Thursday, September 13, 2007

Indifference Concerning the Freedom of Their Country

I just finished reading Alma 59 and found the last few verses quite interesting probably because they appear to apply to our situation today. In verse 9, Captain Moroni is lamenting the success the Lamanite armies are having against the Nephites. Because the Nephites have smaller armies than the Lamanites, Moroni notes that it's easier to maintain their cities than to reclaim them from the Lamanites.

Moroni identifies two reasons why the Nephites have suffered these losses. First, verse 11 reveals that Moroni "was exceedingly sorrowful ... because of the wickedness of the people," and he "began to doubt ... whether they should not fall into the hands of their brethren." The Book of Mormon makes it clear that when the people are righteous, the Lord delivers them from the hands of their enemies. That raises the question whether we could be more successful in the global war on terrorism if all the peoples of the free world were more righteous and more reliant on the Lord. I suspect the answer is yes.

Second, verse 13 indicates that Moroni "was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country." Clearly, Moroni placed some of the blame for their losses on the lack of support from the Nephite government. Moroni believed that if the Nephite armies had been strong enough, they could have maintained the cities they possessed, but because the government withheld support, they lost some of their cities. How does this apply to us today? I'm not sure, but I believe that all free peoples who believe in God should stand up and be willing to defend "their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, their rites of worship and their church" (Alma 43:45).

It appears Moroni understood that our freedom from tyranny is composed of two parts: 1) doing all we can do to defend ourselves, and 2) living righteously and relying on the Lord.