This week my letter will be shorter than my usual drawl but a few things to say;
Second off, I love the book of Mosiah. It is my favourite book in The Book of Mormon. It starts with the beautiful sermon from King Benjamin and then opens up to one of my favourite stories ever told; The book of Zeniff and the records of Alma the older. One thing that I loved from this reading of the book in relation to the current events of the world today is King Mosiah’s response to the large masses of refugees that came into the land of Zarahemla. Just like today, the people of the Book of Mormon faced multiple refugee crisis. The books of Alma and Helaman tell us of asylum seeking Anti-Nephi-Lehites and war torn Nephites, and in the book of Mosiah, literally within mere days of each other, two entire cities full of people come to the gates of Zarahemla. First, the people of Limhi, having escaped the bondage of the Lamanites, preformed their mass midnight exodus from their city, traveled through the wilderness and arrived battered, weary and with hundreds of widows whose husbands were slain in battle, into the land of Zarahemla. Undoubtedly, Zarahemla had it’s own economic, political, social, and needless to say, population size problems….and yet the scripture says that immediately after receiving this influx of poor refugees that “it came to pass that Mosiah received them with joy” (Mosiah 22:14) He not only received them… He received them with JOY. Then, with this already great task of caring for this entire city of homeless, jobless, lost and weary refugees, the people of Zarahemla received yet another entire city of asylum seekers!
Alma’s followers, after escaping wicked King Noah, had flourished into the land of Helam, becoming a peaceful, industrious and swiftly growing people…..until the Lamanites took force over the land and enslaved them. Though the people remained faithful “submitting cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” (Mosiah 24:15) God did not release the Lamanite’s reign over them but instead commanded them to flee from their land to seek asylum in Zarahemla. And what did King Mosiah do? “and after they had been in the wilderness twelve days they arrived in the land of Zarahemla; and king Mosiah did also receive them with joy.” (Mosiah 24:25)
What a lesson for our present day! Like righteous King Mosiah, one of my greatest heroes, we ought to receive the latter-day people of Limhi and Alma “with joy” as they escape their latter-day Lamanites. Yes, this great mass of refugees changed the land of Zarahemla forever. Zarahemla would never be the same again…. Mosiah knew this…. He knew the temporal problems the crisis would give his nation, but he was a righteous king, following the Lord, and he looked past the temporal set backs and understood the things of eternal importance. If it had not been for King Mosiah’s charity in welcoming in the refugees, Alma would’ve never become high priest. Alma’s son, Alma the younger, with the sons of Mosiah, would’ve never converted the Lamanites. Literally millions of people would’ve never been saved, and honestly, the Book of Mormon would’ve never been…..there would’ve been no Moroni to bury the record, and with no Book of Mormon there would’ve been no restoration.
Essentially, I am here in Sweden, serving a mission today because around 2150 years ago one righteous people had Christ-like compassion upon two nations of refugees and undertook the seemingly impossible by welcoming them in with loving open arms and esteeming them as equal to themselves. Just think about that! We have the same opportunity today! Hundreds of years from now the people on this earth could be attributing their happiness and eternal salvation to our decisions to welcome in and serve the refugees of today. The refugees that came to Zarahemla bore with them future prophets and leaders who changed the course of eternity and saved thousands upon thousands… could that not likewise be true today?
Anyhow, just some personal study poderizing!