Stand Fast in the Faith of Christ Alma 43-52
This very well may be the most intense studying I have done since the beginning of Come Follow Me. Maybe it's because with all that is going on in the world, my need to stand fast in the faith of Christ is pretty important. There is SO MUCH to learn in this lesson that I have spent probably double my regular study time.
The Come Follow Me Challenge cards this week were a little harder to do because there was SO MUCH information that I read and loved that it was hard to narrow it down to just six items. So at the end of this blog post, I am going to add more things that aren't on the Challenge Cards, so if you really want to go for it this week, please do!
What would you be willing to defend even at the risk of losing your life?
This is the question that I have been asking myself all week. Partly because I am sitting here watching our freedoms be taken away. Am I strong enough to stand fast in the faith of Christ and risk my life for things? I believe I would be if it were my family that were threatened. But what about what Moroni called "the cause of the Christians"?
Elder Bednar recently spoke about the wake up call we are receiving about losing our freedom of religion. I was thinking of his words as I read these chapters, and about the many times people have been called upon to defend themselves in order to worship how they wanted to.
This Nation Shall Endure
No one talks about government quite like Ezra Taft Benson, and I saw this quote from him in my studies:
If we will keep the commandments of God--live as he has directed and does now direct, through His prophets--we will continue to have His protecting hand over us. But we must be true to the eternal verities, the great Christian virtues that God has revealed. Then, and only then, will we be safe as a nation and as individuals. God grant that the faithfulness of the Latter-Day Saints will provide the balance of power to save this nation in time of crisis.
I love this quote! And I look around and there really are so many good people of faith that are living good Christian values and love the Lord. I hope that we will all be ready to stand together when the time comes that we need to defend our right to worship.
Standing Fast in the Faith of Christ like Moroni
One of my all time favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is Alma 48: 17:
Yea, 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.
As I was reading these chapters, I specifically went looking for the qualities of Moroni and did a mental comparison to myself. I definitely have a long way to go to even compare myself to Moroni, but the desire is there, so that is at least a start.
Contention and conflict and troubling times
One of the main things that I took from this lesson and my study of Moroni as well as the people of Nephi that he was trying to lead, is the damage that contention did to all of them. The righteous paid a price just like the wicked did.
I'm speaking specifically about the king-men and the free-men. While these Nephites were busy fighting each other, their common enemies were preparing to come to battle with them. I wonder if the same thing isn't happening even now.
Standing firm in the faith of Christ will not mean life is free of conflict or trial, but it does mean having the strength to continue on in the face of that conflict, to know which side you are on, and that there is a loving Heavenly Father that will always lead us in the direction we need to go.
I may not be Captain Moroni, but I know where I stand, and I believe that had I been there, I would have been one of the people that rent my coat and laid it at his feet, and covenanted along with him to follow the Lord.
This week's lesson helps
While I kind of picked my favorites for the Challenge Cards, there really are a lot of talks to go with this lesson that I loved. I will list them and add links below.
There is one article that I read that was really interesting and kind of deep. If you're in the mood for something interesting and deep, I recommend it. It is called "Dissent: Perspectives from the Book of Mormon" in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3, no. 1, and it is written by Lynn D. Wardle. I would recommend reading other talks and information first, but this is definitely interesting and worth your time if you want to pursue it. You will need to download the PDF to access it at the link above.
And here are the links for the challenge card activities (plus a few extras!)
War and Peace by Gordon B. Hinckley
Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship by Robert D. Hales
Power, Joy and Love of Covenant Keeping by Linda K. Burton
Spiritual Preparedness by Henry B. Eyring
This Nation Shall Endure by Ezra Taft Benson
Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty
Captain Moroni Defeats Zarahemna
The False Gods We Worship by Spencer W. Kimball
The Times in Which We Live by Gordon B. Hinckley
Be Not Deceived by Dallin H. Oaks
Righteous Warriors: Lessons Learned from the War Chapters by John Bytheway (video)
No Less Serviceable by Howard W. Hunter