Saturday, July 18

One among them

The Book of Mormon has been a nutrient for my soul. It is a springboard for revelation. That's one of its main purposes: to help us learn how to receive revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost. Anything that invites the Spirit is worth pursuing.

Some of my favorite scriptures include Mosiah 11:20Mosiah 17:2, Alma 19:16, and Helaman 5:35. These verses introduced me to four missionaries, all from different circumstances, that share a common thread (besides the fact that all their names start with the letter "A"). Abinadi, Alma, Abish, and Aminadab were courageous individuals that helped others come unto Christ. They were each alone in an opposing crowd; they were each "one among them". But despite their circumstances they chose to become instruments in the hands of God. Abinadi was a righteous prophet whose death helped save one wicked priest. Alma was that wicked priest, and he left that experience to become a righteous prophet who established an entire church. Abish was a silent believer* that became a zealous missionary; once she found her courage she ran from house to house, energized by the opportunity to share God's word. Aminadab was a dissenter from the church who had his faith restored and was able to teach his friends how to repent.

There's hardly any background to Abinadi's story. We know nothing about who he was before being introduced as "a man among them" who preached the truth and started a chain of events that led to the salvation of countless souls. Who was he before? Was he a sinner? Was he silent? Did he have doubts? Had he ever fallen from church activity, whether publicly or privately?

Have you ever struggled with sin, inactivity, or disbelief? Have you ever been an Alma, Abish, or Aminadab? I have, so you're not alone. Is their past your present? Again, you're not alone.

All people that feel alone in their spiritual battles could benefit from remembering that the Savior came to this world as "One among them" (Abr. 3:24) to save us from being alone. He provided a way for us to become clean from our sins so we can receive guidance from the Comforter. He taught us that everyone has the capacity to do good, even when they feel outnumbered.

This blog is one way I'm choosing to share my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I've found that it's hard to find effective ways to share my beliefs . But whenever I prepare a lesson or a talk for others, my dormant spirit awakens. Those preparations tend to be the most helpful study experiences for me. Now, with this site, I can prepare lessons and talks whenever I'd like. I want to try to share something valuable for other people that thirst for spiritual knowledge and conversations. I hope that together we can engage in meaningful study that will invite the Spirit into our lives.

This is my way of being "one among them".

*Note: Abish's silence before Ammon's visit may not have been a sin of omission. Her story reminds me of Mormon's unfortunate reality when he was commanded to "stand as an idle witness" (Mormon 3:16) because his people weren't even remotely receptive to the gospel (but even he found a way to share his beliefs with millions of people several centuries later through the Book of Mormon). Abish may likewise have received a prompting to withhold her testimony for a period of time until the right opportunity came. Regardless, resisting the urge to share the gospel can be depressing, whether it's by choice or constraint of the Spirit. 

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