Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WAR! What Is It Good For...

Okay, so this post isn't completely about war, but the title was catchy and ironic, so I got attached and couldn't give it up.  This was intended to be a short post on my thought while reading Alma 43, it was going to be only on verse 9, and it has grown into many different things that encompass more verses and chapters of Alma. I'm trying to keep it organized, even though all things do eventually tie in together.  
Alma 43:9; "And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses, and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires."
I think what people fear most in day-to-day life is when their basic rights are trivialized and threatened, anytime their rights and privileges, freedoms and those of their family are in jeopardy.  In today's society, this has increased as the adversary has used his cunning to make our enemies more stealthy, hiding them in seemingly harmless things: music, television shows, even books and politics (and even simpler things and places).  We are often coaxed into believing that we are safe, while allowing a "gray area" to exist in our lives.     

There is a great need to take inventory of what and who our real enemies are, to be mindful of the sins that Satan sugarcoats.  He feels no remorse for it.  In fact, it gives him happiness to lead us to sin and away from God, while we take a seat, smile and wave at him, allowing, and sometimes acting in ways that encourage it to happen. Satan is an expert at keeping lines blurry.  The adversary WILL try to confuse us, try to convince us that we don't know, or don't understand, the difference between right and wrong. It is our responsibility to be aware of the ways he is trying to capture us.  We cannot afford to be jaded. The further we distance ourselves from Heavenly Father, the more balloons Satan brings to his party, the more he dances in celebration.  

We cannot allow ourselves to be tricked by the devil and expect to receive revelation for ourselves or children, blessings, or even to expect that we will maintain the proper sense of direction needed to function in day-to-day life.  This world has become fast-paced and while we intend to use it's technological advances to our benefit, Satan promises to use them to his.  Don't get caught in his trap.  Don't take your eyes off the prize.               

In current events, I think the adversary intends to confuse us when it comes to choosing a political leader.  Satan has clouded things in modern society, making us feel like certain things are okay, when they, quite frankly, go against the word of God. Those who serve in a position of leadership who don't protect those they govern from the enemies of the land, or don't give them the chance to lawfully protect themselves, will be held accountable. Those who don't lead honestly, with integrity, with the safety and livelihood the people in mind, have failed as leaders.  

If Romney doesn't win the presidency in 2012, then I really do believe that the second coming is much closer than many think. And the tests will be even more difficult for us.  To think of what another four years under President Obama would bring this country, and how it will affect us globally, in trade and commerce, immigration, etc., is terrifying.  The situations that will ensue will speak clearly and loudly of the last days. 

That's why it's important for all of us to make sure we're on the right track, keeping covenants and recognizing the protection that comes from that.  The war chapters in the Book of Mormon enable us to see how we can find happiness in our lives, by living righteously, even when wickedness is rampant.      

In the October 1986 Saturday Morning session of General Conference, President Benson said that in the Book of Mormon "we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming."  He continued, "From the Book of Mormon we learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war. From the Book of Mormon we see the evils of secret combinations portrayed in graphic and chilling reality. In the Book of Mormon we find lessons for dealing with persecution and apostasy. We learn much about how to do missionary work. And more than anywhere else, we see in the Book of Mormon the dangers of materialism and setting our hearts on the things of the world. Can anyone doubt that this book was meant for us and that in it we find great power, great comfort, and great protection?"

Our pleasure in life should come from leading a life that puts Heavenly Father first: taking care of our families, working with purpose, serving others, etc. This includes being joyful about defying the adversary.  Choosing good over evil should be celebrated. Repenting and forsaking sins should be celebrated. Personal victories over sin should be celebrated. The celebrations need not be boisterous, but in your heart, rejoice that you have chosen Heavenly Father's way over Satan's.  The adversary will always be against us, but Heavenly Father is for us. We have to make the choice daily, and consistently, to be better, to love defying the devil because we love Heavenly Father. 

So go out there. Do the right thing and LOVE doing the right thing!