Optimism in a Falling World- Alma 17:12-14

And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God.
And it came to pass when they had arrived in the borders of the land of the Lamanites, that they separated themselves and departed one from another, trusting in the Lord that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that great was the work which they had undertaken.
And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.

COMMENTARY

The sons of Mosiah took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God.
And they had undertaken to preach the word to a wild and a hardened and ferocious people; who delighted in murdering and robbing and plundering.

It is remarkable to me what sort of people it was the sons of Mosiah chose to take their missionary efforts to. One would think they would look for a people that were already mostly in harmony with the gospel and preach to them, that way they would expect to have greater success, let alone a greater chance of survival!
But no, they went to the most corrupted people that they could, the people who hated them, the people that were furthest away from God. Of course Jesus’s disciples did much the same when they carried the gospel to the gentile nations, even to the same country that had carried out the execution of their master! They walked straight into the lion’s den, somehow expecting to accomplish good there.
And, remarkably, both the Nephites and early Christian missionaries absolutely did accomplish some good. Though they had trials, they also had great success. Because, as those early missionaries seemed to have understood, the people who are furthest from God are also the people who need God the most!

Peace in the Storm- Question

There is an iconic scene in the gospels, that of the disciples floundering for control of their boat in the Sea of Galilee. A storm has arisen, and is of such intensity that they all expect to be drowned. They call out to Jesus, who is still sleeping, and he arises to calm the sea with three simple words.

For those whose lives are falling apart, this story resonates as a desperate plea. For those whose lives have already been saved, this story resonates as an affirmation of peace. And for those that have passed through some storms but are still in the thick of others, this story is both plea and affirmation!

Each of us have our storms in life. Many of us spend a long while trying to manage them on our own, delaying nearly to the point of destruction. Then, in that moment of despair, we cry out for help, desperately hoping that there is someone to answer.

With this study I would like to examine a few of the different storms that rage around us. I will consider the tragedies of life, the ridicules of the world, and the moments of intense doubt. We will examine how we do our own part to bring peace to these moments, and how we depend on God to make up the rest.

In the meantime I would be curious to hear about your own experiences of peace within a storm. How have you been able to remain tranquil when all the world was in foment? Were there any moments that eventually made you buckle? How did God come to your rescue?