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13 June 2010

Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.

And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;

And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
Alma 48:14-6


Jeannetta said...

Give's ya hope these days doesn't it.
We're not alone.

Ritsumei said...

I love the passages in Alma 48 about Captain Moroni's character. I've long found it interesting that Moroni, a man of war, was the only one singled out for the praise he's given in the few verses just prior to these. Or, take Ammon. You know Ammon - the missionary that cut off the arms of the men that attacked the king's sheep? Yeah, he's described as "harmless" in his interaction with the King's father. Wise, but harmless. Yet he has enough martial skill to defend the sheep like that. And, really, did the People of Ammon take the easy way out when they sent their very young sons to war, rather than bearing that burden themselves? Thomas Paine said, "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." Do we really believe that the People of Ammon felt any differently about the peace they hoped their sons would enjoy?

I do not believe that it's an accident that the book of Alma has so much war in it, or really, the whole Book of Mormon. But it's particularly apparent in Alma: they set up a free government, and then are constantly required to fight, sword in hand, in order to maintain it. We have been so blessed, here in the US, to be spared so much bloodshed from external attacks, but we have not been vigilant to protect our liberty from internal attack, and we suffer for it. I hope that we do not need to go to the same lengths that Captain Moroni had to in order to reclaim and maintain it.


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