Alma 37:41 - 37:47
Alma 37: 41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
So it was by the use of a small ball that the miracle of being lead to the promised land through the great Arabian Desert happened. Since the ball worked by faith, it Lehi and or his family were not exercising faith, the ball would not work and they could not continue their journey.
Obvious a likeness of our journey to the kingdom of Heaven. If we do not exercise faith in the gospel plan, we will not make progress towards it.
Alma 37: 42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.
As a result of the loss of faith, the group went forward but not in a necessarily in a the best possible direction as they would have been directed if they had faith. They were left to their own since of which direction to take and found themselves in various kinds of trouble such as hunger and thirst which the ball would have found for them.
Alma 37: 43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.
This lesson to Lehi and his family can be likened to both our physical and spiritual needs.
Alma 37: 44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.
If one will give credence to the word of God which is really quite easy to do, they will progress. Just like faith in the ball directed Lehi to the promised land, giving heed to the gospel will direct us to the kingdom of God.
Alma 37: 45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
Again the example of the ball is a lesson to us. The ball is equated to the words of Christ. Follow them and you will make it to the land of promise which is surely much better than what this world of sorrow and disappointment has to offer.
Alma 37: 46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.
Just because living the gospel is easy, we should not get distracted by other things. Keep our eyes of the gospel plan and we will be lead to the land of promise which is the kingdom of God in the hereafter.
Alma 37: 47 And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.
So now the responsibility of the Nephite records, etc are now in Helaman’s hands. Alma tells him to keep looking to God for direction and all will be well in the end. Then Alma bids his son farewell.
Does Alma never see his son again or is this a letter which is to be read by Helaman and the farewell is like “see you.”