Thursday, May 26, 2005

Who says we don't have women in the scriptures?

14 Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites, his brethren, who had been the cause of so much mourning among the Nephites, or among all the people of God because of their iniquities and their traditions, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren; and he was also overpowered with joy; and thus they all three had sunk to the earth.
15 Now, when the servants of the king had seen that they had fallen, they also began to cry unto God, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them also, for it was they who had stood before the king and testified unto him concerning the great power of Ammon.
16 And it came to pass that they did call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father—
17 Thus, having been converted to the Lord, and never having made it known, therefore, when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay prostrate upon the earth, she knew that it was the power of God; and supposing that this opportunity, by making known unto the people what had happened among them, that by beholding this scene it would cause them to believe in the power of God, therefore she ran forth from house to house, making it known unto the people.
18 And they began to assemble themselves together unto the house of the king. And there came a multitude, and to their astonishment, they beheld the king, and the queen, and their servants prostrate upon the earth, and they all lay there as though they were dead; and they also saw Ammon, and behold, he was a Nephite.

Abish. A lamanite woman. A servent. A missionary who took opportunity and was an example.

Abish has very few lines in the book of Alma, in the Book of Mormon (Alma 19: 16 -18). Abish understands what is happening and seizes the opportunity to share what she has kept in her heart for many years; her testimony of the Lord. She runs - RUNS - from house to house telling all who would listen of the great miracle happening back at the palace. It is her goal to bring others to Christ so that they may experience what she knows and feels. As a result "a multitude" gather to witness the scene.

I had an "Abish" in my seminary class a few years ago. Perhaps you have met an "Abish" in one of your classes. You know her. The lone girl, quietly doing what is expected, but nothing out of the ordinary until the right opportunity comes along; then watch out, she is on fire and the Lord just works through her. My "Abish" stood for the right amoung her LDS peers. It is one thing to stand for the right against those who do not believe. But to challenge those who do believe and should behave better but don't because of pride, etc. - well that's hard. Real hard, especially for a teenager whose whole existence depends on peer respect and acceptance.

My "Abish" was bold, not loud. When challenged she did not back down in what she was defending. She took her Young Women's Promise ("We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are: Faith Divine Nature Individual Worth Knowledge Choice and Accountability Good Works and Integrity We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,we will be prepared to strengthen home and family,make and keep sacred covenants,receive the ordinances of the temple,and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.") and ran with it. From person to person right there in my classroom, begging all to believe with her. Some did. Some mocked at laughed at her.

The following year, this same "Abish" from my class, led her other LDS classmates - about 28 of them- into the local school board meeting to protest the high school production in which all those 28 students were involved. The lead roles were all LDS. The board stood firm and said they could not change the night of the performances to exclude Sunday performances, they would loose too much money. Then "Abish" made a promise that silenced the room. "I promise you, WE promise you that the all of the other performances will be completely sold out if you allow us to remove the Sunday performances. If you cannot do that, then ALL 28 students who are here tonight will remove ourselves from the production." Again, there were some who felt she was pretty bold to promise a full house for the 6 other performances AND say they would all quit if they didn't get what they wanted. But not one of them said anything out loud, They all stood there firm. The school board relented, but with a condition that if they did not sell out all 6 performances, the money would be recovered from "prom" monies. This got the high school kids in an uproar and the 28 kids in relative trouble.

You know I am going to tell you that yes, all other performances were indeed sold out and everything went well. And it did. I think it did because my "Abish" found her legs the year before and stood among her LDS peers for what she believed. Line upon line, precept upon precept. Strength upon strength. Miracles after the trial of faith.

I am happy to also report the "Abish" from my class sent me an announcement that she was sealed last weekend to her "Ammon". She no longer is the lone girl sitting by herself. She has power and a story and a testimony to build her life on. She was able to run, to proclaim, and even bring the multitudes. She is a woman in the scriptures.

add to sk*rt

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