Nowhere in all of the thousands of pages of scriptures are more questions concentrated into a single chapter than Alma 5.
Which questions for your spiritual life matter to you right now and why?
Alma 5 As the Longest Temple Recommend Interview Ever
We could read Alma 5 as an extended series of questions for a temple recommend. Following this model would make Alma 5 the longest temple recommend interview ever.
Gospel scholar Jack Welch has grouped the questions found in Alma 5 into eight categories. I’ve shared those categories below with a single question for you to consider from each category. I recommend carefully reading Alma 5 again and determining which questions are relevant to you and your spiritual state.
- Remembering God’s Acts for His People (Alma 5:6-9)
“Have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them?” (Alma 5:6)
- Knowing the Essential Logic of the Gospel (Alma 5:10-11)
“On what grounds had they to hope for salvation?” (Alma 5:10)
- Being Personally Converted (Alma 5:14-15)
“Have you spiritually been born of God?” (Alma 5:14)
- Imagining the Judgement Day (Alma 5:15-24)
“Can you look up to God with a pure heart and clean hands?” (Alma 5:19)
- Assessing One’s Spiritual Condition (Alma 5:26-30)
“Are you stripped of pride?” (Alma 5:28)
- Being Identified with a ‘Fold’ (Alma 5:39)
“If you are not sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are you?” (Alma 5:39)
- Obtaining spiritual knowledge (Alma 5:45-46)
“How do ye suppose that I know of their surety [i.e., the Gospel]?” (Alma 5:46)
- Refusing to repent: (Alma 5:53-59)
“Will you persist in supposing that you are better than another?” (Alma 5:54)
Alma 5 As the Shortest Temple Recommend Interview Ever
Of course, the shortest temple recommended interview could be summarized by this single question posed by Alma:
“Can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?” (Alma 5:19)
The essence of the Gospel is for us to become as God is. We want to walk like Him. We want to talk like Him. We want to love like Him. We want to forgive like Him. We want to serve like Him.
The very act of symbolically drinking His blood and consuming His flesh is so that we experience the truth of the statement “you are what you eat.”
If we eat God, we are God.
That is, if we are serious about the promises we make at sacrament, if we do not make these promises with empty purpose (i.e., taking the Lord’s name in vain), we will act like God.
We will look like God.
We will have His image engraven on our countenance.
Sacrament Invites Reflection
Every week the sacrament encourages us to reflect on all the merciful deeds that God has done for us. We are given the opportunity to reflect on how we have been saved. We are invited to reflect on how we will commit ourselves to God again.
And as we commit to always remember Him we are given the promise of always having His Spirit to be with us. We are invited to be with the Godhead.
Each week is like a mini-temple recommend interview where we have a personal interaction with our Savior where we declare our gratitude for His endless love and our determination to accept that love by remembering Him always.
The questions of Alma 5 are powerful invitations for us regularly reflect on our commitment to God and may be profitably remembered during the weekly sacrament service or at other moments of spiritual reflection.