Sunday, October 12, 2014

Alma 39

Alma’s son, Corianton, had struggled as a missionary, so Alma recorded more of his teachings to this son than to the other two.  We usually remember Alma’s reprimand of Corianton’s acts of fornication during his mission, which takes up a good portion of the text.  But look again.  That is not the sin that Alma addresses first.  He first reprimanded Corianton for “boasting in [his] own strength and…wisdom” (v. 2).   With sexual sin being such a heinous offense, why did Alma start with pride?  Corianton was serving as a missionary, and for a missionary to be effective in bringing people to Christ, he needs to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands, which missionary can do so much more than a missionary can do by himself.  Boasting in one’s own strength and wisdom renders one less pliable.  This pride in one’s own abilities led to disaster for the entire house of Israel when Moses claimed it was he who had provided water from the rock instead of correctly giving the Lord credit.  (See Numbers 20:7 -12.)  Corianton’s pride had undoubtedly contributed to his being led to fornication on his mission.  May we learn from the example in this chapter to humble ourselves and remember on whom we rely, so the Lord can do His work today through us.
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