Alma 22 in the Book of Mormon covers the story of Aaron, a Nephite missionary, as he teaches the King of the Lamanites about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The king’s response is amazing, and one that I would wish to consistently find within myself.
The response is found here in Alma 22:15-18 (emphasis added).
15 What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.
16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.
17 And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:
18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.
These verses are amazing to me because of the strength of the king’s desire and faith, that he was willing to give up everything he had to know God and receive eternal life in God’s kingdom. He acted so promptly on Aaron’s teachings, and sought to repent with his whole heart, when just a chapter earlier he almost killed his own son for listening to a Nephite and believing in God and the gospel of Christ.
This plea to Aaron and then to the Father is so touching, and gives me a great example of how I want to feel towards the gospel. I want to be willing to give up everything I have and all of my sins just to be closer to my Heavenly Father. I want to be able to say it with the same enthusiasm the king did, as wholeheartedly, knowing that my eternal life and happiness in both this life and the life to come depend on it entirely. I think we could all do to ask ourselves, “What would I give to know God?” Would we give up our favorite little vices, our material possessions, our whole heart and will? What would we give to Him, and are we doing that? Are we giving everything we have to know our Heavenly Father better, and return to Him to receive the joy of eternal life? These questions and our honest answers can guide us to stay on the path back to Heavenly Father.