Reading about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi group this past week, I had deep impressions come into my mind about true repentance and things that I need to work on.
This was a group of people who were so repentant that they changed their names. They wanted nothing in the littlest part to be able to link or connect them with their past sins of blood shed and murder. ( Alma 23:17)
One witness we have about how deep the repentance was that took place, and the atonement working to change their hearts are the decisions made by the father of King Lamoni. He was the king over all the land except the land of Ishmael. ( Alma 22:1 )
You would think that this king sending a letter or proclamation to his whole kingdom that stated the people must allow Aaron and his brethren into their homes, and that they can not bind them; cast them in prison; and must give them access to their homes and churches would be enough of a witness that he was repentant? ( Alma 23: 2 )
But, this is not all that this king did. This Father of King Lamoni named his own son after this covenant of change. He named his son
" Anti-Nephi-Lehi ". ( Alma 24:15 )
As the Lamenites prepared to make war against these people of God, you would think that them burying their weapons of war and prostrating themselves in prayer, rather than fighting back, thousands losing their lives, would be a strong enough witness? ( Alma 24:21 )
But, they did more- the new king Anti-Nephi-Lehi expressed that they would offer themselves as slaves in order to show they were fully repentant, as he says in Alma 27:8 ; " Yea if the Lord saith unto us go, we will go down unto our brethren, and we will be their slaves until we repair unto them the many murders and sins which we have committed against them."
These seemingly never-ending efforts to witness their deep and ever changed hearts is something that I want to do in my own life. I too have my " weapons of war " that I have buried in the ground in effort to change. Many times I feel their sharp edges pricking me, causing enough pain that I feel tempted to bring them back out, and fight. For me, it is literally a prick or pain that brings on the temptation of sinning. My sinning comes through a response to the pain of hurtful actions; words, or painful memories. I have overcome many sinful ways to respond to my feelings being hurt, or being scared; but I want to be more repentant; and I desire to bury those weapons deeper through His Atonement that heals not just our sins; but sins against us. ( Alma 7:12 ) My name has changed too; and as I remember that I have taken upon myself His name; I believe I will be more like these inspiring people. ( Moroni 4:3 )
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.