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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Finding Strength Within (Alma 43-56)

In these chapters, the people of God, the Nephites, are provoked to war against the wicked Lamanites. Though they did not desire to spill the blood of their former brethren, the Nephites fought for "their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church" (Alma 43: 45). They were willing to go to war in defense of their freedoms, families, and religion, similar to how 18th century revolutionaries fought in America for their liberty. 

Appointed to lead the armies of the Nephites was Captain Moroni, "and he was only twenty and five years old when he was appointed chief captain" (Alma 43: 17). Though he was very young, Moroni led his people with courage and utmost righteousness. He fought for the cause of freedom from bondage and from tyrannical usurpation of unjust leaders. Times were not always easy for the Nephites, but they always pressed on in their faith in Jesus Christ and followed His commandments regardless of the tumult that surrounded them. In Moroni's military strategy, a method for increasing our defenses against wickedness and temptation can be found. Initially, Moroni strengthened the individuals of his army with armor, thick clothing, and shields. The Lamanites soon caught on to this and armored themselves as well. Then, the Nephites built great fortifications for their cities to protect the people collectively in the city. Moroni and his people then build new cities altogether, on top of fortifying their other ones and armoring their individuals. Finally, they fortify the very line that separates them from the Lamanites. In a symbolic sense, we can apply these fortifications to our own lives. In order to be protected from sin and temptation, we must first strengthen our own inner faith and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, we can help build up those around us, until we are strengthening everyone we come in contact with. Satan only has power over the external influences of our lives; he cannot affect our internal strength unless we give him the power to do so. Therefore, if we have internal strength in our faith and turn to the Lord, external problems will not be able to touch us. 

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