I’m reading what are often called the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. The irony in that name being that most of the book recounts the story of a nation that continually cycles through righteousness, to prosperity, to pride, to sin, and then into bondage or war. Nevertheless, these chapters in Alma are pretty focused on specifics about how the smaller Nephite army held strong to their faith and fought valiantly and with intensity against the Lamanites who sought to steal their freedom.
I’m astounded by how hard they had to fight to maintain their way of life against the the constant push by the Lamanites to take away their freedom. It’s got me thinking a lot about how vigilant we need to be against the constant push of Satan to take us down any way he can – through the use of distraction or discouragement, to addiction or abuse – it seems like the forces of the world that try to make us give up on our efforts to live pure and godly lives are relentless and overwhelming.
These young men and their fellow soldiers fought with all they had, physically and spiritually, to protect their way of life. Do I make a similar effort to protect the people and practices that allow me to maintain spiritual freedom? Do I keep a vigilant watch for encroaching dangers? Do I guard and maintain my hope in Christ, the source of my peace?
“And it came to pass that there were two hundred, out of my two thousand and sixty, who had fainted because of the loss of blood; nevertheless, according to the goodness of God, and to our great astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army, there was not one soul of them who did perish; yea, and neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds. 26 And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe—that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power. 27 Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually.” Alma 57:25–27 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/57?verse=25-27&lang=eng#p25