Tuesday, March 31, 2015
real sons of real fathers.
For anyone who may have read the Book of Mormon before, there is a significant amount of scripture dedicated to some men referred to as the sons of Mosiah, along with Alma the younger. Usually when they are thought of or talked about, there is an emphasis on how they were quite awful human beings at first, but then became some of the greatest missionaries in that time. Little is said about their conversion, especially regarding the sons of Mosiah, and not much is mentioned about how they changed from being ridiculously wicked to being impressively righteous. However, if we look closely at certain scripture verses, we can see aspects of characterization through descriptive writing to delve a little deeper into the understanding of what these young men went through regarding their repentance process and change of heart.
In Mosiah chapter 28 verses 3-5, the verses describe the sons of Mosiah. After they have been converted and turned their lives over to Christ, they are “desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish” (v. 3). Basically, the scripture describes how they are really adamant about sharing the things they have learned and been exposed to because now they are so passionate about what they were previously ignorant of. They have intense testimonies of Christ and the gospel and want to teach it to anyone who will listen to them. “Even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble,” so them having the opportunity to teach others was a really big deal to them.
The verses go on to point out the “Spirit of the Lord” had “work[ed] upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners” (v. 4, emphasis added). Later in the same verse, it says, “they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever” (v. 4, emphasis added). Rewind: aren’t these men known as great, faithful men of God? Is that not their legacy? Being unstoppable missionaries, spreading the gospel and converting the thousands? Yet here it is, in scripture, the process of suffering and fear they went through because of the decisions they previously made.
There are many times where we might feel we have really messed up—maybe we lied to a close friend or relative; maybe we forgot to keep the Sabbath day holy; maybe we committed a sin we don’t even want to talk about with anyone else. Then we might read about these fantastic individuals who accomplished so much and then feel so insignificant in comparison. But in those times we must not forget the process these men needed to go through in order to reach their goals and the immense change of heart they had to undertake in order to make the impact they did. They were real sons of real fathers.