Another year passes “and the people began to forget those signs and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen.” (1)
This is so sad. Many wonderful, miraculous things are happening, yet they take them for granted and harden their hearts and won’t see.
Forgetting leads to sinning. Remembering God’s hand in our lives leads us back to Him.
It says the people began to disbelieve all that they had heard and seen. To disbelieve sounds like a purposeful action. They chose not to believe anything that didn’t mesh with their worldview, so they discounted signs and prophetic teachings and believed Satan’s lies.
Satan leads them to believe “that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.” (2) Satan blinds them to the very doctrine that can save them. He is smart and knows exactly how to blind us—what weaknesses to pinpoint, what vulnerabilities to attack. We must turn to God to strengthen our weaknesses, so the devil will have no power over us.
The people begin to reckon time from the sign of light at Christ’s birth. That brings them onto our calendar time of AD.
The people are getting more wicked and the Gadiantons have become very numerous. It becomes imperative that the rest of the people go to war against them to “maintain their rights, and the privileges of their church and of their worship, and their freedom and their liberty.” (12)
It seems that God makes His people prove their worthiness for holding onto freedom occasionally, especially when many of them turn away from Him. By 13 A.D., this war is so bad that the Nephites are threatened with utter destruction. An interesting note is that the righteous Lamanites who have joined with them have their curse taken from them and are white, like unto their brethren. (15)
This war goes back and forth according to the righteous state of the Nephites. In 14 AD, they gain advantage and drive the robbers back into the mountains. But the next year, the robbers gain advantage, because of dissensions and contentions among the Nephites.
Internal contention always weakens a nation. So does iniquity.
We are seeing this in our day. When we fight and bicker among ourselves, instead of uniting as brothers and sisters, God leaves us to our own strength, which is puny. We will fall.
What can I do to cleanse my inner vessel first, and then work to unite my family and spread outward in love and tolerance, to unite others?