One of the “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” in the June 15-21 Book of Mormon 2020 Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families manual is: “Discipleship requires sacrifice. Make a list of the things Amulek gave up to embrace the gospel (see Alma 10:4–5; 15:16) and compare it to a list of what he gained (see Alma 15:18; 16:13–15; 34:8). What are you willing to sacrifice in order to become a more faithful disciple?” Answering these questions can help us learn what it means to both serve and love the Lord.
Amulek’s Sacrifices and Spiritual Rewards
Amulek himself explains to the people of Ammonihah some of the major sacrifices he made in order to join the ministry of the Prophet Alma: “reputation,” family members and “friends,” personal wealth earned “by the hand of my industry,” and a lifestyle that did not involve “much of the ways of the Lord” (Alma 10:4-5). In addition to experiencing brutal rejection, he ultimately abandoned all of his “gold, and silver, and his precious things” (Alma 15:16). Amulek gave up all of his earthly treasures and personal relationships. He was even willing to sacrifice his own life in order to follow “the will of the Lord” (Alma 14:12-13).
After they were miraculously freed from the prison at Ammonihah, Alma “took [Amulek] to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord” (Alma 15:18). Amulek had the doors of a new home opened to him, and his knowledge of the gospel was enlarged. This helped prepare Amulek to assist Alma in “preaching repentance to the people … they did impart the word of God … And the establishment of the church became general throughout the land, in all the region round about, among all the people of the Nephites” (Alma 16:13-15). Amulek was literally involved in saving the souls of thousands.
Most importantly, Amulek obtained a sure testimony of the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior: “I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord hath spoken it” (Alma 34:8). Amulek knew that he had followed the will of the Lord in helping others in this life and that he would receive “a reward in the world to come” (Doctrine and Covenants 63:48).
Answering Calls to Serve
One of the remarkable characteristics about Amulek is that prior to his call by an angel to provide food and shelter for Alma, Amulek had not been remarkably faithful. He acknowledges that one of his ancestors, Aminadi, had actually “interpreted the writing which was upon the wall of the temple, which was written by the finger of God” (Alma 10:2). Concerning his own faith, however, Amulek admitted: “I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart” (Alma 10:6).
When Alma stopped at Amulek’s home and asked, “Will ye give to an humble servant of God something to eat?” (Alma 8:19), Amulek answered that call. Together, they did partake of both physical and spiritual food. It lets us know that the Lord seeks to commune with us: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
Often, those knockings on our doors are from the Lord’s servants. The fact that the Lord and His ministers did not give up on Amulek should give all of us hope.
For anyone who may doubt the Lord’s love for each one of us, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland offers these words of encouragement: “However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines” (“The Laborers in the Vineyard,” Ensign, May 2012).
Prepared to Live the Laws of Sacrifice and Consecration
When we enter the waters of baptism, we are witnessing that we “are willing to take upon [us] the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:37). Baptism points us in the direction to obey the higher laws that will prepare us for eternal life in the celestial kingdom.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie explains what those higher laws are: “Sacrifice and consecration are inseparably intertwined. The law of consecration is that we consecrate our time, our talents, and our money and property to the cause of the Church: such are to be available to the extent they are needed to further the Lord’s interests on earth. The law of sacrifice is that we are willing to sacrifice all that we have for the truth’s sake—our character and reputation; our honor and applause; our good name among men; our houses, lands, and families: all things, even our very lives if need be” (“Obedience, Consecration, and Sacrifice,” Ensign, May 1975).
Amulek is an exemplar of faith in how we should live the laws of sacrifice and consecration. We need to be prepared to answer the calls to help in building the Lord’s kingdom here upon the earth. We also diligently need to draw close to God by studying the scriptures, through earnest prayer, renewing our baptismal covenants by partaking of the sacrament, and ministering to others with all of our “heart, might, mind and strength that [we] may stand blameless before God at the last day” (Doctrine and Covenants 4:2).