The Virtue of the Word of God – Alma 31:5

5 And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just–yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them–therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.

Violence, or the threat of violence, may curtail evil actions, but it cannot change hearts. During Alma’s service as high priest over the church, he learned that a group of people called the Zoramites “were perverting the ways of the Lord” (Alma 31:1). This apparently came to his attention because of Korihor’s violent death among them (Alma 30:58-59). Many of his fellow Nephites were frightened. They recognized the possibility that the Zoramites could unite with their enemies, the Lamanites. But Alma knew that their best hope for resolving the situation was to preach the word of God to the Zoramites.
When we fear other people, our first instinct is to constrain their actions and protect ourselves. But we might be wiser to follow the examples the sons of King Mosiah, good friends of Alma, who went among their enemies, the Lamanites, “not with the intent to destroy [them], but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls” (Alma 26:26).
Today I will be grateful for the work of missionaries around the world, who preach the gospel to all who are willing to listen. I will remember that their work is the true work of peace, because it is the work that changes hearts and minds. 
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