Friday, October 3, 2014

Helaman 5:51-52 -- On Laying Down Hatred

"And as many as were convinced did lay down their weapons of war, and also their hatred and the tradition of their fathers.
And it came to pass that they did yield up unto the Nephites the lands of their possession."
Helaman 5:51-52

This is at the end of a cool conversion story, if you haven't read it.  Nephi and Lehi get thrown into prison, and everyone in the prison is converted, through extraordinary means.  These verses are talking about afterward, when all of those people have told the people in the area about their experiences.  Everyone who believed them laid down their weapons, and also their hatred and the tradition of their fathers.  That's amazing just by itself... to give up our deep biases that we have held onto through generations.  In this case, the Lamanites had already been going to war with the Nephites for hundreds of years.  And yet, they were able to not only lay down their desire for violence, and give up their learned hatred, but they also gave the Nephites their land.  Land that they had taken in war and which they knew the Nephites weren't prepared to win back through military means.
I think that this story helps us to remember that devotion to God challenges all of our assumptions--all of our ideas of ownership and justice and revenge.  It can turn hatred into love, which necessarily alters everything that we have built on such a foundation.  Today, whether the negative emotions in our lives are tied to generations-long hatred or just to yesterday's argument with a friend, let's let our belief in God transform us, as these Lamanites did.  Let's lay down our weapons and our hatred.  Let's let go of things that we have taken by force.  Let's lay a foundation of peace, and learn to fill ourselves with love rather than bitterness.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews