For Alma 53-63
This past weekend, I posted a scripture quote on one of my favorite Facebook groups sponsored by BookOfMormonCentral.org. It was a simple scripture quote, nonetheless it resonated and received over 500 likes in three days:
A reader named ‘Nate’ commented, “I am finding so many parallels between the events in Alma and now. And it is not pretty.” Recognizing the battles, civil unrest, and political upheavals from Captain Moroni’s generation as familiar – is a repeating theme throughout the 100+ comments on the post above. Personally…do I ever remember another year when the similarities between Book of Mormon history and our time have been so pronounced? No! So perhaps, it is no surprise a fair number of readers left comments similar to Nate’s.
In the past, I’ve speed-read through the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. I’ve even wondered why so much attention and valuable space was given to the battles and skirmishes? They seem to go on forever in so much detail.
This time around, I appreciate and ponder these chapters more than ever. Why? Because they read just like a playbook on how to mentally, spiritually and emotionally handle chaotic, difficult circumstances. Over and over, those pages offer key insights as the people of Alma navigate through severe situations as well as disappointments in the structure of their society. The Book of Mormon seems specifically written for our day to prepare us for like events. Even better, they are designed to help us face such difficulties with gifts of strength, with extra courage and with the brightness of hope.
2 Quick Quotes
Here are a couple of examples of verses straight from Captain Moroni’s time:
9 And now the cause of these our embarrassments, or the cause why they did not send more strength unto us, we knew not; therefore we were grieved and also filled with fear, [sound familiar?] lest by any means the judgments of God should come upon our land, to our overthrow and utter destruction.
10 Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer 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. [our playbook maybe?] (Alma 58:9-10)
Throughout the book of Alma, the faithful have repeated experiences of courage, deliverance, and miracles which have comforted my heart:
26 And now, their preservation was astonishing to our whole army, yea, that they should be spared while there was a thousand of our brethren who were slain. And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe—that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power. (Alma 57:26)
How deeply grateful I feel that the Book of Mormon is our scripture study for this tumultuous year, 2020. The timeliness of its message is perhaps, no coincidence. May you read and take comfort too.
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