Prepare the Chariots
Alma 22:18 - Alma 25:14
The Index describes the sons of Mosiah as Great Nephite Missionaries.
One of the qualities that made them so great is something I want to work on in my own life. An amazing seminary teacher pointed this lesson out to me. It is one I don't ever want to forget.
Remember the story of Ammon and King Lamoni?
Ammon goes to the land of Ishmael. On his way there he is captured and carried before the king. He tells the king that his desire is to dwell there for a time and then he says, "I will be thy servant."
Remember how he served?
He watched the flocks. He fed the horses. He prepared the chariots.
Somehow, as he served, he won the heart of King Lamoni. Miracles happened. Hearts were changed.
In chapter 21 we read the account of his brother, Aaron, who came to the city of Jerusalem. The scriptures point out that when he entered the city he "first began to teach." (Alma 21:4) He also began to "open the scriptures unto them." (Alma 21:9)
But the people would not listen. They asked, "How knowest thou the thought and intent of our hearts?" (Alma 21:6)
Eventually they threw Aaron and his brethren into the prison.
Aaron's technique seemed like a good one. He taught the people. He opened the scriptures.
What was missing?
Ammon and King Lamoni helped to deliver Aaron and his brethren out of the prison. One verse describers this deliverance. There is no record of the conversation that took place between Ammon and Aaron, but I can't help but wonder if Ammon shared some advice with his brother.
Why do I wonder about that?
Because of what happens at the very beginning of Chapter 22.
After being released from the prison, Aaron was led by the Spirit to the land of Nephi, even to the house of the King. (Alma 22:1)
"He went into the Kings palace, and bowed himself before the king, and said...we will be thy servants." (Alma 22:2-3)
Before he began to teach, before he opened the scriptures, he bowed himself before the king and asked to be his servant.
Just like his brother did.
I wonder if it was a lesson taught brother to brother, in a quiet moment... watch the flocks, feed the horses, prepare the chariots.
Then the miracles will come.
Think about your own calling for just a minute.
Have you submitted to the will of the Lord? Are you willing to give everything to the people who you serve for a time? What are you willing to sacrifice in your service?
Can you watch over the flock? Feed the horses? Prepare the chariots?
It is a lesson we are taught over and over again through the life of Jesus Christ. Most often before He taught, He served. Through the process He came to know the thought and intent of the hearts of those He hoped to teach.
I think of my calling as a visiting teacher.
This month before I grab the Ensign and my scriptures I am going to try to remember Ammon's lesson.
Then I will pause to consider what I might do to prepare the chariots.