Mosiah 20 – Shame & Blame

The wicked priests of king Noah are too ashamed to return to their people. They have done abhorrent things. But instead of repenting, they let shame push them to do even more horrid things.

We all make mistakes in life. We can feel shame for these things and fall into a cycle of doing even more shameful things. Or we can repent and turn to God. He can take shame from us, enabling us to become better.

What will I choose?

Their shame makes them hide, and while hiding they come upon some of the daughters of the Lamanites out bathing. A temptation they can’t resist, since they aren’t in a humble state. They kidnap 24 of these girls.

Blame Game

When the Lamanites discover their missing daughters, they immediately blame Limhi’s people and send their armies against them. Limhi discovers them while they are away off, since he is carefully keeping watch on the enemy.

It’s easy to get caught up in the blame game. This attitude is evident everywhere in society. We want to blame others for our hardships. We want to blame others for our unhappiness. We want to blame others for our economic state or marital misery or loneliness. We want to blame others for viruses, disease, evil, political situations, and so forth.

Blame never brings positive results. It just stirs up contention, and as in this case with the Lamanites, many times the blame is put upon the wrong people because of our limited or false beliefs about others. Like the Lamanites, we might hurt innocents in our desire to seek revenge.

Christ is the only one truly in a position to ever blame any of us, since He is perfect and we are not. Yet, He never blames or looks upon us with anything other than love, even though we are sinners who have caused Him to suffer in Gethsemane and on the cross.

Since God uses disease as a metaphor for sin throughout the scriptures, it is reasonable to ask, “How does Jesus Christ react when faced with our metaphorical diseases—our sins?” After all, the Savior said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance”; so how can He look at us, imperfect as we are, without recoiling in horror and disgust?

The answer is simple and clear. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ views disease in His sheep as a condition that needs treatment, care, and compassion. This shepherd, our Good Shepherd, finds joy in seeing His diseased sheep progress toward healing.

Dale G. Renlund, Our Good Shepherd, Apr 2017

This week, can I try to look upon others with compassion, instead of blame?

Defending our Families

When Limhi’s people see the Lamanites coming against them in an unprovoked attack, they hide and fall upon them, surprising them in an ambush. They are not going to sit idly by and watch the enemy destroy their families. They are described as fighting “like lions for their prey” (10) against their enemy.

  • What can I do to be prepared and fight like a lion to keep my family safe from the adversary’s lies and deceptions?
  • How can I make my home a refuge from the darkness and corruption in the world?

Limhi’s people were outnumbered by about double, yet they “exerted themselves and like dragons did they fight.” (11)

We can triumph over evil, even though we are outnumbered, if we trust in God and exert ourselves to fight like dragons for that which we hold dear and cherish—our families, our faith, our God.

Mercy

The Lamanite king falls among the dead and Limhi’s guards bring him before Limhi and want to kill him. This man and his people have come upon them without cause. Death seems justified.

But Limhi is merciful and doesn’t slay him. He asks the other king why he has broken the oath between them and come to battle against them.

The Lamanite king tells him about their kidnapped daughters. Limhi vows to search for the culprits, but Gideon asks him not to lay this crime to their charge. He reminds Limhi of the wicked priests who are still out hiding somewhere. Couldn’t it have been them? Gideon says they are being humbled because they rejected the prophet Abinadi.

All this misery came upon the people because of wickedness. A consequence of sin.

Are we the same? Have we taken our family or faith for granted, doing our own will, not Gods? Are we due for a wake-up call?

The Lamanites’ passion and rage turns to compassion when the Lamanite king goes with Limhi to meet his people and tell them the truth about the wicked priests who probably abducted their daughters. Understanding, mercy, and compassion between the two groups, instead of mistrust and blame, brings peace.

  • How can I exercise more compassion, instead of passion?
  • How can I show mercy to others instead of blaming or shaming them?

If there is anything virtuous, lovely or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these comments.

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