“Alma Has Prayed with Much Faith Concerning Thee”

Bryan Richards

The scriptures are full of great examples of faith. Alma’s great faith is remarkable because it brought an angel from the heavens to save his wayward son. Alma was just like any other parent. He mourned at his son’s apparent wickedness. With his great prayers of faith, Alma gives an example to all parents. The welfare and righteousness of our children should be a frequent subject of fervent prayer. Elder LeGrand Richards said, “You remember what Alma did when his son, Alma, didn’t walk in the ways of the Lord and went about trying to destroy the church. He just did not give the Lord any rest about it; he took it to the Lord in mighty prayer until an angel of heaven appeared to his son….” (Conference Report, Oct. 1947, p. 75 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 239)

"’…Parents today often pray with great faith for their rebellious sons and daughters, yet they do not always receive the same results. Alma the Elder’s gospel is the same gospel that we have today; why then are there not more angels and more thunderous and transforming experiences? Mortal parents who make their own best effort to reach their children can invoke divine assistance through prayer, for all scriptures unite in testifying that God answers prayers. Perhaps the Lord does send angels, but angels of a different sort. Inspired teachers, friends, bishops, home teachers, Scout leaders, and others can serve the same function as angels from above. These embodied angels, inspired by the Holy Ghost, are sent by the Lord to assist and to love.
“‘Evidently there were factors in Alma the Younger’s circumstance that necessitated his peculiar experience.’” (Dennis L. Largey, Church News, Apr. 2, 1992)

Joseph B. Wirthlin

“Alma the Younger‘s conversion was brought about by his father’s persevering faith. Despite the profound depths of worldly wickedness into which his son had sunk, Alma did not give up on the son he loved. Here is a case where a righteous man surely loathed the sin, but dearly loved the sinner. He diligently, hopefully, fervently prayed for his son. The angel messenger who visited Alma the Younger told him that he had ”come to convince [him] of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith." (Heroes From the Book of Mormon, p. 93)

Boyd K. Packer

“We emphasize that the greatest work you will do will be within the walls of your home….It is not uncommon for responsible parents to lose one of their children, for a time, to influences over which they have no control. They agonize over rebellious sons or daughters. They are puzzled over why they are so helpless when they have tried so hard to do what they should. It is my conviction that those wicked influences one day will be overruled. ’The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught a more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.’” (Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1929, p. 110 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 189)