Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Not a Disadvantage
I’ve always been impressed with how the Nephites welcomed and even embraced the Anti-Nephi Lehi’s when they came to them for help. They gave them land to dwell on, and defended these new converts with their armies. Now, I’m sure not every Nephite was thrilled to give up land to those who may have been responsible for the deaths of many Nephite people. I imagine that some of the fathers and/or brothers might have been slain by those who now were living on their land, or, possibly, in their homes. It must have been a difficult adjustment, but the Nephites did it. If they had held onto anger or resentment, they must have prayed that Father would give them power to forgive. I say this because when they are all threatened again by the Lamanites and the Anti-Nephi Lehis are about to break their oath and fight, look what happens. The sons of these covenant men step up to defend their people and the Nephites so their fathers don’t break their promise to God. The Nephites don’t say, “Well, it is about time you all started to pull your own weight around here. You know how many of our people have died just because we’ve had to babysit you?” No, they view their situation much differently. “And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites, they became now at this period of time also a great support…” (Alma 53:19). I learn several lessons from both groups of people. First, how amazing that the Nephites were willing to give everything to protect and care for those who were their former enemies. These Nephites took their own covenants seriously. Because they were followers of Christ, they offered all they had to the Lord. As a result, they didn’t view those who needed their help as inconvenient or a problem they wish would go away. They gave all for them. Now, that is real charity. The anti-Nephi Lehis teach me that part of being a covenant keeper is allowing others to serve me. I might think I am troubling those who offer their help, but, when some one needs my help, that’s not how I view them. I serve and must be willing to be served. Of course, allowing some one to bring me dinner or fold my clothes is nothing compared to allowing them to protect my life and the lives of my family like the Anti-Nephi Lehis did, but the concept is the same. When we make a covenant to give all to the Lord, we also covenant to receive the Help other people offer.