Ammon and Missionary Preparation

Reading: Mosiah 27, Alma 1718

Today I decided to read about Ammon, the great missionary from the Book of Mormon.  I read looking for how Ammon prepared for his mission to the Lamanites, and was surprised with what I found.

First, we know that Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah, including Ammon, went around tearing down the church until an angel appeared to them and told them the error of their ways.  I think at first glance you can get the idea that if you do mess up, you can always repent real quick before you go on a mission.  But this was not the case.  First of all, repenting was hard work.

Alma spent two days in tormet, “repenting night unto death.”

Next, Alma and the sons of Mosiah spent a good long time making up for the bad they had done:

And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church, confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.

It was only after all this that they left on their mission to the Lamanites.

What they gained from this experience, though, was a first hand strong testimony of the truth of the gospel.  They knew that the church was true, and they knew that through repentance all mankind could be saved.  Because they were saved!

Looking at the account of the beginning of Ammon’s mission also reveals many of Ammon’s traits that served him on his mission. Including:

  • Patience, as demonstrated in the way he dealt with King Limhi when taken prisoner
  • Knowledge of the gospel, as demonstrated in the way he was able to teach others the gospel
  • Humility, as demonstrated by the way he always gives credit to God
  • Faith, as demonstrated by the way he goes into a strange land totally trusting in the Lord
  • Enthusiasm for the gospel, as demonstrated by the way he is excited when bad things happen because they are opportunities to show the power of God
  • The ability to teach, as shown in the way he is able to teach those around him in a way that they can understand

If Ammon was not prepared to go before he left for his mission, he would not have succeeded.  He is such a great example of a missionary because he was so strong in the gospel before he ever left.

One thing I found particularly applicable to my life right now is that Ammon (and his brethren) were not just perfect from day one.  They had to work hard to develop the attributes that would later lead to their success on their missions.  Sometimes I feel down because I’m not a better person, and I feel like I’ll never be “good enough.”  But, I can follow Ammon’s example and become a better person through help from God.  God is always ready to help us become better people.

Today I am going to remember Ammon’s example and not be so hard on myself.  I’m going to instead pray for help with those things I wish I was better at.  Like, being more patient with people are doing better at remembering little daily stuff to do.

What other ways did you notice that Ammon was prepared to go on his mission?  How can we better prepare ourselves to be servants of the Lord?

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