The Effects of a Man Named Abinadi

1 And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king commanded that the priests should take him and cause that he should be put to death.
2 But there was one among them whose name was Alma, he also being a descendant of Nephi. And he was a young man, and he believed the words which Abinadi had spoken, for he knew concerning the iniquity which Abinadi had testified against them; therefore he began to plead with the king that he would not be angry with Abinadi, but suffer that he might depart in peace.
3 But the king was more wroth, and caused that Alma should be cast out from among them, and sent his servants after him that they might slay him.
4 But he fled from before them and hid himself that they found him not. And he being concealed for many days did write all the words which Abinadi had spoken.

(Mosiah 17:1-4)

“One of the wicked priests of King Noah is a man named Alma, who is a descendant of Nephi. When first introduced in the Book of Mormon, Alma is a young man in the process of being converted by Abinadi (Mosiah 17:2). Much of the religious history of the Nephite nation for the next three hundred years is concerned with this man and his descendants. Alma not only begins a religious revival among his own people, but later he is given power by King Mosiah to establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla (See Mosiah 25:19).

Still later we read that Alma’s son (also called Alma) succeeds his father as the religious leader of the people and also becomes the first chief judge over the Nephite nation. Other descendants of Alma the elder who become great religious leaders of the Nephites include his grandson (Helaman); great-grandson (Helaman, the son of Helaman); great-great-grandson (Nephi, the son of Helaman who is the son of Helaman); and great-great-great-grandson (Nephi the second, who is also the chief disciple of the resurrected Jesus Christ). Abinadi may have felt that he failed as a missionary; so far as the record indicates, his only convert was Alma. However, as mentioned above, the missionary efforts of Abinadi affected the religious life of the Nephites for hundreds of years (Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p.187).”

This really hit home for me. I often think back to my time as a missionary, and I wonder if it did any good. I probably talked to thousands of people on the street, and yes, a few did decide to change their lives and get baptized. But is that it? Have I done my part?

The spreading of the Gospel message is an ongoing battle between our Father in Heaven and the adversary. And ultimately, we know who us going to win, but that still means that we have to do our part of the fight. I don’t think we can ever underestimate the power that we have. Though we may try to share a message with friends or family, they quickly shut us down. But don’t ever get discouraged by the fact that you’re planting seeds. One day, they’ll find the desire to nourish what is already inside of them, and you can be there for them ready and waiting.

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