In The Strength of the Lord
There are many instances in the Book of Mormon – and the Bible – that teach us to rely on God for strength. The Nephites went through cycles of reliance on God and their subsequent fall into unbelief. Israel also had times of prosperity and righteousness and times of wickedness and idolatry. Whether it be to break our bonds, to endure through afflictions, or to conquer in battle, receiving the strength of the Lord is a gift.
How Can I Receive His Strength?
While all blessings come from Heavenly Father, and as such are subject to His timetable, righteousness invites blessings like nothing else. When we show God that we want Him in our lives, He will bless us. Because He loves us, He wants to pour out blessings. So many, in fact, that we wouldn’t have any idea what to do with them (see Malachi 3:8-10).
- First, we must be willing to submit to the Lord’s will and put down our pride.
- Second, we go forth into the waters of baptism to receive a remission of our sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- And third, keeping ourselves from falling back into the trap of prideful behavior and enduring to the end. This third step is by far the hardest, as we see the Nephites revert back to their prideful ways time and time again.
When I Rely on My Own Strength
Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel, went from being obedient to disobedient and back again. The Nephites had desenters flock to the Lamanites on multiple occasions. Wicked kings brought destruction on the Nephites, Lamanites, and Jaredites; righteous kings brought prosperity to all of the above. If you counted how many times wickedness was replaced with righteousness, and visa versa, you would (most likely) come to the same number. I have heard this referred to time and again as the Pride Cycle.
Because the Pride Cycle continues to this day, we must remain vigilant. Our faith will fade if not strengthened continually, such as the Nephites in Mosiah 21, Helaman 4, and Mormon 2. King Limhi, Moronihah, and Mormon in turn lead their people into battle. They know that the people’s unrighteousness is what leads to the immense losses, but must they endure with them sorrow.
When We Ask for His Strength
The 2,000 (later 2,060) Stripling Warriors fought “as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength.” (Alma 56:56). They were taught by their mothers to not doubt the Lord’s power. Alma and Amulek, imprisoned, malnourished, dehydrated, and beaten, were given strength and miraculously preserved in Alma 14:14-29, “O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound.”
There are countless examples of faithful servants calling on the Lord for strength. For every one that we read, nine more remain unread, for “I [Mormon] cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.” (Words of Mormon 1:5). Just think of how much more we could have to read and learn from. But, we must have the strength to be content with what we have.
I am sure that you all have your own experiences that taught you to rely on the Lord. Though life may sometimes be hard, enduring to the end is well worth it. Please share this with your friends! Comment below with your thoughts, feelings, and testimonies.