14 And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul, because of the wickedness of the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying:
15 Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you.
16 And behold, I am sent to command thee that thou return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city; yea, preach unto them. Yea, say unto them, except they repent the Lord God will destroy them.
Now an angel commands him to go back and try again — the same angel who had called Alma to repentance when he was trying to destroy the church. I wonder whether Alma considered the irony of the situation: the very angel who had saved his life was now commanding him to do the same for a group of people who were every bit as hardened as he had been. I wonder if he thought about Abinadi, who had also been commanded to return to a city that had rejected him, and who had thereby converted Alma’s father, but at the cost of his own life.
Whether or not those thoughts occurred to him, he didn’t spend a lot of time ruminating on them. Mormon tells us that he “returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah” to fulfill the command (Alma 8:18).
There are times when we need to ignore the evidence that we’re fighting a losing battle. Missionaries face rejection constantly, but they keep going in spite of it. They know that they are doing what is right, and they don’t allow temporary resistance or discouragement to prevent them from moving forward.
Today, I will continue to pursue worthy goals, even when I encounter obstacles. I will seek the Lord’s guidance to ensure that I am on the right track. If He confirms my course of action, I will carry on in spite of temporary setbacks.