Wednesday, April 11, 2012

They did not doubt.

"Now, they had never fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

"And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it."   -Alma 56:47-48

I do not doubt their mothers knew it, or that their fathers were their exemplars in valuing their lives less than their faith. These are men and women who chose death over risking sin. These are men and women who were willing to live as slaves or die rather than return to their unrighteous traditions. These are men and women who sacrificed everything they had for the Gospel, then never forsook or forgot Him who sacrificed even more for them. No wonder their children did not doubt them.

I will probably never face such drastic proving grounds, but my first job in parenting will be to be faithful in all things and submit all my life for the cause of righteousness, that my sons might not doubt that I know that God delivers those who obey Him.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"by the shedding of blood"

[Amalickiah] did command that his people should maintain those cities which they had taken by the shedding of blood; for they had not taken any cities save they had lost much blood.
Alma 52:4

This struck me as really interesting this time when I read it. I usually think of "shedding of blood" as referring to the victims whose blood the aggressors spilled, but this is also pointing out that the Lamanites themselves lost blood. They spilled the blood--the life--of their own people in an attempt to subject the Nephites. So indicators of an unrighteous endeavor include not just harm to others but also harm to ourselves. Are we bleeding ourselves and our loved ones to gain power or status or lucre? To assuage our pride? To feed our ambition? We don't make those kinds of gains over others without losing much blood ourselves.