President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency explained how temporal service can soften a heart and lead to a miracle:
“When the other servants brought the evidence of what Ammon had done, King Lamoni said, ‘Where is he?’ They said, ‘Oh, he is in the stables. He is doing every little thing to serve you’ (see Alma 18:8–9).
“Isn’t that odd? He was called to teach the doctrines of salvation, but he was in the stables. Don’t you think he should have been praying and fasting and polishing his teaching plan? No, he was in the stables.
“King Lamoni had been brought up with a belief that there was a God but that whatever the king did was right. He had been specifically taught false doctrine that might have made him impervious to feelings of guilt. Do you remember that when he heard where Ammon was, a feeling of guilt, of fear that he had done wrong in the killing of the servants, came over him (see Alma 18:5)? …
“I have always focused before on how mixed up Lamoni was in his doctrine, without seeing the miracle. The miracle was that a spiritual need was created in a man, that he might be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. His heart was broken. He felt guilt. And it came from the temporal things that Ammon had done. …
“… Never, never underestimate the spiritual value of doing temporal things well for those whom you serve.
“… Be their servants, and you will love them. And they will feel your love. And more important, they will feel God’s love” (“The Book of Mormon Will Change Your Life,” Ensign, Feb. 2004, 13–14).