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.

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