Friday, May 11, 2018

Alma 43:46 -- On Not Starting Wars

"And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies."
Alma 43:46

This is a good reminder in our lives.  Likely we are not in the middle of a war as these people were, but the advice to not be guilty of a first or a second offense still holds true, probably not just on a large scale but on a smaller scale as well.

It's so easy to want to pick a fight.  Movies and television and society teach us that vengeance and vigilante justice are justified, and that forgiveness is for weaklings.  It's hard sometimes to even apologize when we *know* that we are in the wrong because it's hard to back down, submit, let go of ego and pride, or acknowledge that someone else is right and we are wrong.

And yet... God's plan is so different from what society says, and so different from even our own urges are sometimes... to be right, to get back at someone who has harmed us, to force someone to stop when words aren't doing the trick.  God asks us to turn the other cheek, to let go of our anger.  He asks us to love even our enemies.  This verse about not suffering ourselves to be slain is an *exception* rather than the rule.  The important part is learning not to fight in the first place.

Today, let's remember not to start wars... nationally and individually.  Let's learn to love rather than hate, and to forgive rather than to wreak vengeance. :)  ... Not saying that it is an easy lesson.  But it is one that is worth learning, and it is the only way to lasting (national *and* individual) peace.

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