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.
What do Abinadi, Alma the Younger, and Samuel the Lamanite have in common? All three were commanded to return to cities which had rejected them:
- When Abinadi attempted to teach the people of Shilom the gospel, they were angry and tried to kill him. The Lord delivered him out of their hands, and he hid. But two years later, he returned, telling the people that the Lord had commanded him to preach to them again (Mosiah 12:1).
- Alma the Younger was rejected in the city of Ammonihah and told to leave. But as he began to travel to the city of Aaron, he was told by an angel to “return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city” (Alma 8:16). When he received that instruction, he returned to Ammonihah “speedily” (Alma 8:18).
- Samuel the Lamanite preached for many days in the land of Zarahemla and was cast out. But, as we read in the passage above, “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.”
In all three cases, they had been rejected definitively by the residents of the city. They must have been pretty certain that they would be rejected again. But they were obedient when the Lord commanded them to return and try again. In all three cases, they were rejected again by the majority of the inhabitants of the city a second time. But in all three cases, some people were converted during their second visit. (See Mosiah 17:2-4, Alma 14:6-7, Helaman 16:1).
Today, I will choose to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In particular, I will exercise faith when the Lord commands me to do something which seems unlikely to succeed. I will remember the examples of Abinadi, Alma, and Samuel, who followed difficult commandments quickly and faithfully, trusting in the wisdom of God more than in their own doubts and concerns.