Here are the words of King Benjamin he was quoting:
- Realizing that the voice of the people was now at the point of choosing evil over good, Nephi got tired of being in government leadership carrying out wicked votes, so he retired and went on a senior mission with his brother as his companion. His great-grandfather, Alma the Younger, had done almost exactly the same thing.
- They began their mission in the Land of Bountiful, among the Nephites, and continued down to the Land of Zarahemla where the Lamanites now lived. Not only did they aid in the conversions of 8,000 of the Lamanites, they also, amazingly, succeeded in reactivating the Nephite dissenters among them.
- They then proceeded deeper south, into the original settlements of the Lamanites, the Land of Nephi. Here their reception was not so great. They were immediately cast into prison—coincidentally, the very same prison that Ammon was cast into by Limhi—to await their execution.
- After many days of starvation in prison, in which the brother-companions because very discouraged, 300 Lamanites came to take them to the chopping block, but as the Lamanites approached the cell, a wall of fire encircled Nephi and Lehi to protect them. This miracle, of course, was very good for the missionaries’ morale—as the scripture says in a very understated way, “It caused their hearts to take courage.”
- They explained to the Lamanites that this was the work of God. God then punctuated their words with an earthquake and great darkness. In the darkness a Voice from Heaven told the Lamanites to repent and spare the missionaries. “It was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but, behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul.” A second time the voice came, with the earthquake, and a third time.
- The Lamanites were understandably very frightened and confused by this turn of events, however, there was among them a Nephite apostate by the name of Aminadab. Having known God in the past, he recognized Him again, and explained to the Lamanites that the only way to get rid of the darkness was to pray to the Voice for forgiveness and remember the teachings of the scriptures. Once they did so, the darkness dispersed, but that was not all: the circle of fire around Nephi and Lehi expanded to include all of them in it. More than this physical fire, however, they were blessed with a flame in their hearts, the Holy Spirit of God.
- Now they heard the voice again, and this time it was a “pleasant voice,” still a whisper, which said, “peace, peace be unto you because of your faith [in Christ].” They looked up toward the voice and beheld angels descending to minister unto them.
- These 300 Lamanites became a great missionary force among their brethren, and the majority of the Lamanites converted to the church. As they did so, they left behind their hatred and their weapons, and even gave back the Nephite lands they had conquered! Missionary work had peacefully accomplished what military strategy could not.
The devil, and the fallen nature of this earth life, will beat and batter us, send storms upon us, and wear us down. But they will never have the power to drag us down to “endless wo” if our foundation is in Christ. We cannot fail, despite whatever frustrating, discouraging, heartbreaking things happen in our lives if we live up to our names as children of Christ.
- Treasure up his word. Elder Bruce R. McConkie warned that “they will be denied the sweet whisperings of the Spirit that might have been theirs unless they pay the price of studying, pondering, and praying about the scriptures.” (Doctrines of the Restoration, p. 238). There is no denying the importance of scripture study.
- Teach his doctrine. “Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you” (D&C 88:78) The blessing of grace is given to the teacher. We each have the opportunity to teach the gospel, not only in our callings, but to our family and friends, and to those we home and visit teach. We can also take advantage of fast and testimony meetings and learn that we strengthen our own testimonies when we bear them.
- Sustain his servants. It is not possible to stay close to the Lord while criticizing Church leaders. The Savior said that he who receives the Church leaders, receives Him.
- Trust in the Lord. “There is power in Christ, power not only to create the worlds and divide the seas, but also to still the storms of the human heart, to heal the pain of scarred and beaten souls.” (Millet, p. 183)