Alma 17:6 - 17:10
Alma 17:6 Now these were their journeyings: Having taken leave of their father, Mosiah, in the first year of the judges; having refused the kingdom which their father was desirous to confer upon them, and also this was the minds of the people;
Now what follows in the record is an account of the experiences, both good and bad as these four sons of Mosiah labored with the Lamanites. They had left their father king Mosiah in the first year the judges which was now the governing body over the Nephites. The boys had refused to accept the kingship and the Nephites were aware of their reasons.
Alma 17:7 Nevertheless they departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and took their swords, and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves while in the wilderness.
They left Zarahemla taking with them what weapons they need to live off the land as they made their way to the land of Nephi. They had swords, spears, bows and arrows and slings.
Alma 17:8 And thus they departed into the wilderness with their numbers which they had selected, to go up to the land of Nephi, to preach the word of God unto the Lamanites.
The boys did not go alone. They picked others who wanted to help with preaching the gospel to the Lamanites.
Alma 17:9 And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.
On the journey, they all had prayed and fasted much seeking the Lord’s injunction to help them with their desire to preach to the Lamanites. They wanted to be effective and knew that if the Lord was not backing them, they would fail. The object was to bring the gospel to them and try to get them to rid themselves of the false traditions of the past.
This would almost be equivalent to going to Pakistan trying to convert the people from Mohammedanism to Christianity. And at the same time, to live in peace with one another as they are divided up into tribes and are continuously fighting among themselves. You can see the extreme difficulty in accomplishing this goal. I think the boys knew this and had to have the Lord’s backing and even the knowledge that it was even possible before they would venture forth to tackle this seemingly impossible task. I wonder what the motivation was in the first place. I am not sure I would want to go to Pakistan to preach the gospel to the folks there. At this point in history, I would think it would go nowhere which is why the church is not there anyway.
Alma 17:10 And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.
The Lord did inspire them to know that they were doing the right thing. In addition, the time was right for a mission to the Lamanites and they would indeed be effective in accomplishing at least some of the goals they had in mind.
This has always been important to me. To know I was doing the right thing for the right reason. I am not worried so much on the outcome as it might not be what I would envision anyway. As long as I am doing the right thing, let the outcome be as it may. That is not what a person is judged on. It is the desire of the heart that is the most important. I did finish the race is what is important not whether I finished first.