Monday, February 9, 2015

Alma 49:27-29 -- On Anger versus Gratitude

"Yea, he was exceedingly wroth, and he did curse God, and also Moroni, swearing with an oath that he would drink his blood; and this because Moroni had kept the commandments of God in preparing for the safety of his people.
And it came to pass, that on the other hand, the people of Nephi did thank the Lord their God, because of his matchless power in delivering them from the hands of their enemies.
And thus ended the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi."
Alma 49:27-29

This is an interesting juxtaposition... the leader of the Lamanites angry, swearing to drink Moroni's blood, and the Nephites happy that they hadn't been killed.  One angry with God, the other thankful to him.  And I wonder what it would have been like if the Lamanites had won.  Would they be thankful and happy, and the Nephites angry and swearing to drink blood?  I can't be sure of course, but it doesn't seem to be that blood vengeance or swearing to right the wrongs of your long-dead ancestors by killing people ever makes anyone happy.  What seems to make people happy is living the gospel and listening to God, now: being safe and knowing God is watching over them.  Ephesians 4:26-27 talks about the safe way to deal with anger: "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: / Neither give place to the devil."  Letting our anger fester over time and grow until we are ready to drink blood can't be good.  Teaching anger and hatred to our children can't be good.  No matter what wrongs we've suffered, we are harming ourselves if we allow anger to eat us alive like that.
Today, whether we win or lose the battles of the day, let's be the thankful ones.  Let's let go of our anger and our hatred, and allow God to heal and help us.  Let's be safe physically and mentally, with him.

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