Monday, September 29, 2014

Preparedness, Security, and Moroni

I’ve been plowing through the Book of Mormon because of a challenge from our Bishopric to read the entire book from September to Thanksgiving. I know how I learn and it’s not reading like that. But I took the challenge and it’s been interesting. I have learned a few things about some of my heroes. Many warriors in the Book of Mormon are great warriors. Courageous, loyal, and most of all righteous. I want to strive to be that way. I want to be like unto Moroni. Like him I do not delight in the shedding of blood. Alma 48:14-17 says:
“And this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
“Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”
So should we strive to be the sheepdog warrior Moroni was? I would say yes. We can learn much from his warriorship as we go from day to day. I’ve had many a conversation with other members who know of my fascination with guns and security. They feel the Lord will take care of them. I always end their sentence for them by saying “…after all you can do.” They always smile at this because it’s hard to argue with scripture. I do believe we should have faith. I want my faith to be as the people of Ammon when they buried their weapons. I’m working on that. But until I feel I can lay down my life rather than shed blood, I will prepare for “war”. Moroni’s war was only defending themselves against aggressors. That is what I advocate.
We first meet Moroni in the crisis of the Lamanite attack under Zerahemnah. In a pattern Mormon notices throughout Nephite history, the warfare was instigated not by the Lamanites themselves but by dissenting Nephites. (Who fight the Church today best but those who leave, then can't leave the Church alone!)Zarahemnah appointed as his chief captains other former Nephites who were of “a more wicked and murderous disposition than the Lamanites” (Alma 43:6); and then, with traditional resentments and hatreds inflamed, he led his Lamanite armies in an attack against the Nephites in 74 B.C. Moroni, only twenty-five years old, was appointed leader over the Nephites (Alma 43:16–17) and immediately proved his ability by equipping his men with armor, an unexpected innovation, and then by outmanuevering Zerahemnah, whose army was more than double the size of his own (Alma 43:51). His superior tactics included posting spies, but he also sent to Alma, desiring that the prophet “inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves.” (Alma 43:23.) It was a perfect combination. Alma told Moroni where to march, and his spies told him when.
Then again we see Moroni watching his government decline the people’s liberty. Moroni “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.” (I am not advocating fighting our government, but sometimes I feel like Moroni did about his liberties.)Alma 46:12
He then had this flag hoisted on every tower. That is "every" tower… So it was a constant reminder.
Again I make an appeal to whatever Fathers, Brothers, and Leaders I can reach. Be like unto Moroni. Know how to defend yourself, your family, and the Church. Have a preparedness plan and implement it. Have a security plan and implement it. Don’t sit back and expect someone else to protect your family. Rely on the Lord after all you can do.
I know it seems that I may glory in bloodshed, but I do not. I do feel it’s the responsibility of the priesthood to care for their families and the Church. As the signs of the times show themselves in so many ways (natural disasters: floods, volcanoes, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, famine: crop failures because of weather, food shortages, soaring food prices, water shortages everywhere) the Brethren of the Church must have some of this knowledge, mindset, skill, and equipment. If we do not, how can we defend the righteous?

Semper Paratus
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