I have been under the weather, taking things a bit slower than usual, which has given me time to read a lot. I’ve read so much good stuff this week, I want to share some of my favorite quotes and insights.
Later I will share about the Rich Young Man and some anti-behaviorism stuff I read from Alfie Kohn, but TODAY I read “The Book of Alma: Lessons for Today” in the October Ensign and I just found it so timely (I am sure that was the intent of the editors, I’m no dummy), given that Election Day is two weeks away, and considering the tumult in the world.
The author, Elder Peiper, introduces his ideas by pointing out that there must be something relevant to us in this book since Mormon did not edit it out. There are twenty chapters dedicated to telling us how the Nephites defended their system of government (judges vs. kings) and their liberty. He distills three main lessons for us to maintain our own liberties: (1) Maintain proper desires and motives, (2) Be kind and generous to the less fortunate (my fave), and (3) Listen to and follow inspired leaders. Here are my favorite parts, quotes I think we should ponder and take to heart:
I) “Their desire was to preserve their agency—the right to act in righteousness and to answer for their own conduct—rather than have a king prescribe their conduct. Their motive was to preserve equality under the law, specifically their liberty to worship God and maintain their church.”
“There are and always will be in societies forces seeking to manipulate public opinion to obtain power for personal gain. There is a temptation to adopt their motives and turn the conflict into a power struggle. The Lord’s way is to always act based only on pure desires and motives…” –If we want God’s support, we do things His way.
II) I am particularly fond of this next story because I'm kind of an Ammon fan, and I love that the people he taught were so committed to being like Jesus that they buried their weapons of war and vowed to never fight again. And did the Nephites mock them and call them dirty hippies? NO! They defended them and supported them...
"The kind treatment the Nephites gave to the people of Ammon, as they came to be called, was reciprocated and eventually contributed to the formation of one of the most inspiring military brigades in recorded history—the 2,000 stripling warriors. Ironically, the service of these young men may have been the key to preserving Nephite society from an early destruction.
"In times of internal dissension, external attack, and economic challenges, there is a tendency to become negative toward those who are 'not like us.' It becomes easy to become critical of them and make judgments. One might question their loyalty to and value in society and their impact on our economic well-being. These negative responses are inconsistent with the Savior’s charge to love our neighbors as ourselves, and they create polarization, contention, and isolation."
Did you read that? Our prophet warned us CLEARLY that a financial crisis was building a full ten years before it crashed. It is wise to gain our own testimony of our prophet and inspired leaders today so we can follow and be prepared like the Nephites.A favorite quote of mine from D&C38:30 is "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." I add my witness to that...we have no need to fear when our hearts and minds are aligned with the Savior's. I am grateful for this article. It reminded me that there is something to liken to ourselves in every story in the Book of Mormon. I am so happy to have this book "for our day, when people hunger; for our time when good men wander--a book is designed to give help divine for our day."