You don’t need to be a physicist to start a powerful chain reaction.
Have you ever split uranium atoms to release energy as heat and generate electricity?
No? Huh …
Well, maybe you’ve knocked over one domino and watched the rest topple over. Or maybe you posted something on social media that people kept on sharing.
These are all examples of chain reactions. One action leads to another and another and another and … you get the idea.
Did you ever think that you could be causing chain reactions every day? Think about the choices you made today. Some of them might not matter, but many choices have more significance than you can possibly imagine! You never know how the decisions you’re making right now will continually affect others.
Take a look at Abinadi (see Mosiah 11–17). When Abinadi testified to King Noah and his priests, almost no one listened. The people ignored him, the priests mocked him, and the king commanded that he be put to death! Only one young man believed Abinadi. Just one person! At first, that might not seem like much, but in the end, Abinadi’s bravery and determination to do what was right blessed the lives of thousands of people.
Alma the Elder (Mosiah 18; Mosiah 25:15–19)
The first person Abinadi impacted was Alma the Elder, then one of King Noah’s judges. As he listened to Abinadi, he was inspired to repent, change his life, and share Abinadi’s message of the gospel. He taught and baptized 450 people! They then joined the Nephites at Zarahemla, where Alma became the high priest of the Church and helped bring even more people to Christ (see Mosiah 25:18). One of these was his son, Alma the Younger.
Alma the Younger (Mosiah 29:42–47)
Alma the Younger became chief judge of the Nephites and high priest of the Church. He served many missions and helped thousands of people come unto Christ. His sons followed his example and also served missions. His oldest son was Helaman.
Helaman, Son of Alma
Helaman kept the records and was one of the high priests of the Church (see Alma 46:6). In about 73 B.C. and again about 54 B.C., he reestablished the Church after years of war (see Alma 45:22; Alma 62:46). He led the 2,000 stripling warriors. (Yeah, those stripling warriors.) His son was also named Helaman.
Helaman, Son of Helaman
Helaman kept the records of the people as well. He became chief judge of the Nephites. During his righteous rule, “tens of thousands” joined the Church (Helaman 3:26). He had two righteous sons, Nephi and Lehi.
Nephi and Lehi, Sons of Helaman
Nephi was chief judge before leaving to preach the gospel with Lehi. These brothers were such powerful missionaries that most of the Lamanites were converted to the gospel (see Helaman 5:50). Nephi turned the records over to his son, Nephi.
Nephi, Son of Nephi
Nephi became a great prophet. He taught and baptized many in the wicked days before Christ’s coming, even raising his brother from the dead (see 3 Nephi 7:15–26). He was chosen as one of Christ’s 12 disciples when the Savior appeared (see 3 Nephi 12:1). The disciples helped convert all the Nephites and Lamanites after Christ’s coming (see 4 Nephi 1:2).
Your Chain Reaction
You may feel like nothing you do impacts anything or anyone. Maybe Abinadi felt the same way. All that teaching and sacrifice and only one person listened? But over time, his choice to boldly testify and live the gospel changed and continues to change countless lives.
You never know how many people will be influenced by what you choose to do. One kind act or one difficult choice can change your life, the lives of those around you, and the lives of people you’ve never even met. It’s a bit like knocking over some dominoes or throwing a rock into a lake. The ripples just keep growing; soon there are too many to count. (Read “The Ripple Effect” for a modern-day example of how one young man’s decision is still affecting thousands of people.)
Share Your Experience
How have you started a chain reaction? Share your experience below.