Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

So We Kept Going

Because I have a missionary son the imagination of my mind got caught up today in the details of Alma 8. It isn't hard to fathom what the city of Ammonihah must have been like.

"...Now Satan had gotten great hold upon the hearts of the people of the city of Ammonihah; therefore they would not hearken unto the words of Alma."  (Alma 8:9)

Nevertheless...

Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he might pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city.

Nevertheless...

they hardened their hearts... and withstood all his words, and reviled  him, and spit upon him, and caused that he should be cast out of their city. (Alma 8:10-13)

This morning my son who is serving a mission in Atlanta wrote home.

This is how his letter began, "Well this week has been kinda rough...after my heart felt like it had been stomped on we decided to keep going knowing that the Lord would provide.  So we kept going."

It was this evening when I read the words of Alma...

"And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul, because of the wickedness of the people...it came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying...lift up thy head and rejoice; for thou hast great cause to rejoice...return...preach again...yea, preach unto them."  (Alma 8:14-16)

There are two lines that stand out to me from these two accounts...

So we kept going... While he was journeying thither...

Both missionaries were determined to continue preaching...notwithstanding the setbacks.  With heavy hearts they decided to keep going, to journey thither, knowing the Lord would provide.  One in Atlanta in 2012...the other in Ammonihah in 82B.C.

I love that after Alma received the message from the angel he returned speedily and entered the city by another way.

A way that the Lord had prepared.

...because  he knew that the Lord would provide.

"I have been called to preach the word of God among all this people...and I was in this land and they would not receive me, but they cast me out...and I was about to set my back towards this land forever.  But behold, I have been commanded that I should turn again..."  (Alma 8:24)

Had Alma not turned again he would never have discovered the blessing the Lord had prepared.

A companion.

"...and the man was called Amulek."  (Alma 8:21)

Tomorrow we will celebrate everything I love about Amulek.

Today we must celebrate the one line I love most about this chapter, "I know that thou wilt be a blessing unto me and my house." (Alma 8:20)

The Lord had prepared a heart.  He had provided a way.

Hard times will come.  People might stomp on our hearts.  We might find ourselves weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation.  But the Lord will give us reason to lift up our head and rejoice.

He might send an angel. He might send a companion. He might allow us to be a blessing in the life of someone whose heart has been prepared.

In His own time, and in His own way He will provide the way.

It happened this week for Josh.

This is how his letter ended...

"It was really rough...then after, the Lord blessed us."

 

Emily Freeman