Too often, when reviewing the stories of Ammon and his friends’ successful missions among the Lamanites, we focus our attention on the miraculous conversions of the two kings – Lamoni and his father. While we can learn much from their conversions, I fear we miss other miracles that brought thousands of normal Lamanites, people more like you and me, back to God.
True, we don’t have access to their stories, but if we look at the different ways others became converted, we can uncover some hidden treasures that can bless our lives.
Right Place/Right Time
The key to some conversions was simply being at the right place at the right time. Ammon’s fellow servants, for example, were able to witness his great power simply because they came to work that day. The same can be said of the many of the servants of the two kings who witnessed their powerful conversions. They, too were right where they were supposed to be.
Perhaps their stories can teach us the importance of being at the right place at the right time. When we do this, we put ourselves in the best position for God to bless us.
Abish is the story of patience. She and her father were converted to the gospel years earlier but had to suppress this from their loved ones. Abish had every reason to give up nurturing her testimony as the idea of the church coming to her people was improbable. Yet she persisted. Because of her patience, God blessed her to be in the best position to help bring about this great miracle of conversion. She was on duty as the queen’s maid the day the queen was converted.
Patience is a virtue we must all must learn. As with Abish, sometimes patience will be difficult to maintain when our righteous desires seem to go unfulfilled. But we can and must endure.
My guess is the bulk of the Lamanites were converted when they were willing to think differently. Once they opened their minds, they were able to shed themselves of those comfortable traditions that were masking serious obstacles to their progress. When they set aside their prejudices, they were freed to find God.
What a powerful lesson. Maybe we need to look at our traditions to see if they, too, have become obstacles to us learning to love others. Are we not to love our neighbors as ourselves?
I feel the greatest conversion stories came from the two groups of angry Lamanites who slaughtered many of the believers. Their addiction to anger pushed them over the edge. In their rage, they murdered countless innocent people who bowed defenselessly before them. But after some serious self-reflection, hundreds of these addicts of anger repented. They changed their hearts on the spot. I feel these Lamanites were the true heroes. Why?
Because they prove God loves the addict. If these angry Lamanites, who committed heinous crimes, could be forgiven and recover, so can we.