War is always the result of sin on someone’s part! Alma 52:6 “Preparing for war” A nation must prepare to defend itself, but it can go too far in its preparations. The First Presidency issued this warning: “We repeat our warnings against the terrifying arms race in which the nations of the earth are presently engaged. We deplore in particular the building of vast arsenals of nuclear weaponry. We are advised that there is already enough such weaponry to destroy in large measure our civilization, with consequent suffering and misery of incalculable extent” (Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney, “First Presidency Statement on Basing of MX Missiles,” Ensign, June 1981, 76).
Alma 53 “Stripling warriors” Stripling = young! Alma 53:16-23 “Allegiance to their Sovereign” The First Presidency of the Church stated: “Members must give allegiance to their sovereign and render it loyal service when called thereto” (Grant, Clark, McKay, C.R., April 1942, 92). This allegiance includes military service. The attitude of Latter-day Saints should be “fully to render that loyalty to that country and to free institutions which the loftiest patriotism calls for” (Grant, Clark, McKay, C.R., April 1942, 93).
Alma 53:20 Pres. Benson speaking to the young men of the Church said, “In the spiritual battles you are waging, I see you as today’s sons of Helaman.” How better could Mormon illustrate the Lord’s role in battle than to include in his record a story of green young volunteers who were ill-equipped in a military sense (2 Kings 6:16). Sounds like our missionaries today! Hymn #254, “True to the Faith.”
Alma 54 Mormon included these epistles which seem to be quoted word for word showing the personalities of the writers. Alma 54:3, 11 Alma 55:14, 30-32 What problems can come from drunkenness?
“Over the earth…the demon drink is in control. Drunken with strong drink, men have lost their reason; their counsel had been destroyed; their judgment and vision fled; they reel forward to destruction. “Drink brings cruelty into the home; it walks arm in arm with poverty; its companions are disease and plague; it puts chastity to flight; it knows neither honesty nor fair dealing; it is a total stranger to truth; it drowns conscience; it is the bodyguard of evil; it curses all who touch it. “Drink has brought more woe and misery, broken more hearts, wrecked more homes, committed more crimes, filled more coffins, than all the wars the world has suffered” (David O. McKay, C.R., Oct. 1942, 8).
Alma 55:18-19 Though Moroni was a master strategist he did not delight in the shedding of blood. Alma 56:11 (Alma 57:36) What happened to those who died? Alma 56:44-48, 56 These were good men!
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a union colonel in the Civil War, saw combat as a test of character. “It makes bad men worse, and good men better” (Burns and Ward, 170). Welden Philips once said, “One on God’s side is a majority” (Burns, Burns and Ward, 399). How powerful is the influence of a righteous man?
“Our wives and mothers and daughters are, and when it comes to faith in God and prayers…equal to anything that men may be able to muster” (George Albert Smith, in C.R., April 1943, 90). “If I were asked to name the world’s greatest need, I should say unhesitatingly wise mothers” (David O. McKay, in Jeanette McKay Morrell, Highlights in the Life of President David O. McKay, 34).
“The noblest calling in the world is motherhood. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts, the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece, or who can write a book that will influence millions, deserves the admiration and plaudits of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters, whose immortal souls will exert an influence throughout the ages long after paintings shall have faded, and books and statues shall have decayed or have been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that men can give, and the choicest blessings of God. In her high duty and service to humanity in clothing with morality eternal spirits, she is co-partner with the Creator Himself” (David O. McKay, Pathways to Happiness, 116).
“Your mother is your best friend. Never forget that. She gave you life. She cared for you, nurtured you, nursed you when you were sick, and looked after your every need. Listen to her now. Talk with her candidly and confidentially. You will find that she will keep your confidence and that her wisdom will prove to be wonderful” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1996, 93).
“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congress? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time” (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1978, 10-11).
Alma 57:6 “2,060 stripling warriors!” Alma 57:21 “Exactness!” Alma 57:25-27 Astonishing! Why? All were injured but none killed! God fought their battles! This was faith unto power. They trusted in God continually! What wounds should we be afraid of receiving?
“We should look upon this body as something that shall endure in the resurrected state…Be not afraid of soiling its hands; be not afraid of scars that may come to it won in earnest effort, or in honest fight, but beware of scars that disfigure, that have come to you in places where you ought not have gone, that have befallen you in unworthy undertakings; beware of the wounds of battles in which you have been fighting on the wrong side” (James E. Talmage, C.R., Oct, 1913, 117).
Alma 58 Elder John A. Widtsoe said: “Preparedness is today on every tongue. There is danger ahead, and defenses must be set up. Preparedness is not a new word to Latter-day Saints. For one hundred and ten years our voice has been one of warning to prepare against the commotion and calamities of the last days. We have taught and continued to teach that full preparedness and complete defense against the devastation by evil is the acceptable of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ we may look for the peace of Eden, but not before…
“…Our land is setting up defenses against powder and steel. That is well enough. But there are intangible defenses more powerful which direct the use of materials defenses. These must be fostered, if our preparedness shall be adequate” (C.R., Oct. 1940, 61-62).
Alma 58:3-11 When is it most likely that our God will visit us? “At midnight! Precisely at the darkest hour, when least expected, the bridegroom came. When the world is full of tribulation and help is needed, but it seems the time must be past and hope is vain, then Christ will come. The midnights of our life are the times when heaven comes to offer its joy for man’s weariness” (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 255).
Alma 58:35 “We do not desire to murmur” Elder Maxwell said, “If our lips are closed to murmuring, then our eyes shall be open!” “In a happy day ahead, “They that murmured shall learn doctrine’ (Isaiah 29:24; 2 Nephi 27:35). This suggest that doctrinal illiteracy is a significant cause of murmuring among Church members” (“A Choice Seer,” in Brigham Young University 1985-86 Devotional and Fireside Speeches , 115).