Alma Teaches Us Karma

by | Jul 29, 2020

girl and wind and leaves

Alma 39-42

Karma is taught everywhere by different names throughout the world. Perhaps, you may have heard some version like, “what goes around, comes around” or the “golden rule.” As author David Mitchell describes it, “by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” Put simply, karma means we choose our actions, and their rewards choose us.

Karma Is a Teaching Tool

At some point I found out karma is one of Heavenly Father’s greatest teaching tools. Have you ever experienced something distressing someone said or did to you and you recognized you’ve done the same thing yourself? And all the sudden, you realize the same discomfort you feel is how you caused someone else to feel? For sure, I have been there. As a result, I understand what it is like to have karma scold me so I don’t want to treat others that way again.

Alma Explains Karma

The Book of Mormon has one of the best descriptions of karma I’ve read anywhere. It comes from Alma as he teaches his son Corianton:

13 O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration [karma] is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.
14 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.
15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.
(Alma 41:13-15)


These verses influence me to take inventory of the kind acts and good words I create and send out into the world. Are there enough, really? Honestly, the Light of Christ coaches me to devise more of them.

27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward
[karma]. (D&C 58:27-28)

In conclusion, I’m so grateful for all the Book of Mormon has taught me this year. Repeatedly, from one difficult circumstance to another, it has been my guiding star during an ultra tough, crazy year.

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