Abish is a Lamanite. At that time in the history of the Book of Mormon, Lamanites are not followers of Jesus Christ as a whole. Therefore, Abish had hidden her testimony of Jesus Christ for many years. When the Nephite missionaries come and preach of Jesus Christ and perform miracles, she runs throughout the land sharing her testimony and bringing people to the location where the missionaries are.
Recently, I attended a beautiful wedding followed by a baptism of a nice young lady and her boyfriend/husband. I felt it an honor to be able to baptize her as she expressed an outward desire to enter into a covenant with the Lord to take His name upon her and keep His commandments.
When I asked her what brought her to the point of wanting to be baptized, she said it was her boyfriend. Her boyfriend had been baptized a number of years ago, but hadn’t been attending church for quite a while (Mormons label this as being “inactive) when they met. They had a child together and moved in with each other. Over the course of four years, he would talk with her about his testimony of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Over time, she grew to have a desire to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ, but didn’t know what to do.
Around that time, the missionaries knocked on her door and she gladly let them in. The missionaries told me about the nice young couple that they had met and also that her boyfriend was a member. They had been living in our ward boundaries (every congregation is divided into what we call “ward”, or a territory so we can take care of each other better) for nearly a year and we hadn’t even known it! We were glad to welcome them into our ward and she started taking the lessons.
The lessons went by very nicely because her boyfriend had done such a great job of preparing and teaching her, even though he didn’t attend church at all, or associate with members of the congregation.
I realized that although people may not be “active”, they still have testimonies and if given the chance, they, like Abish, will gladly share their testimonies.