Whithersoever They Were Led – Alma 21:16-17

16 And they went forth whithersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord, preaching the word of God in every synagogue of the Amalekites, or in every assembly of the Lamanites where they could be admitted.
17 And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.
(Alma 21:16-17)

An important principle in sharing the gospel is that we must not become discouraged when we encounter adversity.
Mormon tells us earlier in this chapter that Aaron and his missionary companions had encountered significant opposition in the first two cities they visited: Jerusalem and Ani-Anti. In Jerusalem, they were accused of self-righteousness: “Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people?” (Alma 21:5). In Ani-Anti, they were mocked (Alma 21:10). In both cases, the people were simply unwilling to open their minds and hearts to the message of Aaron and his companions.
But as Mormon tells us in the passage above, the missionaries persevered and continued to preach the word “whithersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord,” and in every place “where they could be admitted.” Eventually, they began to have success.
Years ago, when I was serving as a missionary in Santiago, Chile, I heard the following counsel from Ezra Taft Benson:

One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work.If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people, and he will be happy. … Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work (“Keys to Successful Member-Missionary Work,” Ensign, September 1990).

Today, in my own efforts to share the gospel with others, I will avoid discouragement and I will remember the importance of carrying on in spite of resistance or adversity. I will seek to follow the Spirit of the Lord, knowing that it will bring happiness into my heart and, with time and patience, it will also touch the hearts of the people I teach.

This entry was posted in Alma, Diligence, Endurance, Missionary Work and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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