So many times when I have read the war chapters of Alma and the the first chapter of two of Helaman I have just read through and continued on my way thinking it had really nothing to do with me and I hated to read about so much violence. This time through has been and much different experience for me.
I just want to talk about this one chapter and the things I thought about when I read it.
So because of things happening in the government and maybe a little pride because the Nephites never thought the Lamanites would come right into their city they neglected to keep guards around the outside of the city. But the Lamanites came led by a man who was a Nephite dissenter and marched right to the heart of the city. They marched so fast that the Nephites had no time to prepare. The re was so many Nephites killed and the Lamanites had taken possession of the strongest Nephite city.
That’s the general gist of the story but there is a lesson in there for us.
I have a testimony that God loves me, that Jesus is The Christ, that we have a living prophet on the earth today, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God along with the Bible, that families are eternal. That is the heart of my testimony and beliefs. But how do I maintain those things and keep them strong? I place guards. those guards are daily scripture study, daily prayer (conversations with God), keeping the covenants I have made at baptism and in the temple, regular fasting, attending my church meetings even if they are on Zoom and obeying the commandments of God which include every day working on being as Christlike as I can.
If I have neglected to place those guards the heart is more easily destroyed. Even if I think my testimony is super strong, if I don’t place those guards and make sure they are strengthened every day things might begin to sneak in and weaken my core. Things that can sneak in are anger, contention, discouragement, pride, etc.
These things can get in so fast it’s amazing. Believe me. I’m speaking from experience.
Who knows how long the Nephites neglected to set their guards? It may have been months or even years but eventually everything fell apart. Not reading your scriptures or staying in contact with Heavenly Father each day may not affect you right away but when problems or hardships are marching through the periphery of your city it will be too late to build up or strengthen your army. You need that every day work to keep your borders strong. Then when the hard things come, and they will, you will be ready to work through it with a firm faith in Christ and unshakable testimony that God is on your side and will help to see you through.