Sunday, February 3, 2013

Forward with Faith, not Backward in Fear

Toward the end of the war chapters in the Book of Mormon, there are three commanders in the Nephite army: Helaman, Gid, and Teomner.  They are trying to take back the city of Manti from their enemies, the Lamanites.  However, they are incredibly outnumbered and low on supplies.  The odds aren't looking so good for them.  But they don't lose faith.  They immediately turn to God during this time of trouble.
This chapter should set the example for what we should do in our daily battles.  As verses 10-11 say, "Therefore we did pour out our souls to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.  Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him."  When things get tough, get down on your knees and pray, then get up and work.  This doesn't mean that we should only include God in our lives and pray to Him during times of trouble.  He is our Heavenly Father, and He loves us more than we know.  Because He is our Father, He wants to hear from us in both the good times and the bad.  Give God your faith and He will make it enough.  Move forward with faith, not backward in fear.
When we have trials, we have two choices of how to react.  They can either make us better or bitter, depending on our attitude and our willingness to learn from it.  Notice that the only difference between these words is one letter, and, conveniently enough, the negative one focuses more on "I."  When things get tough on the Nephites, it brings them closer to the Lord through their choices and strengthens their faith instead of them choosing to be bitter and focusing on themselves.
Sometimes it can feel like this life isn't fair.  How can God let awful things happen to such good people?  Even though God is almighty, people still have their agency, or their ability to make choices.  Even though He gives us commandments that He has asked us to follow, God cannot control what choices we make.  It was a part of His plan to send us to live on this Earth.  However, justice is an eternal principle.  So, yes, this life isn't fair.  But the next life will be.  Although it may not seem like the wicked are being punished at this point in time, their time will come.  This is time to make sure that you are on the Lord's side.  We already know the outcome of the war between good and evil.  Good will triumph.  Always.  But the question remains, whose side will you be on?

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