"But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites 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."
Isn't it interesting how different people can go through very similar experiences and be changed by them in completely different ways? I think that it is all about perspective. I don't think that we can blame any of our shortcomings on circumstance or on society... because, really, those things only have an effect based on how we interpret them. In this scripture the Nephites and the Lamanites were going through a really long and difficult war. Some of them became hardened, and some of them were softened. Whether it is war or something else that challenges us, we have the same choices. We can allow those forces to harden us or soften us. We can become more sensitive to the spirit, or desensitized. We can care even more, or we can stop caring altogether. Choosing to care... to be vulnerable and sensitive... is hard. The risks are great... as are the rewards. Going outside our comfort zones allows us to learn new things, to experience love and trust, and to grow. If we build walls instead, becoming hardened and resistant, then we never learn anything outside those walls, and we lose opportunities. Today, in whatever war we face, let's work on softening ourselves, rather than hardening.