6 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.
Why was the conversion so deep and durable? We have seen fleeting conversions many times. What was different in this case?
1. The fact that so many of them were converted at once gave them an immediate support system. They were able to strengthen each other in their new faith.
2. They were willing to make a customized covenant, which uniquely defined what they were turning away from and what they were turning toward. The public nature of their burying of weapons served as a powerful motivator to remain true to their new faith.
3. The persecution and adversity they experienced shortly after their conversion further strengthened their resolve. Just as steel must be tempered to avoid shattering under pressure, our conviction can grow stronger by being exposed to difficulty.
Note the contrast in verse 14: just as the testimony of the converted Lamanites was “tempered” through adversity, the resistance to conversion from the Amalekites and Amulonites was also very strong. They had hardened their hearts to such a degree that they not only avoided conversion within their ranks but were also able to prevent the Lamanites in their immediate influence from being converted either.