I was reading in the Book of Mormon this morning in the book of Alma. Through the great missionary efforts of the sons of Mosiah, thousands of Lamanites had been converted to the gospel.
There was a group that lived among the Lamanites called the Amalekites. They were once Nephites, but had hardened their hearts and forsaken the gospel. In fact, because they had once seen the light of the gospel then rejected it, they had actually become harder and more fierce than the Lamanites who had never been exposed to the truth.
I chapter 23 it tells of the Lamanite converts and how "thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord..." And of the Amalekites they "were not converted, save only one."
Who was this "only one"? We don't know. That is all is says about the one.
But I couldn't help but wonder about this "only one." What kind of qualities could this "one" have possessed: Humility, faith, courage and love. It took all of these qualities to be the "only one" out of his people to listen, repent, believe, then leave. Can you imagine his/her conversion story? Someday I hope we will be able to read it.
I know a many people who are converts who have had to give up a lot to join the church. Some have been the "only one" in their family to have been converted. They have those same qualities that I imagined this single Amalekites had.
I have been a member of the church my whole life, but there have been times when, either at work, on my mission, or in other settings, that I have felt like the "only one" who believed. It takes courage and faith to stand up for what you believe. But even if we, at times, can feel alone - the "only one", we must always remember that we are never alone.
They that are with us are greater than they who are with them. We are supported by God, our Savior, those who have passed before us, by our brothers and sisters in the church and so on.
Being the 'only one' is not a bad thing. It means we, ourselves, had the humility to listen to the Spirit. We had the patience to nurture the seed of faith. We were faithful and obedient, repentant and forgiven. We had courage to live the gospel and keep His commandment. And when we stand before the Savior to account for our lives, it will be us alone - the "only one" talking to Him.
May we able to stand there with head held like and, like Paul, say that we "fought the good fight" - even if were were the only one.