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Chapter 23: Alma 14

Posted in Tattoo on Feb 09, 2019

As Church members became proud, their negative examples became a stumbling-block to those who did not belong to the Church (see Alma 4:912; 39:11). President GordonB. Hinckley related the story of a young man who faced terrible odds to learn about the gospel because of the way Church members treated him:

He was not a member of the Church. He and his parents were active in another faith.

He recalls that when he was growing up, some of his LDS associates belittled him, made him feel out of place, and poked fun at him.

He came to literally hate this Church and its people. He saw no good in any of them.

Then his father lost his employment and had to move. In the new location, at the age of 17, he was able to enroll in college. There, for the first time in his life, he felt the warmth of friends, one of whom, named Richard, asked him to join a club of which he was president. He writes:

For the first time in my life someone wanted me around. I didnt know how to react, but thankfully I joined. It was a feeling that I loved, the feeling of having a friend. I had prayed for one my whole life. And now after 17 years of waiting, God answered that prayer.

At the age of 19 he found himself as a tent partner with Richard during their summer employment. He noticed Richard reading a book every night. He asked what he was reading. He was told that he was reading the Book of Mormon. He adds:

I quickly changed the subject and went to bed. After all, that is the book that ruined my childhood. I tried forgetting about it, but a week went by and I couldnt sleep. Why was he reading it every night? I soon couldnt stand the unanswered questions in my head. So one night I asked him what was so important in that book. What was in it? He started to read where he had stopped. He read about Jesus and about an appearance in the Americas. I was shocked. I didnt think that the Mormons believed in Jesus.

On a subsequent occasion this young man and his friend were traveling. Richard handed him a Book of Mormon and asked that he read it aloud. He did so, and suddenly the inspiration of the Holy Spirit touched him.

Time passed and his faith increased. He agreed to be baptized.

That is the end of the story, but there are great statements in that story. One is the sorry manner in which his young Mormon associates treated him.

Next is the manner in which his newfound friend, Richard, treated him. It was totally opposite from his previous experience. It led to his conversion and baptism in the face of terrible odds (in Conference Report, Apr. 2006, 6263; or Ensign, May 2006, 5960).

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Chapter 23: Alma 14

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