1 Now it came to pass that after the sons of Mosiah had done all these things, they took a small number with them and returned to their father, the king, and desired of him that he would grant unto them that they might, with these whom they had selected, go up to the land of Nephi that they might preach the things which they had heard, and that they might impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites–
2 That perhaps they might bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and convince them of the iniquity of their fathers; and that perhaps they might cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites, that they might also be brought to rejoice in the Lord their God, that they might become friendly to one another, and that there should be no more contentions in all the land which the Lord their God had given them.
3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
Because of their conversion to the gospel, Mosiah’s sons had some new capabilities:
- Empathy – They were capable of feeling other people’s pain as if it were their own. The thought of another person suffering “did cause them to quake and tremble.”
- Vision – They were able to visualize and believe in an outcome which was far different from their current experience. The goal was ambitious: “that there should be no more contentions in all the land.”
- Self-discipline – They were willing to defer gratification and even endure suffering in order to accomplish their objectives.
I think it’s significant that they didn’t wait to be assigned to go on this mission: they volunteered. They respected their father enough to ask for his permission, but they didn’t wait for him to tell them what they should do. They took the initiative to develop their own plan and submit it for approval. I wonder what would have happened otherwise. Would Mosiah have sent them on such a dangerous and uncertain mission? Would they have served with the same conviction and determination if they were doing this merely to fulfill an assignment? I don’t know the answer, but I believe that they were successful in part because they were doing this “of their own free will” acting as “agents unto themselves” (D&C 58:26-28).
Today, I will look for opportunities to serve. I will take the initiative to identify areas where I have the passion and the ability to make a difference, and I will volunteer to serve in those areas, rather than wait to be given an assignment.