2 And it came to pass that in this year there was one Samuel, a Lamanite, came into the land of Zarahemla, and began to preach unto the people. And it came to pass that he did preach, many days, repentance unto the people, and they did cast him out, and he was about to return to his own land.
3 But behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, that he should return again, and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into his heart.
4 And it came to pass that they would not suffer that he should enter into the city; therefore he went and got upon the wall thereof, and stretched forth his hand and cried with a loud voice, and prophesied unto the people whatsoever things the Lord put into his heart.
I’ve been thinking this week about the difficult messages prophets are asked to deliver. In extreme cases like Samuel’s, they are specifically called to address a hostile audience. Like Abinadi and Alma the Younger, Samuel was instructed to return to a city which had already rejected him. You can imagine the anxiety these prophets felt, knowing that their message had already been rejected once and that to return was certainly to put their lives in danger.
Why would Heavenly Father put His trusted servants into that kind of situation? I can think of only one reason: because He loved the inhabitants of the city and He wanted to give them every opportunity to accept His word and receive His blessings.
I’m grateful for inspired men of God who have the courage and integrity to communicate what they have learned from Him, without regard for their own well being. When I have the opportunity to hear living prophets, I will remember that their mission is to deliver the messages which the Lord puts into their hearts, not to tell us what we want to hear.