Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Alma 46:12-13 -- On Warfare, Prayer, and Righteous Causes

"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—"
Alma 46:12-13

This is the most powerful military image that I can imagine.  The background is that this is Captain Moroni, who is in charge of the armies that defend his country.  They are in the middle of a war, and he hasn't gotten new recruits in order to fight the war or defend their re-taken territory for a long time, so he asks the government why, and he finds out that there is a rebellion in the capital of his own country with people trying to take over the government.  So Moroni goes to the capital, determined to solve this problem so that it doesn't cause the whole country to fall to their enemies.  These verses indicate how he proceeds.
What impresses me the most here is not the image of a soldier, although I am sure that he was a strong and mighty man, and probably looked impressive in his armor.  What impresses me is that this admittedly powerful and impressive man bows himself to the earth in prayer.  Even though he commands an army and he needs to fight to defend his people, what he puts his trust in is God "whence cometh [his] help" (Psalms 121:1-2).  As he mentions in the title of liberty, he doesn't fight for conquest or power.  He fights for his God, his religion, his freedom... for peace and for his family.
Today, as we honor the men who fight for us, let us also remember to honor our God, and the righteous causes that he stands for.

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