Alma 62 – Hard or Soft?

Moroni is overjoyed to know Pahoran is not a traitor to his country. But he sorrows over the traitors that have driven him from the judgment seat and are undermining liberty. Moroni leaves to go to Pahoran’s aid.

“And he did raise the standard of liberty in whatsoever place he did enter, and gained whatsoever force he could in all his march towards the land of Gideon.” (4)

  • Do I raise the standard of liberty wherever I am?
  • Do I pray for my country and the preservation of liberty, and then work to maintain it?  

Thousands flock to Moroni’s standard. Now, they are stronger than the men of Pachus—the traitor king-man. Pachus is slain, his men are taken prisoner, and Pahoran is restored to his seat in the government. (8) Those who fought against freedom are put to death according to the law.

Now the 31st year begins. Provisions are sent out to the rest of the Nephite armies, along with more men to bolster their ranks. (12) As Moroni fights the Lamanites, he is merciful. He allows 4,000 to surrender and go live amongst the people of Ammon, once they covenant not to seek their destruction anymore (17)

Moroni wants to overtake the city of Nephihah, but the Lamanites won’t come out against them, knowing of their strength. Moroni spies at night and sees that they’re all sleeping by the entrance to the city.

And now Moroni returned to his army, and caused that they should prepare in haste strong cords and ladders, to be let down from the top of the wall into the inner part of the wall.”

Alma 62:21

What strong cords and ladders can we construct in our lives to help us strengthen ourselves spiritually?

One Christlike trait that often gets overlooked, but builds strong cords in our spiritual nature to help us be truly strong is meekness. The Savior described Himself with this trait:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Matthew 11:29

Just like strong ropes and cords are made up of many layers twisted together, meekness is made up of many strands of individual acts of discipleship.

Meekness isn’t something we DO, it is something we BECOME.

Meekness is a defining attribute of the Redeemer and is distinguished by righteous responsiveness, willing submissiveness, and strong self-restraint….

The Christlike quality of meekness often is misunderstood in our contemporary world. Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash. A meek person is not easily provoked, pretentious, or overbearing and readily acknowledges the accomplishments of others.”

David A. Bednar, Meek and Lowly of Heart, May 2018

Moroni’s soldiers let themselves down into the city at night, and when the Lamanites awake to find them inside the fortified city, they flee out of the pass.

Thus had Moroni and Pahoran obtained possession of the city of Nephihah without the loss of one soul; and there were many of the Lamanites who were slain.

Alma 62:26

Any of their prisoners who want to join the people of Ammon and have freedom are allowed to join them. Thus the Nephites are relieved of a great burden of watching over their prisoners, who are now working hard at tilling the land and raising crops for the armies.

Now, Moroni marches forth to cleanse the land of the enemy. The Lamanites flee from him from city to city, until he joins Lehi’s and Teancum’s forces and the Nephites are united.

Remember, they had been prospered and delivered until dissension arose within their nation. Then they lost so many cities to the enemy and floundered for a while. Now, they are united once again, and this makes them strong in the Lord. God cannot work with people who are contentious or divided. We must be united to be worthy of heavenly blessings.

Both armies camp to rest, except for Teancum. He’s angry at Ammoron and his dead brother Amalickiah, knowing they are the cause of this long-lasting war between the two nations. He climbs over the wall and throws a javelin at Ammoron and kills him, but his servants pursue and kill Teancum.

Moroni is grieved, but he marches forth and slays the Lamanites and at long last pushes them out of their lands by the end of the 31st  year. I love this next verse because it shows the power of righteous prayers.

And there had been murders, and contentions, and dissensions, and all manner of iniquity among the people of Nephi; nevertheless for the righteous’ sake, yea, because of the prayers of the righteous, they were spared.”

Alma 62:40

Affliction – The Great Divide

The war has had opposite effects on the people.

Many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.”

Alma 62:41

When you boil a potato and an egg in water, the egg hardens and the potato softens. Affliction and trials in our lives cause different reactions in us as well. Do we allow our trials and hardships to harden us inside or soften us? It all depends on who we turn to in those hard times.

When we turn to God, He can soften our hearts and help us be meek and lowly in heart, so that we learn and grow from our hardships, not stagnate and become bitter.

Peace is established. Moroni doesn’t relax yet though. He “fortified those parts of the land which were most exposed to the Lamanites, until they were sufficiently strong…” (42)

Am I careful to always check and seek out my weak spots to strengthen them in the Lord?

Moroni “yielded up the command of his armies into the hands of his son, whose name was Moronihah.” (43) Helaman returns to preaching and to setting a regulation in the church after the long years of war. He desired to soften hardened hearts through sharing the word of God.

Many repent, because of Helaman’s diligence in caring for the church, and the Nephites begin to prosper and multiply in the land. And they become rich.

But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity, they were not lifted up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves exceedingly before him.” (49) They did this by “remembering[ing] how great things the Lord had done for them” (50) and prayingunto the Lord their God continually, insomuch that the Lord did bless them, according to his word, so that they did wax strong and prosper in the land.”

Alma 62:51

They were empowered because they turned to their Savior in humility and meekness, instead of placing their hearts on their riches. They were grateful for God’s deliverance and blessings. And they were prayerful, their focus on their Savior.

Meekness is the principal protection from the prideful blindness that often arises from prominence, position, power, wealth, and adulation.”

David A. Bednar, Meek and Lowly of Heart, May 2018

Many other times in the history of the Book of Mormon, when the people because rich, they also became prideful. This one instance, they don’t. It seems like their humility and meekness saved them from falling into the pride cycle.

The Savior declared, “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness is an essential aspect of the divine nature and can be received and developed in our lives because of and through the Savior’s Atonement.”

David A. Bednar, Meek and Lowly of Heart, May 2018

Am I cultivating meekness and humility, by utilizing the great gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ every day?

We can become pure and confidant as we work harder to respond quickly to the call of righteous action, as we willingly submit our wills to Jesus Christ, and as we exercise strong self-restraint, as Pahoran did in his letter to Moroni.  

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

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