Sunday, February 5, 2017

Alma 62:41 -- On Choosing to Hope

"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."
Alma 62:41

This verse tells us that through very similar prolonged difficulties and harsh circumstances, some people had become hardened, and others had become softened.  Some of that might have been differences in individual circumstance, but I also think that a lot of it has to be choice.  People in the midst of the war had a choice... they could become harder, trying to protect themselves from pain, or they could soften, learning more empathy for others.

I think that when we go through hard things in life, we also have similar choices.  And it isn't bad to want to protect ourselves, but choosing compassion and love rather than hardness and hatred is a better option.  To do so, we have to find a way to feel secure despite challenges and tragedy and fear, and we can't have that kind of faith without God.  Indeed, he is the only thing that can give us that kind of confidence.

Today, let's work on becoming better because of our trials instead of becoming hardened.  Let's be humble and put our faith in God and look to him for hope even in the midst of suffering.

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