Alma 43-63…the war chapters

I have read the Book of Mormon several times and these 20 chapters have always been a little dull for me. Until some months ago anyway. I was guided to a talk by John Bytheway, given at the 2015 BYU Women’s Conference, which he was talking about the parable of the 10 virgins and having oil in our lamps. During his talk, he brings up those chapters and then gives and understanding of them. Suddenly they weren’t dull anymore because the spiritual nature and examples given in them were opened up to me. I got it, I understood.

So now, having forgotten that, I was excited to read these chapters to try to understand why they were put in there with so much detail. It was a 13 year war. It was also rich with symbolism, doctrine and principles.

There are many points that I loved and learned so much from, but the one that I observed the most was that through it all, they never stopped even though they were seriously outnumbered. It reminded me of the hymn, “Let Us All Press On”, “We will not retreat though our numbers may be few when compared with the opposite hist in view. But an unseen power will aid me and you in the glorious cause of truth.” This was the Nephites during the entire 13 years and this is what we have to endure today with the war that Satan has continued from his war in Heaven before the foundations of this world began.

I am generally a sensitive person to those who I am close to. Strangers don’t affect me much, but those I care about do. I have learned to put feelings aside, mostly so that I can have peace. If I get upset about every thing that is said or done carelessly, I would never have peace. The Chief Captain over all the Nephite armies was Moroni. He was one of the best men who ever lived, but he also had a bit of a temper. There was a time in the battles where more men were needed but weren’t being sent from the capital city. Moroni writes a scathing letter to the Chief Governor of the land. And when I mean scathing, it was awful. Turns out that the people in the capital were fighting among themselves and so the governor was dealing with his own mess and couldn’t send more men. In the letter from the governor to Moroni, he calls out Moroni on his criticism and says that it doesn’t matter. Pahoran, the governor chose not to be offended.

Elder Bednar and Apostle of the Lord has said in a General Conference address, “When we believe or say we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected. And certainly clumsy,embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me.Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.” 

The greatest gift that God had given us in this life is the ability to choose. We choose when we are offended. We may be hurt or stung by the insensitive or careless words of another, but it it our choice to become offended by them. Everything we do in this life is a choice. And that includes how we respond to others. Think about it.

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