Few missionary endeavors in the history of the world can be compared to the task which the sons of Mosiah are planning. They actually desire to preach the gospel to their enemies. A modern corollary would be for an American missionary to try to preach the gospel to the Iraqis after the Desert Storm conflict of the early 90’s. Just as any American would be foolhardy to try to attempt to preach to their political and philosophical enemies, the sons of Mosiah are planning the unthinkable—to be missionaries to a people who think nothing of killing Nephites. They are just as likely to be killed as they are to convert anyone. Yet they are undaunted. Their plan is outlandish, ambitious, and aggressive. The faithless would argue that it is, at the same time, naïve, shortsighted and overzealous. The faithless in Zarahemla thought this plan was ridiculous, and, as Ammon later said, they laughed us to scorn (Alma 26:23). Elder F. Burton Howard describes the events of Alma 26.
F. Burton Howard
"Ammon tells about his decision to go on a mission and the blessing it is to be an instrument ‘in the hands of God’ (verse 3). He talks about how his friends gathered around to give him a scornful, mocking farewell. They laughingly asked if he supposed he could bring the heathen ’to the knowledge of the truth,‘ or if he supposed he could ’convince the Lamanites of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers’ (verse 24).
"His friends reminded him that the Lamanites were difficult-that they delighted in shedding blood, that their days had been spent in grossest iniquity, and that their ’ways [had] been the ways of a transgressor from the beginning’ (verse 24). They suggested that they would be better off taking up arms against the Lamanites and destroying them, lest they should someday overrun the Nephites (see verse 25).
“Notwithstanding this kind of negative peer pressure, Ammon went on a mission with the hope that, as he put it, he ‘might save some few of their souls’ (verse 26).” (Heroes from the Book of Mormon, p. 122)