Now we enter the book of Alma.  While the basic themes of the Book of Mormon continue with admonishments to obey the Lord's commandments and examples of the cycle of righteous and wickedness that was previously mentioned, Alma so far is a factual book of more historical context of wars and dissensions.  The Lord did spend much time strengthening Alma and his people as they went to war as He has promised to preserve them as long as they are righteous.
    The curse that fell upon the Lamanites is mentioned in Alma chapter 3.  The purposes of that curse are reiterated as the Lord explained it is so that the seed of the righteous do not intermingle with the seed of the unrighteous.  A point is made in verse 19:  "Now I would that ye should see that they brought upon themselves the curse; and even so doth every man that is cursed bring upon himself his own condemnation."  Many think that God sends curses upon us, and perhaps he does, but if it is a legitimate curse and not just the natural order of things, I think it is very clear that we are recipients of curses according to our actions.  With this in mind I think we should be better able to distinguish between a curse and a trial.  If one has done nothing to merit God's wrath, I believe one can safely assume that the trials he or she suffers may be for his or her good.  And we would be very prudent to remember whom we should call upon to help us through these times of trial.

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