Alma 29 as a Guide to Missionary Work

Lately, I’ve been pondering on the passage of scripture that comes from Alma 29. Here, one of the great missionary examples that we have from the Book of Mormon, is earnestly desiring to share the gospel with those around him. He says:

Oh 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!

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.

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…

Oh that I were an angel!

Oh that I were an angel!

To me, this passage has always been a funny one. Not in a “haha” sense, but in a “that’s weird–what could possibly be wrong with Alma wanting to do more?” sense. After all, if we truly love the gospel and our fellow men, shouldn’t we want to share this with every one around us–nay, with all the earth? Of course! So what does Alma mean by “[I] do sin in my wish”? The more I think about this, the more I realize that this is not a chastisement of Alma for wanting to do something good, but rather a reminder that Alma, and we as missionaries ourselves, should not forget the many something goods that we already do have.

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