The story of the sons of Mosiah has always been one of my favorite stories to read in the Book of Mormon. It is a story of faith, courage, and valiance. But if you know the history of these men, you would understand who they really were. Before their conversion they used to run around stealing from, and mocking those who believed in the Messiah. They rejected the teachings of their father and the church and wanted nothing to do with it. But after the conversion of their friend Alma (the younger), they realized the blessings that came from living the gospel of Jesus Christ, and they started sharing it with everyone around them.
And that is were their story starts. They went on many missions, all over the country and to many different people. The lamanites were one of those groups of people they taught. In the Book of Alma it describes just what these people were like,
"And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a awild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.
Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the acurse of God had fallen upon them because of the btraditions of their fathers..."
Not exactly the kind of people I would like to run into while tracting in Wyoming. But Ammon and his brothers willingly went into the lands of the Lamanites to share this great message with them. They knew that it had changed their hearts, and they knew that it could change the lamanite people's too.
The world is a tough place, no matter where you are. All of us face challenges and hardships that test our faith. If we are mocked, cheated, robbed or hurt for what we believe in, is that going to stop us from living a good life? I don't think these men are the only ones who have the ability to gain the courage that they had. We all need to trust in the knowledge of our Savior, and know that he is with us. If we are doing the things He wants us to do, then He has promised to help us. So go out, remember who you are and keep fighting a good fight. You have the courage!
This morning I was reading an article by President Henry B. Eyring. The article is called "Teaching True Doctrine", and it comes out of the Ensign, the church's monthly magazine. In the article it mentions many people throughout history who have sought to follow Christ's teachings, and to share their knowledge with the people around them.
One story in particular stood out to me. It was a story from President Eyring's family, of a girl named Mary Bommeli. The story tells of how her family was converted to the gospel in Switzerland, and traveled to the Americas to join the saints there. But they did not have sufficient funds for all to travel together, so Mary stayed behind to earn her way there.
As she worked as a seamstress in Berlin, she would talk and teach her employer and her friends about the gospel. The people she taught were touched by the words she spoke to them, and they began to tell others of the gospel. At this time it was illegal to teach the doctrine of the LDS church there in Berlin, so when word spread of Mary and her preaching, she was arrested and thrown in jail. She heard that her judge was a man of the world, and after writing a letter of the things she knew and how it could help him repent of the wrongs in his life, all charges were dropped and she was released.
As President Eyring states, "Her teaching the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ had opened eyes and hearts enough to get her cast into jail. And here declaring the doctrine of repentance to the judge got her cast out of jail."
Mary Bommeli knew the truth, and she would not deny it. This is story is a witness to the power the truth holds. As a missionary we sometimes get backed into a corner on certain subjects and see no way out. But soon we realize that there is always a way out, by bearing our testimony. That is something that is for us to know and for them to hear. no one can challenge your beliefs. We can share our own conviction with those around us, and as we do so we will see the gospel change lives. As Captain Moroni, we must declare our purpose. I know this is Christ's church, once again established in it's fullness. I know that we are called by a prophet of God, and I know that our message is true.