from Psalm 24. Here is a performance by the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square:

Today, I will rejoice in the prophesied arrival of the King of Glory. I will lift up my head and prepare my heart for the return of the Savior to the earth.

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