They “Never Did Fall Away”

We all have our personal conversion stories of finding the gospel and coming together with Jesus Christ for the good of our eternal lives. So what is your story. Do you remember how you felt the day you were baptized, or the day you first knew the gospel was true. Do you remember that day when the Holy Ghost testified to you?

Conversion, for most people is a process, its something that doesn’t happen all at once, but over time, as we grow in the gospel, it deepens and strengthens and takes us to new levels and eventually we become unmovable. We stand strong without falling away.

Will this be without challenges or tests and trials? Absolutely not, for the trial of our faith, is what builds our faith, our conversion. Let us think about our conversion and where we are at today as we study Alma 23–29. That we stand like the Anti-Nephi Lehi’s, particularly in our day and at this time, is of great importance to our eternal welfare, and that of our families.

History and Background

Alma 23–24 Following his conversion, the king of the Lamanites proclaimed religious liberty among his people. This proclamation allowed Aaron and his brethren to preach the gospel and establish churches in Lamanite cities. Thousands of Lamanites were converted and never fell away. These converted Lamanites made a covenant to lay down their weapons of war, and they distinguished themselves from the unconverted Lamanites by calling themselves Anti-Nephi-Lehies. When the unconverted Lamanites attacked them, some of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies sacrificed their lives to keep their covenant.

Alma 25–26 After destroying the city of Ammonihah, the Lamanites had many other battles with the Nephites and were driven back. Having suffered great losses, many Lamanites laid down their weapons of war, repented, and joined the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. As the sons of Mosiah and their companions concluded their 14-year mission among the Lamanites, Ammon praised the Lord and expressed gratitude for the blessing of being instruments in the hands of God to bring the gospel to the Lamanites.

Alma 27–29 When the Lamanites were unsuccessful in their attacks on the Nephites, they turned their anger toward the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Because of the covenant the Anti-Nephi-Lehies had made to never again shed the blood of others, they refused to take up arms to defend themselves. Ammon led the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to Zarahemla, where they received protection from the Nephites and became known as the people of Ammon. As the Nephites defended the people of Ammon against the Lamanites, thousands of Nephites and Lamanites perished in battle.

Part 1: Alma 23–25; 27 Our conversion to Jesus Christ and His gospel changes our lives

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are all striving to deepen our conversion and the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies has the power to help us accomplish this task.

What does it mean to be converted? or What kinds of changes occur in people’s lives when they are converted?

Daniel H. Ludlow, Chairman, Adult Correlation Committee of the Church stated: “The basic meaning of the word convert is “to turn around, to transform, or to change.” Thus, when a person is truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, his whole life is changed.”

Elder Bruce R McConkie teaches us that: “In real conversion, which is essential to salvation (Matt. 18:3), the convert not only changes his beliefs, casting off the false traditions of the past and accepting the beauties of revealed religions, but he changes his whole way of life, and the nature and structure of his very being is quickened and changed by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (What did Jesus mean when he said to Peter, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”? What is conversion? Ensign 1974 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1974/12/i-have-a-question/what-is-conversion?lang=eng)

What did the Lamanites in Alma 23:7 do that helped them become truly converted to the Lord? For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren.

Based on what we you learned from this verse how would you complete the following statement? To become converted unto the Lord, we must …

To become converted unto the Lord, we must become righteous and lay down our weapons of rebellion.

How can we abandon any false traditions and bury our own weapons of rebellion, as the Anti-Nephi-Lehies did? Alma 23:5–7

5 And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, yea, thousands were brought to believe in the traditions of the Nephites; and they were taught the records and prophecies which were handed down even to the present time.

And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.

For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren.

What are some good traditions that the gospel helps us develop?

What might the Lamanites’ “weapons of … rebellion” represent in our day? How can we “bury them up deep in the earth”? Alma 24:17.

17 And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.

Elder David A. Bednar taught:

“The essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through the Savior’s Atonement. True conversion brings a change in one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God (see Acts 3:193 Nephi 9:20) and includes a conscious commitment to become a disciple of Christ.”

After quoting Alma 23:6–8, Elder Bednar went on to explain:

“Two major elements are described in these verses: (1) the knowledge of the truth, which may be interpreted as a testimony, and (2) converted unto the Lord, which I understand to be conversion to the Savior and His gospel. Thus, the powerful combination of both testimony and conversion unto the Lord produced firmness and steadfastness and provided spiritual protection.

“They never did fall away and surrendered ‘the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more.’ To set aside cherished ‘weapons of rebellion’ such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance, and submissiveness precede the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion. Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from becoming converted unto the Lord? If so, then we need to repent now.

“Note that the Lamanites were not converted to the missionaries who taught them or to the excellent programs of the Church. They were not converted to the personalities of their leaders or to preserving a cultural heritage or the traditions of their fathers. They were converted unto the Lord—to Him as the Savior and to His divinity and doctrine—and they never did fall away” (“Converted unto the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 107–9)

What false traditions or weapons of rebellion might you need to leave behind so you and your family can live the gospel more completely?

“To set aside cherished ‘weapons of rebellion’ such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance, and submissiveness precede the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion. Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from becoming converted unto the Lord? If so, then we need to repent now” (David A. Bednar, “Converted unto the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 108–9)

Part 2: Alma 24:7–16 Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven when we repent.

The account of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in Alma 24 is an inspiring example of repentance.

The Amalekites and Amulonites, who were former Nephites, stirred many Lamanites up to anger against their king and the other Anti-Nephi-Lehies. In their anger, these Lamanites prepared to attack the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. At this time of strife, the king of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies died. The kingdom was conferred on one of his sons. Ammon gathered with the new king and with Lamoni and others to counsel together and determine how to defend themselves against the Lamanites. Alma 24:1–5

What did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies determine they would not do? Alma 24:6  Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war; yea, and also their king commanded them that they should not.

What did the king of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies say about why his people would not prepare for war against their brethren? Alma 24:7–12.

7 Now, these are the words which he said unto the people concerning the matter: I thank my God, my beloved people, that our great God has in goodness sent these our brethren, the Nephites, unto us to preach unto us, and to convince us of the traditions of our wicked fathers.

And behold, I thank my great God that he has given us a portion of his Spirit to soften our hearts, that we have opened a correspondence with these brethren, the Nephites.

And behold, I also thank my God, that by opening this correspondence we have been convinced of our sins, and of the many murders which we have committed.

1And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.

11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain—

12 Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.

What did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies do to ensure they would not return to their former sins? from Alma 24:15–18.

15 Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.

16 And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our swords, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if our brethren destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.

17 And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.

18 And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.

A young woman commits several sins, she experiences sorrow for what she has done and desires to repent. In an interview with her bishop, the young woman confesses her sins. The bishop expresses love and explains that while it may not be easy, this young woman can repent and become clean again. He then teaches her what she will need to do to repent fully. The young woman follows her bishop’s counsel and, in time, feels the Lord’s forgivness. Later, she feels tempted to commit some of the same sins she had repented of.

What can make remaining clean after repenting of sins difficult?

What principle can we learn from the Anti-Nephi-Lehies about how to remain clean after we have repented and received God’s forgiveness? To remain clean after we have repented and received God’s forgiveness, we must avoid circumstances that may lead us to sin. By burying their weapons deep in the earth, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies promised the Lord that they would never use them again. Scripture records, “They were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin” Alma 24:19. Their actions demonstrate the complete abandonment of sin following sincere repentance.

President Spencer W Kimball taught: “In abandoning sin one cannot merely wish for better conditions. … He must be certain not only that he has abandoned the sin but that he has changed the situations surrounding the sin. He should avoid the places and conditions and circumstances where the sin occurred, for these could most readily breed it again. He must abandon the people with whom the sin was committed. He may not hate the persons involved but he must avoid them and everything associated with the sin” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 171–72).

How did the Anti-Nephi-Lehies’ decision to keep their covenant to never again use their weapons of rebellion affect their attackers? Alma 24:25. When an army attacked the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, they kept their covenant to not use their weapons and instead bowed down to pray. After 1,005 Anti-Nephi-Lehies were killed, many of the Lamanites “threw down their weapons of war, … for they were stung for the murders which they had committed” Over a thousand of the Lamanites joined the Anti-Nephi-Lehies and were also converted unto the Lord.

What principle can we learn from this? As we keep our covenants, we can help others become converted.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles remarked that our resolve to keep our covenants may lead to the conversion of others: “The king of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies instructed his people to bury their weapons deep in the ground that they might not be tempted to use them when their Lamanite brethren came to do battle against them. The people followed their king’s instructions, viewing their actions as ‘a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood’ (Alma 24:18). When the Lamanites attacked, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies ‘went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves’ on the ground before their attackers (Alma 24:21). The Lamanites killed a thousand and five of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies before the slaughter stopped. Why did the slaughter stop, and what were its consequences? From the account in Alma we learn the answers to these questions: …

“‘Now when the Lamanites saw this they did forbear from slaying them; and there were many whose hearts had swollen … , for they repented of the things which they had done. …

“‘… The people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved.’ (Alma 24:24–26) …

“While the message of the story is not to insist on universal pacifism, we do learn that by not returning aggressions from others we can have a profound effect on them. Literally, we can change their hearts when we follow Christ’s example and turn the other cheek. Our examples as peaceable followers of Christ inspire others to follow him” (Living with Enthusiasm [1996], 127–28).

Scriptures with additional insights about repentance: Isaiah 53:5–62 Nephi 2:6–8; and Mosiah 5:2.

Part 3: Alma 24:13–152629 The gospel brings joy.

In Alma 23–29, the word “joy” appears 24 times, making these chapters a good place to learn how living the gospel—and sharing it—brings joy.

To help us understand how the gospel brings joy, lets look at why Ammon, the sons of Mosiah, and Alma rejoiced: Alma 24:13–1526:12–22; and 29:1–17.

1Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords that they be not stained with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain our swords again they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son of our great God, which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins.

14 And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.

15 Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.

12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?

14 Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.

15 Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work.

16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

17 Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state?

18 Behold, we went forth even in wrath, with mighty threatenings to destroy his church.

19 Oh then, why did he not consign us to an awful destruction, yea, why did he not let the sword of his justice fall upon us, and doom us to eternal despair?

20 Oh, my soul, almost as it were, fleeth at the thought. Behold, he did not exercise his justice upon us, but in his great mercy hath brought us over that everlasting gulf of death and misery, even to the salvation of our souls.

21 And now behold, my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent.

22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.

Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.

Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?

Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth?

For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.

9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage.

12 Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.

13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.

14 But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.

1Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward!

1Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.

17 And now may God grant unto these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of their labors that they may go no more out, but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.

What do we learn from these verses about how the gospel brings us joy?

President Russell M. Nelson taught: “When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy” (“Joy and Spiritual Survival,” Ensign Nov. 2016, 82).

Alma and Ammon found great joy in sharing the gospel. Alma 26 and 29 How do these chapters inspire anyone to share the gospel with others?

When Alma helped others repent, he was reminded of God’s goodness Alma 29:10–13

10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage.

1Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.

13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.

What reminds us of God’s goodness?

How have we seen God’s goodness in our lives?

Part 4: Alma 26–27 We can be instruments in God’s hands.

Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

What might it mean to be an instrument in God’s hands? Alma 26:1–5, 11–12

2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?

3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.

5 Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.

What can we learn from the example of the sons of Mosiah about how to become instruments in the hands of God? As we pray, fast, search the scriptures, and set a good example for others, we can become instruments in God’s hands.

What are some things we can do to become effective instruments in the hand of God? Alma 26:11–12 Alma 26:26–29 

Be humble, recognizing God as the source of our strength: 11 But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.

12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.

Don’t give up when we feel discouraged. Be willing to patiently suffer for the cause of Christ. Teach the gospel in various settings. 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

How do the principles recorded in these passages apply to other callings or to being a good friend or neighbor?

Along with teaching us that we can become instruments in the hands of God, the Book of Mormon also teaches about the effect we can have on others as these instruments. When we become instruments in God’s hands, He grants us power to help others come to a knowledge of the truth. When we bring others to the knowledge of the truth, we help them become converted to the Lord. Both Ammon and Alma bore testimony of these truths. Alma 26:2–5, 15 Alma 29:9–10

1Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work.

For if we had not come up out of the land of Zarahemla, these our dearly beloved brethren, who have so dearly beloved us, would still have been racked with hatred against us, yea, and they would also have been strangers to God.

10 And it came to pass that when Ammon had said these words, his brother Aaron rebuked him, saying: Ammon, I fear that thy joy doth carry thee away unto boasting.

**Point to Ponder: ponder the opportunity we have have to help others learn the gospel and become converted. Consider how to incorporate the principles and practices taught to us by these chapters.

Additional reading to help: M. Russell Ballard, “Put Your Trust in the Lord,” Ensign Nov. 2013, 43–45.

Conclusion

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “What does it mean to be an instrument in everyday terms? I think it means to nurture others. Joseph Smith called it acting ‘according to those sympathies’ in our hearts. … There are countless ways to be instruments in God’s hands. For example, be the kind of visiting teacher you’ve always wanted; ask a young single adult about what she likes to do rather than why she’s not married; share instead of accumulate; carefully choose your dress, speech, and choice of entertainment; smile at your husband or child who knows they’ve caused frustration and heartache; put your arm around a young woman; teach in nursery with a happy heart; show by your attitude that you are finding joy in the journey” (“Sweet Moments,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2005, 107, 109).

Kathleen H. Hughes, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: “The Lord has touched my spirit time and again, and more often than not, His touch has reached me through the hand of a friend. … Perhaps [we] would feel more of His love if [we] looked for His hand in the actions of those who care for [us]. … God knows the needs of His children, and He often works through us, prompting us to help one another. When we act on such promptings, we tread on holy ground, for we are allowed the opportunity to serve as an agent of God in answering a prayer” (“What Greater Goodness Can We Know: Christlike Friends,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2005, 74–76).

What Can I Do as an Instrument in the Hands of God?

President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “You can be powerful instruments in the hands of God to help bring about this great work. … You can do something for another person that no one else ever born can do. … Blessings and a comforting peace will come to you if you can love God ‘with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself’ [Luke 10:27]. … If you have done your best, which you usually do, your humble offering, whatever it may be, will be acceptable and pleasing to the Lord” (“Instruments in the Hands of God,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2005, 115–16).

President Gordon B. Hinckley: “There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us. In the words of the Lord to Joshua … , ‘be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God [will be] with thee whithersoever thou goest’ (Joshua 1:9)” (“The Need for Greater Kindness,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 61).

Resources

Book of Mormon Student Manual

Doctrines of the Book of Mormon

Ensign

Conference Reports

Miracle of Forgiveness

Church History

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