Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 57: Alma 49-50

Happy Monday Everyone!

I love Monday mornings!  I take that time to get my house organized and cleaned up from the weekend where my kids have destroyed it!  LOL!  I wanted to get my post done super early today so that my friend, Karlee, and I could get some things done.  I don't like to post at night when I am tired because I feel like I miss sharing so much of my favorite scriptures.  Love it when I am wide awake!

We start off today's reading with the Lamanites coming to destroy some of the Nephite cities but are surprised to find that they are fortified.  The Nephites were prepared through the wisdom of their leaders.  I think about these stories and wonder how I can liken them to me and my life.  I wonder….  am I prepared against the fiery darts of the adversary?  Is my family protected?  Am I doing all I can do to prepare myself spiritually for all of the obstacles in my path?  I have to share a story today about one of my daughter's who I am super impressed with and who I love very much.  (Of course I love ALL of my children equally!)

This daughter practiced all Summer for a team that she wanted to be a part of for the 2nd year in a row. She worked super hard and during the Try Outs even won 2 out of 3 of her matches, with the 3rd being super close.  She went to see who made the team and saw that her name wasn't on the list.  When I went to pick her up from school my heart was broken for her.  I knew that this was a HARD thing that she had to go through.  (Just so happy it wasn't boy problems yet!)  We comforted her the best we could and I half expected her to hole up in her room for the night.  About an hour after she got home, she brushed herself off, came down to the kitchen where we were, and had a smile on her face.  She said that there must have been some reason why she didn't make the team but she wasn't going to let it get her down.  She told us her plan of something else she was going to pursue.  WOW!  Bryan and I had a really good talk with her when she got home about how Heavenly Father had a plan and maybe he had something else in mind for her.  She turned this lemon into lemonade and I am so proud of her.  I don't know if I could have done that at her age.  What a great example to me she is of how to build your spiritual fortifications so that when the darts of trials come you are protected.

What I am learning from today's chapters is about making weak things become strong.  The Lamanites totally anticipated easily overpowering the Nephites because of the weakness their cities had in the past.  To their surprise those weak cities were made strong.  How can we make weak things become strong?  I found this quote on given by Anne C. Pingree…

Exercising Determination and Effort

Once we have recognized a weakness, we need strong determination and great effort to overcome it.
One young woman who was a lifelong member of the Church chose not to enroll in the seminary program in high school and seldom read the scriptures. After her marriage, she realized that she couldn’t continue to live on the borrowed light of others’ testimonies; she needed to develop a testimony of her own. She decided to read the Book of Mormon for the first time. At first it was difficult to concentrate. Then she realized she must ponder and pray about what she read. That was the beginning of overcoming her weakness.
As her small family grew larger and the demands on her time became greater, she set aside precious moments each day to read, study, and pray. The words in the scriptures became sweet to her, and she looked forward to “feasting upon the word of Christ” (2 Ne. 31:20). She also immersed herself in the other standard works, and her spiritual confidence grew.
Yearning to instill firm testimonies in her children, she, along with her husband, made gospel learning and scripture study a top priority. Each morning at breakfast they read the scriptures together and engaged in gospel discussions. Family home evening lessons also included the scriptures. Years later she received a calling to teach her sisters in the Relief Society, some of whom had not read the scriptures or were struggling with their testimonies. She encouraged these women to turn to the scriptures with full energy of heart, and she bore the strong testimony she had gained of Jesus Christ and of the Book of Mormon.

What a story of faith that is to me.  I have many weak things that I need to make strong and I can see how I have progressed over the years.  I still have a long way to go but as I reflect on my life, I know that the Lord is helping me little by little.

I shared this picture of Jesus teaching because He is the only way we CAN make weak things strong.  It is by praying, studying our scriptures, pondering, learning, listening.  These are some of the things that we can do.  I hear too often people say that they can't overcome a weakness or it is something they have dealt with their entire lives.  Let me tell you something I know from experience.  You CAN DO IT!  I grew up with an alcoholic father who was not the father that he probably ever intended to be.  He died from the effects of alcoholism when I was 21 years old.  That could have devastated me for life, right?  I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ WE can overcome anything!  That was a big hurdle that I had to get over but I did and, although I have many more to deal with I know that He gives us strength to overcome ANYTHING!    

I also know that one of our main purposes for coming to earth was to learn to be like Him.  The only way we can be like Him is by knowing him by reading about his life, ministry, and teachings in the scriptures.

    Alma 49–50. Fortification of Nephite Cities

  • Moroni’s inspiration and foresight in fortifying the cities proved to be a turning point in the war. Thousands of Nephites were preserved because the cities were prepared. We can apply this lesson by fortifying our own lives with righteous thoughts and deeds in order to withstand evil attacks or “fiery darts of the adversary” (1 Nephi 15:24; see also Helaman 5:12). The Lord has promised that if we humbly seek Him, then He will show us our weakness and will “make weak things become strong” (Ether 12:27). The following chart lists some examples of how the fortifications of the Nephites could apply to us:
    The weaker fortifications were strengthened (seeAlma 48:9).
    We must strengthen the weak spots in our lives.
    The Nephites prepared for the enemy in a manner never before known (seeAlma 49:8).
    We must prepare as never before to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    The Nephites made their weaker cities into strongholds (see Alma 49:14).
    If we come unto Christ, He can make weak things become strong to us (see Ether 12:27).
    The Nephites were given power over their enemies (see Alma 49:23).
    If we are faithful and trust the Lord, He will give us power over our enemies.
    After some Nephite victories, they did not stop in their preparations (Alma 50:1).
    When we have successfully overcome a temptation or trial, we must not let our guard down, but continue to endure and watch and pray always to not be overcome (seeAlma 13:28).
    The Nephites built security towers so they could see the enemy afar off (seeAlma 50:4).
    As we rely on prophets who are modern watchmen on the tower and see afar off, we will be better prepared for the future.

I hope you all have a blessed day!


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