Reviewing the chapter, Alma begins by reminding the people of how their fathers had been blessed by the Lord. He then proceeds to ask them a large number of questions, inviting them to look upon their own hearts and ponder their commitment. One of the questions in particular spoke to my soul as I pondered the current state of my marriage:
"And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" -Alma 5:26How many of us experienced a change of heart when we got married? How many of us felt to sing the song of redeeming love on our wedding day? I would wager that most (if not all) of us felt this way. While I was dating my wife, I felt my heart turn toward her. On our wedding day, I was overwhelmed with joy, love, happiness and the Spirit.
Now to Alma's question. Can ye feel so now?
How are the feelings once the honeymoon period inevitably ends? What about when you are tired and grumpy from caring for an infant at all hours of the day and night? What about when work drains the very last drop of energy from your body before you get home? What about when there are disagreements with no easy solution? What about when challenges, trials, and heartaches come knocking at the door?
Can ye feel so now?
It is so very easy to get swept up in the day to day of our lives, and forget why we got married to our sweetheart in the first place. I understand. I've been there. It's a hard place to be. Sometimes the song of redeeming love and the change of heart can feel very far away indeed.
Can ye feel so now? If not, there is a way back.
As always, the Lord has answers. After Alma asks this important question, he directs us to prepare. He then directs us to the One who can best help us to prepare, even the Lord Jesus Christ:
"Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you. Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;" -Alma 5:33-34The Lord is ever ready to come to our assistance. And the way to do so is simple (I say simple, not easy). It is to repent, and return unto Him. It is to go back to the basics.
Not feeling those loving feelings? Go back to the basics that brought you those feelings in the first place! Love is an action first, and a feeling second. Become a student of your spouse. Get to know them again. Spend time doing enjoyable things together. Pray together. Study your scriptures together. Laugh. Play. Get back to the simple things, and you can enjoy the simple blessings that are promised to the faithful.
Can ye feel so now? If not, you can feel so again. Begin today. Pick one small thing, and do it. You might be surprised at the results!