Alma 49 – Spiritual Strongholds

The Lamanites head to Ammonihah, which has been rebuilt. If you recall in an earlier chapter, the people of this city had become very wicked, burning a bunch of the believers and their scriptures and driving the rest of them out. The Lamanites came upon them soon afterward and wiped that whole city out.

In our lives, we sometimes make terrible mistakes that seem to wipe out our spiritual base and set us back. But we, like Moroni, can rebuild after we’ve fallen. Repentance and the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ are the constructive tools that rebuild our lives and frame a new beginning.

Weakness turned to Strength

Ammonihah had previously been a weak city. The Lamanites remember this. They think they can attack and the city will easily fall again. But Moroni has rebuilt it into a stronghold with great defenses.

The shield of faith does that for us today. The arrows of the adversary bounce off a protective shield centered on Jesus Christ. When we take up the whole armor of God, we can be strong where we once were weak.

The captains of the Lamanites are ‘astonished exceedingly, because of the wisdom of the Nephites in preparing their places of security.” (5)

The enemy has learned from the past and has come in greater numbers and with protective armor, like the Nephites. But Moroni is one step ahead of them. Now he has made protective fortifications, so his people can fight from high ground that is shielded, so they won’t be hurt in great numbers.

But behold, to their (the Lamanites) uttermost astonishment, they (the Nephites) were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi.

Alma 49:8

Are we prepared for Satan’s hosts in a manner never known before in history? The devil will come against us with all his strength. We must be wise, seek the Spirit’s help, and strategize to beat the enemy.

The Lamanites retreat to another city—Noah—thinking that will be the next weakest point. But Moroni had perfect understanding, and he had anticipated this and fortified all the cities in the land. The Lamanites take an oath to attack Noah, no matter what.

But behold, to their astonishment, the city of Noah, which had hitherto been a weak place, had now, by the means of Moroni, become strong, yea, even to exceed the strength of the city Ammonihah.”

Alma 49:14

God can help us strengthen all our weak spots in our own character, to help us stand firm in our faith in Jesus Christ against the temptations and attacks Satan will throw at us.

Moroni had put Lehi in charge of the city of Noah, and the Lamanites greatly fear this mighty Nephite captain they’ve fought against in the past. But they’ve sworn an oath that they would attack, so they do.

Not very wise of them.

Not open to Attack

The Nephites are ultra-prepared. There is only one way for the enemy to attack—at the entrance—and when the Lamanites do, the Nephites wipe them out without risking casualties on their side. The Lamanites fall in an “immense slaughter.” (21)

The attack on the entrance doesn’t work, so the Lamanites begin to “dig down their banks of earth that they might obtain a pass to their armies, that they might have an equal chance to fight;” (22) but the Nephites sweep them off so they can’t do much damage. Their preparations are paying off in battle.

The devil tries to dig down our banks of faith, destabilize our moral ground, and destroy our belief system by planting doubts and offenses in our mind.

By digging down our protective foundation, he seeks to bring us down on equal ground with him. We imperil ourselves when we don’t stick to the high ground, where we can sweep these worldly eroding doctrines and doubts away, to keep them from undermining our spiritual foundation built on Christ.

Consistent Upkeep

Another thought I had was that Moroni continually worked to keep their city defenses and strongholds in tip top shape. The people didn’t just build a stronghold and then call it good, not thinking about it again. They shored up the dirt brought down in battle and by the elements of nature. They repaired holes that came from battle or natural erosion. Spiritually, we must always be working to strengthen and shore up our testimony of Jesus Christ against enemy bombardment. If we get lax, our testimony can erode or be sabotaged by Satan.

A thousand of the Lamanites are slain and all their chief captains, but not one soul is lost to the Nephites, due to Moroni’s careful preparations—both physical and spiritual. The enemy flees back to the land of Nephi and King Amalickiah is not happy with them.

Yea, he was exceedingly wroth, and he did curse God, and also Moroni, swearing with an oath that he would drink his blood; and this because Moroni had kept the commandments of God in preparing for the safety of his people.”

Alma 49:27

This is the reaction of an evil, murderous, blood-thirsty man, who doesn’t have anything to do with God.

And it came to pass, that on the other hand, the people of Nephi did thank the Lord their God, because of his matchless power in delivering them from the hands of their enemies.

Alma 49:28

They don’t boast in their victory, they thank God and acknowledge His hand in delivering them from their enemy.

The Nephites’ victory came from trusting God and outthinking the enemy. Moroni put much thought into what the Lamanite army might do, and he prepared to thwart them through protective strongholds and other defensive measures.

  • Do we consider Satan’s goals and objectives, and anticipate where he might attack us and our family?
  • Do we work to strengthen our homes and build up defensive measures against evil, so the devil can’t gain a foothold in our lives and hurt or destroy us and our families?
  • What specific thing could I put in place today to strengthen my spiritual fortifications?

~~~

Resources:

Come Follow Me manual – Book of Mormon 2020

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

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