I love the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. Sooooooo much.
Monday morning as I did some pre-reading for my religion class, I was made extremely aware of how obviously Amalakiah, a great war-chapter villain, fits as a type for the adversary in our lives today.
In Alma 48:3, it says, “Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger…”
Amalakiah’s tactics are Satan’s tactics. Satan was, after all, the wicked, sly inspirer of Amalakiah’s ways. In the verses following we learn that Amalakiah [Satan] goes on to use all those angry people whose hearts he has hardened and minds he has blinded to take captive many more, good people, who were close to them.
Even though this story is a few millennia old, I know that there is relevance for us, today.
It has always been quite frightening to me whenever I overthink much about the power of the Devil and his knack for deceit. When I read these passages of scripture, the effect was anticipated. But as quick as the anxiety came, it was gone again, all because of the beauty and immediate antithesis that I read only a few words later.
How do we protect ourselves from the devils traps?
In Alma 48:7-10, the passages depicting Captain Moroni’s methods for preparing his people for the eminent battles, I found the recipe. Not a new recipe, but nice recipe to be reminded of, nonetheless:
- Prepare your mind to be faithful to God
- Create safe places—personal places of resort
- Build up walls of stone to encircle you wherever you’re at and wherever you may go [surround yourself with good people]
- Know your weak spots [insecurities of self or doctrine] and work to fortify them regularly
- Always keep the right kind of motivation: safety and security for self and loved ones and your home
- Always have that overarching goal “to live unto the Lord” and “maintain the cause of Christians”
I have a testimony that so long as we continue to work to do these things, we wont have to be constantly consumed by the anxieties of life.
Although we might not at this time be fighting a battle as literally as our predecessors, I know that God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His promises are eternal, so long as we do all we can to fulfill our end of things. He promised to deliver the Nephites, and He will deliver all others who struggle through their life’s battles in righteousness also.
I am grateful for this assurance, and for my own battles. Truthfully, life would be rather monotonous with out them, yeah?