Summary: Alma testifies to Helaman of his conversion by an angel—He suffered the pains of a damned soul; he called upon the name of Jesus, and was then born of God—Sweet joy filled his soul—He saw concourses of angels praising God—His converts have tasted and seen as he did. About 73 B.C.
I love verse 3: And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day. This is one of the basic principles of the gospel, in my opinion--trust in God. He will help us through our trials. He will not leave us alone, as long as we exercise our faith in Him.
Alma give his account of the repentance process he had to go through to be forgiven for the many sins he committed. The miracle of it all is amazing. He suffered unspeakable torment for 3 days, but the moment he cried unto Christ for forgiveness, the pain was gone. I believe the spirit put the thought into his head that Christ would come and atone for the sins of the world--it was the light in his dark torment. And after being reminded of all his sins and suffering because of them,the moment he turned to Christ, he was immediately relieved of this burden. What an incredible example of Christ's role in our lives. He is there--waiting and listening. All we have to do is ask.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
This verse is amazing: 22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.
Where, a day ago, Alma feared to be in the presence of the Lord, he now longed to be there. He was granted a glimpse of the glory that lay beyond the veil. This just shows how completely and miraculously he was forgiven. He was blessed to taste of God's love and glory.
I also love this verse: 24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
This is the principle behind missionary work. We want to spread the gospel across the earth because we have been blessed to taste of its joy, and we want others to know of it. The gospel is the greatest gift in life, and we have a responsibility to spread the joy. Missionary work will always be an important part of our lives.
This is a great way to wrap up the chapter:
27 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.
28 And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him foreverWhat a glorious, amazing comfort. Alma has great faith. He had to work for it, as we all do, but he has amazing faith. We can all have that same faith. We can all look forward to these same blessings if we endure faithfully to the end.