Heavenly Father Wants Us to have Self Control | Alma 36-38 | Come Follow Me

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. - Alma 38:12


This tiny verse in the 38th chapter of Alma has so much to unpack for us to learn. To begin with, what does the word "bridle" mean? According to the Oxford Dictionary it means two things:


1 - (noun) the headgear used to control a horse, consisting of buckled straps to which a bit and reins are attached.


2 - (verb) bring something under control


Alma is using the word as a verb in this verse as he talks to his son Shiblon. From the verses previous, Alma councils Shiblon to let go of his pride and boastfulness, and it sounds like Shiblon at times could be...unhinged. SO. Alma advises Shiblon to control himself, his passions, and his actions, so that he can be more focused on the task at hand. 



The task at hand for us every day should be to get closer to our Heavenly Father, to continue to build our family unit, and strengthen our testimony in the Gospel. Sometimes though we can get distracted from this and can veer off the intended path Heavenly Father has for us. 


For example, I really love writing and art. Not only is it a hobby for me but it's a passion of mine. Nothing makes me happier than sitting at my desk and write or draw. I can spend hours doing this. Hours. This was easy to do when I was single. I could read my scriptures, go to work, and then come home and work for hours on art. Now that I'm married and have a family, that isn't the case, and sometimes I put my passions over my family. When I should be spending time with my family, reading the scriptures with them, and strengthening our relationship, I'll be at my desk in my own little world. 


There is nothing wrong with having passions, hobbies, or projects to do. It's healthy for us to have those things. Another word that would appropriate with the word "bridle" would be "moderation." We need to prioritize the things that aren't "as important" as what Heavenly Father would want. This advice of "moderation" and self-control can be seen all throughout the scriptures but more importantly in the Word of Wisdom. There is nothing wrong with eating chocolate. But eating too much chocolate is unhealthy and bad for you.


Have moderation and self-control in our live is the key to keeping ourselves Spiritually and Temporally on the straight and narrow. This one verse that Alma says to his son Shiblon is so profound and has so much to offer us. 



** The opinions and views expressed herein belong solely to Tyler Carpenter and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of Cedar Fort, Inc.