Sunday, April 21, 2013


And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? (Book of Mormon – Alma 5:26)

In a day when we are plagued with overwhelming influences which drive us to accept nothing less than instant gratifications and satisfactions, where that pseudo king has deceived us into believing that tasks which involve struggle and challenge and demand endurance are to be shunned and avoided, we are prone to wonder if our willingness to yield to his devilish whisperings is an eternal part of our makeup or if it is a propensity brought about because of our having tabernacled our spirits in flesh?

In his marvelous, inspired speech in the fifth chapter of his book, we are reminded by Alma that the road is long, often steep and rocky and that we must not weary and faint if we are to gain the goal. He speaks in absolute terms, letting us know that half-hearted effort will leave us far short of the prize.

In today’s world we are often praised after putting forth a good try, even when all know we have fallen far short of our potential possibilities. We slump with weariness far before our bodies energies have been exhausted, only to receive the perpetual pat on the back and words of having done well. We avoid setting forth into life-expanding experiences because of the possibility of failure, receiving reassurances that the day may come when we feel more like going there.

The words of the Lord as expressed by Alma put forth a much different picture of what is expected of us and what we should have as a goal before us.


Have sufficiently retained in remembrance all that the Lord through his suffering, mercy and long suffering has done for our salvation,

Have spiritually been born of God and received his image in my countenance,

Have sufficient faith in redemption through the atonement to view this mortal body raised in immortality,

Have purified my heart, cleansed my hands and washed my garments, enough to sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the eternities,

Have arrived at the point where I walk blameless before God,

Have become sufficiently humble,

Have become stripped of pride,

Have become stripped of envy,

Have ceased to mock and heap persecutions upon my brother.

Alma’s list is far from exhaustive, but sufficiently long to let us know that we have miles to go before we can become content with our journey or faint by the way side.

Neal A. Maxwell indicated, shortly before he went to his next assignment in the Spirit world, that none of us would complete all we have to do before we leave this frail existence. He also gave us through his example that this understanding did not leave us with the excuse to lessen our efforts until the last breath is expelled.

As our mothers taught us, life is hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch. And even though Alma’s admonitions appear daunting and difficult, as the little boy said, ‘I can be as gooder as I can be’ and then tomorrow I’ll try to be just a little ‘gooder.’

Alma finishes his speech reminding us that we do not tread the path alone but the Good Shepherd doth call after us and if we hearken unto His voice He will bring us unto His fold, for we are His sheep.


  1. muy buen mensaje willian lo necesitaba gracias

    Jenny Anzora


  2. Por cuáles presidente

    Jose Mauricio Vega Delgado

  3. Gracias presidente. Justo en este momento necesitaba estas palabras de aliento. Un abrazo.

    Juan Carlos Rebolledo.

  4. In a nutshell:
    Why people fail: "instant gratification"
    How to succeed: delayed gratification.

    Paul Maddox

  5. Thank you for this message. It will fit perfectly with my final zone conference message.
    Looking forward to a reunion in a few short months.

    Hermana Tracy Bruce

  6. Awesome!!! Thanks again for these have always been such a valiant servant of The Lord ... Have a great week!

    Brodie Wood

  7. As soon as I finish the Book of Mormon, I begin again ~~ I learn something new everytime I read it. I'm in Alma right now and so your thoughts on Alma strike a chord with me! He's a very profound writer and I learn so much from him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


    Carla Johnson

  8. Dear Pres. Riley,
    I love the messages about being grateful! It is good to be reminded of our need for that because in D&C 59:21 we are told that ". . . in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things. . ."

    Thank you.

    LaRene Spencer

  9. It humbles me to review the requirements outlined, and yet the last three paragraphs give me so much hope! Thanks once again for your insight.

    Jean Seavery