36 And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.
When Ammon and his brothers started talking about traveling to the land of the Lamanites to preach the gospel, many of their friends and neighbors told them they were crazy. As Ammon later recalls:
They said unto us: Do ye suppose that ye can bring the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth? Do ye suppose that ye can convince the Lamanites of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers, as stiffnecked a people as they are; whose hearts delight in the shedding of blood; whose days have been spent in the grossest iniquity; whose ways have been the ways of a transgressor from the beginning (Alma 26:24)?
I don’t know why these kinds of fears come so easily to us. We seem to have a hard time believing that people can change and progress. But as Thomas S. Monson has taught: “We have the responsibility to see individuals not as they are but rather as they can become” (“See Others as They May Become,” General Conference, October 2012).
As Mormon points out in the passage above, Ammon and his brothers turned out to be right. Their friends and neighbors may not have had any hope that the Lamanites could change, but God knew that they could and was willing to help them. They were His children, and He loved them just as He loved Ammon and his brothers. As Mormon reminds us, “His arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.”
Today, I will follow the example of Ammon and the counsel of President Monson. I will strive to see others as they can become. I will choose to believe in their ability to fulfill their God-given potential, knowing that our Heavenly Father loves and is willing to bless all of His children.