Ready to Go (Alma 20)
When you're planning a trip, there is a process involved in getting ready to go. Depending on your individual situation, the process may be involved — perhaps you need to pack a lot of things; perhaps you need to purchase some things; perhaps you need to make arrangements for others to do things for you while you're away; etc. On the other hand, there may be times when the preparations are brief — just grab some things and go.
There are even people who keep an overnight bag packed at all times so they are ready to go at a moment's notice. An example of this is when a woman is expecting a baby. The time to go to the hospital may come at any moment with very little time to react, so the wise course of action is to be ready to go at all times.
In Alma 20, Ammon and the newly converted King Lamoni are on their way to the land of Middoni to try to free Ammon's brother, Aaron, from prison. As they are traveling, they encounter King Lamoni's father, who reigns over all the lands of the Lamanites. This powerful man is very angry at his son, especially when he sees that he is friendly with the Nephite, Ammon.
Lamoni's father draws his sword with the intention of killing his son, but Ammon steps between them and prevents this from occurring. He then makes a statement that illustrates his faith and shows what it means to be ready to go:
"But Ammon stood forth and said unto him: Behold, thou shalt not slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved." (Alma 20:17)
Even as Ammon was stepping in to save his friend, he knew that if someone had to die this day, it would be better from an eternal perspective for that person to be someone who was ready to go to paradise rather than someone who was not ready and therefore could not go there.
Although perhaps none of us wants to go to paradise today, we all want to go there some day. How ready are we to go?
- Are we the person who has a lot to do before being ready to go on a trip? Perhaps we still need to repent of our sins, give our lives to the Lord, make some changes in our lives, etc. If there is much to do, then let's get started right away so we will be ready to go in time.
- Are we the person who knows what has to be done but just hasn't done it yet? Maybe we're living a good life but just haven't been baptized yet, or we haven't let go of the one thing that's holding us back. If we know what has to be done, then let's do it today so we are ready to go.
- Or, are we the expectant mother who has made all the preparations and is ready to go whenever the time comes? If so, praise God for this, and let's not do any "unpacking" — let's remain ready to go.
In addition to being ready to go ourselves, we, of course, want our loved ones and as many people as possible to go to paradise as well, so let's encourage those we come in contact with to make themselves ready to go, too.
We all have a trip planned. The destination is selected — the paradise of God. The exact time is not selected. This is not a trip to miss out on, so let's make sure — today and for as long as we live — that we are ready to go.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.