Hymn text by Josephine Pollard, 1834-1892. View the full text of this hymn.

When Alma and Amulek visited the land of Antionum, they found that the Zoramites there had perverted worship of God into a self-congratulatory praise of their own chosen status, as they supposed. They cast out the poor and turned worship of God into an exclusive club for only the “best sorts of folks.”

The poor who had been kicked out of the synagogues were frustrated. After providing most of the labor for the synagogues, they were not allowed to worship there. From the scriptural record in Alma 32, it seems they had been stewing on this for a while. When Alma (formerly the chief judge) showed up in town they may have hoped he would restore justice to the city.

When they asked Alma “what shall we do?“, though, he did not talk of organizing protests or establishing negotiations. Instead, he taught them to love God, to have faith in Him and serve Him, even in their trials. He taught them to believe in Jesus Christ, who would come to redeem them from sin.

Amulek followed Alma’s teachings with some of his own. He taught them of the Atonement of Christ, of obedience and repentance. And then he taught that the true measure of our worship is not how loudly or eloquently we pray, but rather how we act upon the instructions God gives us.

And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith. (Alma 34:28)

Today’s hymn might apply to the Zoramites just as much as it applies to us. I Have Work Enough to Do, it says. I have no time to be distracted by envy, jealousy, or anger. I have work enough to so in serving God’s children.

I must speak the loving word,
Ere the sun goes down.
I must let my voice be heard,
Ere the sun goes down:
Ev’ry cry of pity heeding,
For the injured interceding,
To the light the lost ones leading,
Ere the sun goes down.

The world is full of distractions, things that can pull us away from Christ. Sometimes, it’s not even the bad things that distract us—if we focus on the good and better things, but ignore the best things, we may still be missing the point. Christ’s commandments are designed to lead us to happiness and joy, to peace and harmony. And there is, indeed, work enough to do in achieving those goals.

How often do we let the good distract us from the best? How often do we have time to watch a show, read a book, or play a game—but not have time to help a neighbor, visit a friend in need, study the scriptures, or pray earnestly?

Amulek concluded his teachings by exhorting the people to “worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth”. He instructed them to not get caught up in anger against those who had cast them out, but instead to simply seek after Christ at all times.

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. […] for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. (Alma 34:32-33)

There is work enough to do, work enough to change each of our hearts. I cannot do your work, and you cannot do mine, for our work is preparing ourselves to meet God.

As I journey on my way,
Ere the sun goes down,
God’s commands I must obey,
Ere the sun goes down.
There are sins that need confessing;
There are wrongs that need redressing
If I would obtain the blessing,
Ere the sun goes down.

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