by Kari Diane Pike
I'm a little sad today. Today is the beginning of ANWA's magnificent annual writer's conference and I can't be there. But like Daniel Tiger learned, "When you're disappointed about something, turn it around and find something good." (Yes, I live with a two-year-old, and I love it.)
So, something good: I can watch my social media for the bits and pieces of wisdom my friends are going to write about...and learn from them. I can take time to do my own research and answer questions I have about writing. I can look forward to attending next year! It also means I have time to give to a friend in need today.
Which leads me to some thoughts I had during scripture study this morning. I was reading Alma, chapter 20, in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The prophet Ammon was asked by his friend King Lamoni to go to the land of Nephi to meet his father, the king over all the land. Lamoni really wanted to introduce his father to this great friend and prophet of God.
But the Lord told Ammon that it was a bad idea. The king would try to kill Ammon. Besides that, some of Ammon's brethren were imprisoned in Middoni and they needed his help. As much as Ammon loved Lamoni, he put the Lord first. He told Lamoni what he needed to do...go to Middoni and free his friends. Ammon had never before given Lamoni any reason to doubt his word. Ammon had shown he was honest, loyal, and obedient to God. Lamoni jumped right in and offered to help.
On the way to Middoni, however, who should appear but Lamoni's father the king. Seeing his son with a Nephite, a "son of a liar" and an enemy to the Lamanites, made the king angry. He demanded Lamoni slay Ammon. Lamoni not only refused to kill his friend, but he stood up to the king and told him he intended to help free Ammon's friends, as well. This put the king in such a rage he drew his sword with the intention to kill his own son.
Ammon "stood forth" and spoke in Lamoni's defense. The angry king turned his sword upon Ammon who, in defending himself, wounded the king and told him that unless the king let his brethren go, he would slay him. The king pleaded for his life, offering Ammon up to half of his kingdom. Ammon spared the king, asking only for the freedom of his friends and that Lamoni be left to run his part of the kingdom and live his life in the manner he desired.
Ammon used his power to stand for truth and righteousness. He did not abuse his power over the king and his actions resulted in the softening of the king's heart. The king had witnessed friendship, love, loyalty and integrity to a degree that "astonished" him and he wanted to know more. He granted Ammon's desires and Ammon and Lamoni were able to free his friends from prison.
The example that Ammon and Lamoni set have me asking myself a lot of questions. Do I support and sustain my friends, while at the same time recognizing what the Lord wants? Do my friends respect my choices? Have I given them reason to doubt my intentions? Do I live my life in such a way that others around me would have no cause to doubt the truth of anything I say or do? Do I listen and follow the promptings of the Spirit so that I can come to the aid of others when they need it most?
I know I can do better. I want to be a better friend and a better servant of the Lord. I don't have a cool sword, but I do have capable hands with which to serve others. And words. Words can be very powerful. Especially when they are given to me from the Holy Spirit. This makes me very happy!
What are you going to write about today?