Now we get into some war chapters. Some may wonder why these accounts were included by Mormon when he condensed all the historical accounts into one record. I believe these chapters can be likened today, to help us see how to stand strong against the enemy of righteousness, who is still waging battle against us. Whether physical or spiritual, this precious record gives us key tactics to preserve our freedoms, so we are able to choose our path in life and not be controlled by the devil, who hates us.
The Zoramites join the Lamanites, who have an everlasting hatred for the Nephites. Zerahemnah is their wicked leader. He appoints chief captains of the Amalekites and Zoramites, because they “were of a more wicked and murderous disposition than the Lamanites were, in and of themselves.” (6) This shows how a once enlightened people, when they reject truth, become vicious opponents against the side of truth and righteousness they once embraced.
Now this he did that he might preserve their hatred towards the Nephites, that he might bring them into subjection to the accomplishment of his designs.” (7)Alma 43:7
Zerahemnah was determined to preserve hatred.
Many today seem to have the same goal.
I use this as a measurement for any movement or cause in the world. Are the people behind it, the ones truly leading, motivated by love, unity, and freedom? Or are their desires nefarious and hateful at the core?
So many today jump behind causes and hold up hashtags without studying what the movement they’ve joined truly promotes. The devil is subtle and very tricky in how he plays on words and phrases and ideologies to push evil forward and deny freedom to as many as he can.
Our prophet, Pres. Russell M. Nelson, has provided wisdom we can use to judge any cause, motto, worldview, or movement today as good or evil:
It behooves each of us to do whatever we can in our sphere of influence to preserve the dignity and respect every son and daughter of God deserves.
Any nation can only be as great as its people. That requires citizens to cultivate a moral compass that helps them distinguish between right and wrong.
Illegal acts such as looting, defacing, or destroying public or private property cannot be tolerated. Never has one wrong been corrected by a second wrong. Evil has never been resolved by more evil.
We need to foster our faith in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
We need to foster a fundamental respect for the human dignity of every human soul, regardless of their color, creed, or cause.“Russell M. Nelson statement – June 2020
Using his prophetic words as our guide, ask yourself if you think you could do better in spreading love, rather than “preserving…hatred,” as Zerahemnah did.
I know I could. The hate and misinformation has saddened me on social media, much of it from good people I admire. As I’ve pondered what’s happening, the thought came to me that many good people (on both sides) caught up in the political chaos are spending tons of time posting memes, articles, videos and sometimes just plain ranting when they could be spending their time building a kingdom. God’s kingdom.
Bricks of hate and contention only destroy. They aren’t constructive.
Let’s preserve love and unity, not hate.
Before jumping behind some popular movement on social media and in the press, let’s go to the sites involved and research what their true motives are? Some movements sound good when you hear catchy slogans or hashtags at first. I’ve assumed that the cause of some organizations was good and I found myself hoping for positive changes to come about from it. But after studying mission statements and watching the fruits of causes—and praying for heavenly help to discern between truth and error—I’ve realized many movements have evil agendas that ultimately will take away freedoms in the name of progress. The devil is the master manipulator. Don’t be caught in his webs.
Let’s be more positive and uplifting on social media, instead of harping on our political views and inferring that everyone who isn’t on our side is an idiot or ignoramus or downright evil. Negative posts and comments that strike the match of contention do more to preserve hate, not build love and unity.
Let’s be more tolerant of differing viewpoints and be slower to jump in with a reactionary comment to someone else’s post. Honestly, from what I’ve witnessed as an observer on social media sites, I see that no one ever changes anyone’s opinions or political views by shouting loud and obnoxiously about how they are so enlightened and everyone else isn’t, and here’s why. No amount of nasty or funny memes mocking those that don’t agree with you will unite others to your cause or political party. No amount of sharing videos (that usually aren’t researched first for accuracy and truth) will suddenly make someone else say: “Oh, wow. I feel like such an idiot for believing as I did. I think I will change my worldview and perspective now. Thank you for sharing proof that I am completely stupid and wrong.”
That never happens.
The only thing strong enough to change someone’s heart (which is where our beliefs stem from) is through God and by exhibiting godly traits, like kindness, love, service, humility, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
If we want to make a positive difference in the world, we must be more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Use the tools of love and kindness to unite others, not tear them apart. When we love, instead of preserving hate, Christ can change not only our hearts, but the hearts of our enemies as well.