CLICK HERE to read Alma 38.
This is Alma’s talk to and blessing for his second son, Shiblon.
Alma repeats the same principle to this son: that inasmuch (to the degree) as we “keep the commandments of God, ye shall prosper…” and insasmuch (to the degree) we “will not keep the commandments of God, ye shall be cut off from his presence” (verse 1).
Alma praises this son, saying that he (Alma) has great joy in him (Shiblon) “because of your steadiness and your faithfulness unto God” (verse 2). He says that Shiblon began following God as a youth, and he encourages him to “continue in keeping his commandments; for blessed is he that endureth to the end” (verse 2). In classic Hebrew poetry, Alma repeats this again, saying “I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering…” (verse 3).
Alma tells a story of Shiblon that we don’t know much more information about, but have this piece: Shiblon was “in bonds” (a prisoner) with the non-believing Zoramites, and even stoned because he was a believer “and thou didst bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee” (verse 4). There are many things we could not endure, but that the Lord does strengthen us and quicken us to be able to endure. There are many times we are in bondage, whether because of the injustices of others against us or because of our own messes that we cause, from which we know that it was only the Lord who could have delivered us (verse 4).
Alma urges his son to remember to give the Lord credit for this deliverance, and to learn from the experience that “as much as ye shall put your trust in God, even so much ye shall be delivered out of you trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (verse 5).
Alma reminds his son, as he did his first son, that he does not know these things because he is so knowledgeable or knows so much, but because “the Spirit of God” makes these things known to him, “for if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things” (verse 6). He again shares his testimony of how the Lord commanded him to stop the destroying people (verse 7), and testifies of what “bitter pain and anguish of soul” he felt “until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy” (verse 8) – and that when he did cry out, the Savior did give him peace in his soul (verse 8).
This is wisdom: to believe in Christ, to believe He can do what He promised, to obey Him, to claim that atonement, and to feel the peace only He can give. This is wisdom:
that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness (verse 9).
Alma then instructs his son to continue his teaching, and reminds him to be diligent and temperate in all things (verse 10). He cautions him against pride, against boasting in his own wisdom, and against boasting of his own strength (verse 11). He teaches him to “use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness” (verse 12). He tells his son to be humble and to always acknowledge his unworthiness before God at all times (verse 14).
Then he gives his son a blessing of peace, which he is able to do because this son has been obedient – and so peace is his reward (verse 15).