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Abish: A Model of Quiet Confidence and Contentment – Alma 19:16-17

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…..

Alma 19:16-17

The Book of Mormon contains too few female perspectives, but one woman who breaks through is Abish. Abish kept her faith quiet for years, unconcerned with recognition.

God converted Abish long before public manifestations. Though surrounded by unbelievers, she rested content in her personal spiritual experiences. She allowed God to work in His timing, not demanding visible results.

In our instant-sharing society, Abish’s patience is countercultural. We feel a need to constantly broadcast beliefs seeking validation. But Abish found security in sacred knowledge apart from public platforms. She exemplifies trusting God wholeheartedly without requiring likes and retweets.

True faith often flourishes hidden from the spotlight, cultivated quietly between one’s soul and God. Abish shows that waiting on God’s timing bears more fruit than impulsive proclamations. We might have more to learn from her contented silence than the attention-grabbing miracles she finally unveiled:

“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.”

Alma 19:17

Within the LDS culture, there is often an unspoken expectation to be constantly “on the go” in promoting faith and missionary work. Abish is usually used as the example of one who ran from “house to house” on her mission to share her faith-promoting story. There is an underlying sense of anxiety that one must always be doing something or looking for ways to showcase their spirituality. While these efforts are well-intentioned, the culture of anxious engagement can lead to burnout and a loss of the authentic essence of one’s faith.

The short narrative of Abish goes beyond just running from door to door to proclaim one’s faith, offering valuable insights into a deeper and more meaningful spiritual journey of contentment in faith and patience.

Contentment in faith does not imply complacency or a lack of enthusiasm for missionary work. On the contrary, it encourages a more authentic and meaningful approach to spirituality. Rather than feeling pressured to always be “doing more” or “preaching the gospel”, peace can be found in knowing that your private beliefs are valid and meaningful.