The Conversion of the Lamanites – Helaman 6

In Helaman chapter 6, we see the results of the conversion of the Lamanites through the preaching of Nephi and Lehi. Throughout the chapter, Mormon contrasts the Lamanites’ faithfulness with the Nephites’ depravity:

Their righteousness did exceed that of the Nephites, because of their firmness and their steadiness in the faith (Helaman 6:1).There were many of the Nephites who had become hardened and impenitent and grossly wicked (Helaman 6:2).
And now it came to pass that when the Lamanites found that there were robbers among them they were exceedingly sorrowful; and they did use every means in their power to destroy them off the face of the earth (Helaman 6:20).But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths (Helaman 6:21).
The Lamanites began to grow exceedingly in the knowledge of their God; yea, they did begin to keep his statutes and commandments, and to walk in truth and uprightness before him (Helaman 6:24).The Nephites did begin to dwindle in unbelief, and grow in wickedness and abominations (Helaman 6:24)
The Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites, because of their easiness and willingness to believe in his words (Helaman 6:36).The Spirit of the Lord began to withdraw from the Nephites, because of the wickedness and the hardness of their hearts (Helaman 6:35).
The Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites (Helaman 6:37).The Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites (Helaman 6:38).

As I’ve pondered these passages today, I’ve noticed the following differences between the converted Lamanites and the complacent Nephites:

  1. The Lamanites were steady and consistent in their discipleship, while many of the Nephites had failed to sustain their faith over time.
  2. The Lamanites grew in their knowledge of God, which led to righteous behavior. The Nephites dwindled in unbelief, which led to unrighteous behavior.
  3. The Lamanites eliminated the Gadianton robbers by preaching the gospel to them and helping them learn a better way to live. The Nephites, on the other hand, built the robbers up and joined them.
  4. Finally, the Lamanites received the Spirit of the Lord “because of their easiness and willingness to believe.” The Nephites began to lose the companionship of the Spirit “because of the wickedness and the hardness of their hearts.”

Today, I will strive to follow the example of these faithful Lamanites. I will be steady in my discipleship. I will continue to grow in the knowledge of God. I will oppose sinful behavior. And I will be willing to believe the words of God.

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