Verse 7: And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them—
Verse 8: Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free.
Verse 9: And ye know also that they have buried their weapons of war, and they fear to take them up lest by any means they should sin; yea, ye can see that they fear to sin—for behold they will suffer themselves that they be trodden down and slain by their enemies, and will not lift their swords against them, and this because of their faith in Christ.
Samuel the Lamanite’s recounting of the faith and endurance of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies identifies that these people changed their hearts, minds, and society. They chose God over the tradition of their pasts. They made new traditions for their children which centered on their faith in Jesus Christ.
It is interesting to me that they were made free by knowing truth. In that freedom they buried their weapons of war. They wanted the freedom of eternity more even than life.
When they were brought to know the truth, and that the traditions of their ancestors were wrong, they believed the holy scriptures and the prophets. They developed faith in Jesus Christ, repented, and were baptized. They became new people. This is a description of what happened to them but their individual experiences are not known. I’ve learned that changing thoughts, attitudes, habits can be difficult. I am sure that the process of doing this took effort and faith and much help from Heaven.
Samuel was reminding the Nephites of faith experiences of which they knew. He wanted the Nephites to remember God’s work among them. The example of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies inspires me. It helps me maintain my determination to endure to the end of my life to continue striving to become the best disciple of Jesus Christ that I can be. I want to be as converted as these Lamanite descendants became.
Verse 12: Yea, I say unto you, that in the latter times the promises of the Lord have been extended to our brethren, the Lamanites; and notwithstanding the many afflictions which they shall have, and notwithstanding they shall be driven to and fro upon the face of the earth, and be hunted, and shall be smitten and scattered abroad, having no place for refuge, the Lord shall be merciful unto them.
Verse 13: And this is according to the prophecy, that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among His sheep.
Verse 14: Therefore I say unto you, it shall be better for them than for you except ye repent.
The prophets of old foresaw that the American Indians, descendants of the Lamanites would not be treated right in modern times, but some of the descendants would survive and learn the true Gospel of Jesus Christ that their Anti-Nephi-Lehi ancestors knew. These descendants would be numbered among the Savior’s fold. He would become their shepherd as He had been for their ancestors.
On the other hand, the Nephites were told that unless they repented from the wickedness to which they had turned, they would have no descendants. Their family lines would be destroyed.
We each choose daily for ourselves whether or not we will receive the promises of eternity. Let us look to our Lord Jesus Christ an His prophets and live.