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Scripture Commentary — Alma 37:32-37

The importance of learning wisdom in our youth — 

  • Verse 32:  
    • “…remember” — whenever we see this word in the scriptures, we need to pay close attention!  It is used 13 times in Helaman chapter 5 alone, and notice the use of ‘remember’ in verse 35 as described below
    • “…the words…” — What words would Alma have spoken to his son?  The words of eternal life!  Can I admonish my own sons to listen to my words?  What words do our sons hear from us?
    • “…everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity.” — Despise, loathe, and be repulsed by sin!  How do we feel about sin and iniquity? Similar scriptures are:
      • Alma 13:12 — “…could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence…”
      • Alma 45:16, Doctrine and Covenants 1:31 — “…for [I] the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.”
      • 2 Nephi 4:31 — “Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?”
    • A word of caution at this point — it is crucial that we LOVE the sinner but hate the sin.
  • Verse 33:
    • “…preach…repentance and faith on the Lord…” — preach the first principles, the BASICS!
    • “…humble, meek, lowly in heart…” — “What manner of men ought ye to be?  Even as I am!”  3 Nephi 27:27.
    • “…withstand every temptation…with faith on the Lord…” — faith is a principle of action.  See also 1 Corinthians 10:13 (“…God will…with the temptation, also make a way to escape…”)
    • “…every temptation…” — not some, not most, but every!  Withstanding temptation is a skill that we can acquire!
    • This verse provides five steps to successfully resist temptations in our lives.  This verse alone is priceless!
      • Repent (change!) on a regular basis.
      • Have explicit faith in and on the Lord Jesus Christ.
      • Be humble, meek, and lowly in heart.
      • Withstand every temptation of the adversary, with the Lord’s help.
      • Have faith on the Lord Jesus Christ (this is mentioned TWICE!).
  • Verse 34:
    • “…never be weary of good works…” — Doctrine and Covenants 123:13 also counsels us to “…waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness”.  Helaman 10 mentions ‘unwearyingness’ twice.  Mosiah 24:15 talks of being strengthened by the Lord such that burdens could be carried with ease.  Joseph Fielding Smith, when in his nineties, that he hoped he could ‘endure to the end’!
    • “…meek and lowly in heart…” — this was just mentioned in verse 33!  Are we getting the message?  Does Alma consider this important?  No arrogance, no hypocrisy.
    • “…find rest to their souls…” — Matthew 11:29 talks of finding rest to our souls through Christ!  Does this mean that we would enjoy luxury and ease at all times?  No!  It means spiritual peace, completeness, wholeness!
  • Verse 35:
    • “…remember…” — see verse 32 comments
    • “…learn wisdom in thy youth…” — learn or acquire?  The Lord can “teach” wisdom, and wisdom is the proper use of knowledge.
    • “…learn to keep…” — parallelism, and thus wisdom = keeping the commandment.  The message to all youth is to ‘lay a foundation…”!
  • Verse 36 – 37:
    • God or Lord is mentioned 10 times in these 2 verses, and 8 admonitions are given that all center in Christ!
    • CRY – DO – GO – THINK – AFFECTIONS – COUNSEL (2-way) – LIE DOWN – ARISE  (crying unto is more than prayer, doing is consecrated service, would the Lord be comfortable with where we are going, consider Doctrine and Covenants 6:36 when thinking about thinking, our affections should include ‘if ye love me keep my commandments’
    • “…lifted up…” — exalted, glorified, sustained

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