Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How can we most effectively prepare for the struggles of life?

I have pondered recently about how I can better prepare for the future. Oh no the future it is going to be wicked! Literally wicked! We are warned about earthquakes in divers places and different things to come. We are warned that even the very elect may be deceived in the last days, but we also know how we can get through this.
 There is a specific story in the Book of Mormon that shows us courage, strength, obedience, trust in God... In Alma 48 Captain Moroni is preparing his people to defend themselves against the wicked blood thirsty people. Moroni was the captain of the Nephites.
"And thus he(Amalickiah) did inspire their hearts against the Nephites, insomuch that in the latter end of the nineteenth year of the reign of the judges, he having accomplished his designs thus far, yea, having been made king over the Lamanites, he sought also to reign over all the land, yea, and all the people who were in the land, the Nephites as well as the Lamanites.
 Therefore he had accomplished his design, for he had hardened the hearts of the Lamanites and blinded their minds, and stirred them up to anger, insomuch that he had gathered together a numerous host to go to battle against the Nephites.
 For he was determined, because of the greatness of the number of his people, to overpower the Nephites and to bring them into bondage.
 And thus he did appoint chief captains of the Zoramites, they being the most acquainted with the strength of the Nephites, and their places of resort, and the weakest parts of their cities; therefore he appointed them to be chief captains over his armies.
 And it came to pass that they took their camp, and moved forth toward the land of Zarahemla in the wilderness.
 Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.

Captain Moroni

 Yea, he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites, and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land.
 And in their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men; and thus he did fortify and strengthen the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
 And thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians.
And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;
 Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.
 Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.
 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.
 And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;
 And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; 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."

As we notice in verse 7 while Amalickiah was obtaining power illegally Captain Moroni was preparing his army spiritually. He prepared the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God. Why this? Well here is a principle for life. If we truly prepare spiritually we will have nothing to worry about. If we will have faith and trust in God in all things and be living worthy of His protection and guidance, He will give it to us. That is a principle always to remember. He has so many blessings ready for us to have but we don't allow ourselves to receive them because of personal wickedness.
"Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time" Quentin L. Cook, An Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ

In the New Testament in Matthew 6:33 and Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 13:33 it states, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Here we have a promise that if we seek the Kingdom of Heaven there will be nothing to worry about. That means we have to humble ourselves, strip ourselves of pride, get rid of sin and trust wholly upon the merits of Christ. If we study the doctrine and continually strive to live perfectly we will have the blessings of Heaven.

In our day do we spend our time preparing for eternal life with God? Do we truly study the scriptures? Are we truly preparing for the return of our Savior Jesus Christ? If so good job!

Back to the question of preparing for struggles. So in life to prepare for the hard times whether it be financial, marital, physical or spiritual we need to first prepare spiritually. We need to know the scriptures truly know them. When we truly know them we won't question God why things happen the way they do, because we will already know it is part of His plan. Even in the busiest part of life we should give a certain amount of time everyday to focus our mind on studying the Gospel. This is what Paul (an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) said to his son Timothy about studying. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
Do we truly prepare for our hectic lives by including God in them? Alma said to his son Helaman.
 "O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.
 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day." (Alma 37:35-37)
Notice how this scripture says counsel with the Lord not counsel the Lord.

Well just remember when we keep His commandments He will take care of us. That is His promise to us. Remember when we follow Jesus Christ our lives are in our Heavenly Fathers hands.

This is a video about a family who was having infertility problems and how they got through such hard times.

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