Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Trusting in the Arm of the Flesh

I agree with President Spencer W. Kimball, a prophet of the Lord:

In spite of our delight in defining ourselves as modern, and our tendency to think we possess a sophistication that no people in the past ever had -- in spite of these things, we are, on the whole, an idolatrous people -- a condition repugnant to the Lord.

We are a warlike people, easily distracted from our assignment of preparing for the coming of the Lord. When enemies rise up, we commit vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel -- ships, planes, missiles, fortifications -- and depend on them for protection and deliverance. When threatened, we become antienemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan's counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior's teaching:

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:44-45).

We forget that if we are righteous the Lord will either not suffer our enemies to come upon us -- and this is the special promise to the inhabitants of the land of the Americas (see 2 Nephi 1:7) -- or he will fight our battles for us (Exodus 14:14; D&C 98:37, to name only two references of many). This he is able to do, for as he said at the time of his betrayal, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). We can imagine what fearsome soldiers they would be. King Jehoshaphat and his people were delivered by such a troop (see 2 Chronicles 20), and when Elish's life was threatened, he comforted his servant by saying, "Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them" (2 Kings 6:16). The Lord then opened the eyes of the servant, "And he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" (vs 17).

What are we to fear when the Lord is with us? Can we not take the Lord at his word and exercise a particle of faith in him? Our assignment is affirmative: to forsake the things of the world as ends in themselves; to leave off idolatry and press forward in faith; to carry the gospel to our enemies, that they might no longer be our enemies.

We must leave off the worship of modern-day idols and a reliance on the "arm of flesh," for the Lord has said to all the world in our day, "I will not spare any that remain in Babylon" (D&C 64:24).

Ammon and his brothers went to the Lamanites trusting in the Lord to protect them. They went not to war with them but to preach to them. Peace is possible. But you have to want peace. You have to trust in the Lord. Can Americans do this? I think we can. But we must stop fighting!

2 Comments:

At 8/18/2006 11:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said.

 
At 8/19/2006 07:57:00 AM, Blogger nicolaepadigone said...

Thank you. I think sometimes we forget to trust that the Lord will indeed protect us if we look to him.

 

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