1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Every servant of God desires to have the means to do more in His service. Here, Alma expresses his deepest desire. The funny thing is how much the Lord will often give us the desires of our heart when we serve Him righteously. Alma’s efforts, even after such sorrow and repentance, led to the saving of many thousands of souls. What he didn’t see was that his words would be read by millions, including those who would gather the Remnant of Jacob and the House of Israel in the last days. Alma is indeed an angel of God, and his trump is heard far and wide!
2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. [He is expressing the desire of every 4th estate servant. The final Gatherers of the last days will do just that.]
3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
As I read this verse the Spirit touches my heart. Alma was blessed to do much for the Lord during his life because of such great wishes as these. To those he was called to minister he did speak with a voice of thunder, calling repentance, and bringing many souls to our Lord. What is the desire of your heart? Do you desire to share the Gospel with the trump of an angel? If so, this is not a sin, but a desire of faith. We always must wait upon the Lord, as He makes us worthy for whichever work we are allotted to do.
4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. [Truly, our desires are the foundation of our faith in Christ. What we seek after, that we will find. Most people in this world desire comfort, pleasure, status, etc. Few desire to know the Lord, to be a servant of God in bringing others to Him. The Lord will grant your desires if they are righteous. If we desire to see God, to know we are accepted of Him, this is not enough. We must seek the Lord because we love Him and want to be His servant, to bring many souls to the Lord, like Alma. When our desires are righteous, the Lord moves His Spirit upon us to the fulfillment of His words.]
5 Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience. [There are many in this world who are blameless without the truth. The truth is that these people made such a choice before they were born. Most choices are made in the other realm. Those who chose to find God made an Everlasting Covenant before they came. Some made a covenant to find Satan. All are given according to their desires.]
6 Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?
7 Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth? [I think the Lord will forgive you, Alma. It was because of these great desires that you condescended as a Servant of God to help in this great effort to save souls. Alma 13]
8 For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true. [Every nation, every soul upon this earth has, and will yet have, and opportunity to accept the gift of Christ if they will have it. There is far more done on the other side of the veil than occurs here. This world is truly the harvest of souls, and the field is white.]
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. [And this is why you are Chosen.]
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent [humble and repenting], and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me. [his own repentance]
11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage. [The bondage of sin, for the Lord taught them how to come unto Him.]
12 Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage. [both physical and spiritual bondage]
13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.
14 But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward! [To bring forth “fruit” is to bring a soul to Christ, which is the baptism of fire and gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the fruit the Lord desires. D&C 84:57-58]
16 Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy. [He feels himself ascending to God. When the Spirit comes upon a person in such manner this is the sensation.]
17 And now may God grant unto these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of their labors that they may go no more out, but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.
Oh that I were an angel! To be an angel is to be an unfettered servant of God. These divine messengers come from the courts of Heaven bringing good tidings, comforting our souls, and destroying the evil opponents of the Lord’s anointed. What we don’t realize is how many angels there are among us. Some are veiled in physical bodies, and some in translated bodies. Each is doing exactly what the Lord has allotted to them to do. Be like Alma and cry out your desires to the Lord! He will hear you and set your course to that end according to your faith.