The sons of Mosiah lived varied lives. Like Alma, the younger, they sought to destroy the church. They persecuted and they didn’t believe.
“And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God, for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church, and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king—” – Mosiah 27:10
So, the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger went about to destroy the church. When such persecutions were effectively outlawed, they sought to destroy the church in secret.
What do you suppose is the level of joy in those who destroy or seek to destroy? It’s an interesting thought. Really, if you are bent on destruction, how happy are you?
I recognize that there may be some pleasure in the spoil of destruction. It’s a rush, I guess. But I seriously doubt that these sons of Mosiah and Alma had truly happy and healthy lives. They probably had a hard time transitioning out of such a destructive and painful mindset. My guess is that they assumed others were bent on destruction, deception, and misery. Usually, when we get stuck in this kind of mindset ourselves, it is difficult to imagine any other possibility.
And I have to admit, I think that this life would be miserable. In some ways it is tempting to be that type of person – the type that persecutes condescendingly. Maybe such behavior will make us “feel better” about ourselves. But I think that we’ve all done it before with negative outcomes. It’s a boring life – making fun of other people all of the time. Persecuting and destruction requires no creativity or intelligence. Blah.
Now, fast forward to the time after the Sons of Mosiah and Alma had converted and their hearts were changed.
“And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.” – Mosiah 27:37
This scripture describes the very same group of people. After repenting and covenanting with God, they declared glad tidings of joy to others. They published peace. They built up rather than tore down.
I know that preaching the gospel and publishing peace isn’t always the most exciting thing to do. They faced rejection and humiliation. But, we can’t discount the impact of the message that they shared. They published peace and the love of God. They were constantly thinking on these concepts and principles. Already, it sounds a lot happier than thinking so much about destruction.
Not only did their work cuase them to be blessed in the future, but I imagine it blessed them immediately. It isn’t difficult to imagine how publishing peace and joy increased their own peace and joy.