And the fighting continues.  Lamanites attack, Nephites defend, cities are conquered and reconquered.  The 2,000 stripling warriors go forth.  A lot of action in these chapters, but as this is another testament of Jesus Christ, we do see the hand of God in this action, still.  Alma 50 explains, "And thus we see how merciful and just are the dealings of the Lord, to the fulfilling of all his words unto the children of men... inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land.  But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord... And those who were faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord were delivered at all times, whilst thousands of their wicked brethren have been consigned to bondage, or to perish by the sword, or to dwindle in unbelief, and mingle with the Lamanites."
    Lately i have been drawn to the argument that the Lord is unjust in giving us commandments.  How does he have the right to tell us what to do?  Who is he that we should worship him?  To that argument i respond:  is there any commandment given that will not eventually do us good?  don't kill, don't steal, don't commit adultery, keep the sabbath day holy... are any of these commandments really going to make our lives miserable?  love God, love your neighbor... if God is the father of us all and created all things, or bodies, our families, the earth, our sustenance, the plan of salvation, and he has done all that he can to prepare a way by which we may be saved, even unto sacrificing his most beloved son, what in these actions suggests that he has not merited our love, devotion, and yes, even our worship?  He is our father in many senses.  For these reasons he out to be loved by us and respected.  Beyond being our father he is our God.  as such he is of a nature to be worshiped.  all-seeing, all-knowing, all-encompassing, he surpasses any earthly being we know of.  i can think of no argument to the contrary which would persuade me that God should not be worshiped, loved, and respected. 
    Returning to the book of mormon.  The stripling warriors nearly brought me to tears last night.  i've never had an emotional reading of the book of mormon until now!  These boys, and i say boys because Helaman informs us that they were very young, show a bravery and a faith far beyond many other characters i have seen.  in Alma 56 verse 46 we read, "For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me:  Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus."  And in verse 56 their faith is rewarded:  "...there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength..."  We also know that these boys were taught by their mothers that "if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." (47) and so he did.  And we have a shining example of faith and courage that is to be both admired and followed.  I must resolve to always stand up for what is right and I may also have faith that God will support me in His causes.
 


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