“When Our Hearts Were Depressed and We Were About to Turn Back”

Alan C. Miner

In Alma 26:27, Ammon makes one of many statements found in the narrative of the Book of Mormon that tell the reader that the Book of Mormon truly is what it says it is. Ammon is reflecting on his missionary experiences and says the following:

Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

If we turn back to Alma 17, we find the part of the missionary narrative that Ammon is referring to. It is very interesting to note that there is no direct mention of Ammon and his brethren being depressed, or being about to turn back. This information is supplied in a very subtle manner and only understood upon reading Alma 26:27. For the benefit of the reader, let us quote from Alma 17:9-12:

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.

And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.

And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.

And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God.

Once again the text of the Book of Mormon bears witness of itself. [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary