Anyway, tangent aside, I'm going to blog a bit about what I read in my daily scripture study today. I read Alma 54 in the Book of Mormon. This is when Moroni and Ammoron are exchanging epistles negotiating the exchange of prisoners. In these letters, we see even more how their causes for fighting in this war are so very different. Ammoron wants to subject the Nephites to his will, to be ruled by the Lamanites. If he can't have that, then he wants to kill them. Moroni just wants to protect his people the Nephites, preserving their rights. He wants to coexist peacefully with the Lamanites.
Never before have I seen such a strong parallel in this story to our day. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a lot of principles, values, standards, and beliefs that are no longer shared by the majority of the world. And we are under attack for them. We acknowledge that there are many who do not choose to believe as we do. They have different customs, beliefs, practices, standards, etc. We may not agree with those, but we still love those people and we want to live in harmony with them.
And yet there are some of those people who fight us because of our beliefs--just as this combined group of Lamanites and Zoramites fought the Nephites because of their beliefs. Today, there are some who want to silence us. They get angry when we speak about what we believe, or when we stand up for what we believe. I can imagine that there may be people out there who are reading these simple blog entries of mine, or my meme quotes on Facebook that come from these entries, who do not like what I have to say. Or perhaps they simply find it annoying that I keep saying anything. But anyone who knows me should know I can't help saying something about my beliefs. I love what I believe! It makes me happy. I want to share it and talk about it whenever I can because I want to share that joy with others. (Elder Bednar's recent Conference talk nailed it when it comes to why I do this.) But there are probably many who would just rather me be silent on it all.
Then there are those, perhaps the same ones, who want us to change what we believe, or how we practice it. In essence, they want to control us and our religion. That would be taking away our freedom. That would be trying to rule us. Moroni led the Nephites in this battle against the Lamanites because he was defending their rights--the right to be free, to practice their religion, to live peacefully. The Lamanites wanted them to do as they said, or to be silent (or be silenced in that case). I see this happening now, and it is scary. Yet I have no reason to fear, for our Captain Moroni is a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. He will navigate, guide, and lead us through this battle. Like the Nephites, if we are righteous we will have the strength of our Savior Jesus Christ to aid us. And with the Savior, we cannot fail.