41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.
At the end of Alma’s allegory of the seed, he teaches us three things we must do for the gospel to take root in our hearts and grow until we receive eternal life. We must have faith, we must be patient, and we must be diligent.
I’m grateful that he combines diligence with faith and patience. It’s an important reminder for me. I need to continue to work hard, trusting in the Lord, even when the short term rewards are disappointing or nonexistent. In the allegory, the seed sprouted quickly, providing hope that it would continue to grow. But from day to day, the progress was likely not discernible, and there must have been at times a strong temptation to “neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment” (verse 38). Only by overcoming that temptation and continuing to work day in and day out could the person eventually eat the sweet fruit which was the product of his or her labors.
There are many things in my life which are good and which promise to bear incredible fruit if only I can apply this principle. Whether it be my marriage, my children, my continuing education, or my spiritual growth, I will recommit today to continue laboring toward worthy goals, with diligence, patience, and faith.