I have somewhat of a confession to make; every time i have read the Book of Mormon, i have wanted to skip the war chapters of Alma. The only reason I haven’t is because the OCD within me would constantly remind me that I hadn’t read the whole book, and that there was a gaping hole in the completeness, that I had just skipped over because I didn’t think the war chapters we applicable to my life since i am not a soldier.
Here is where I throw my arms up and tell you how wrong I was. I stand unequivocally corrected. By the time I reached Alma this time through, I was already in a much more spiritual place and so I made a promise to myself that I would read each chapter slowly, and intentionally; finding something in every chapter that was applicable to me in my life right now, and although it’s taken more than twice as long, I have taken way more than twice as much out of it.
I have realised that I am indeed a soldier, in more ways than one. Every single one of us is fighting the battle of good verses evil every day, but along with many other people in the world I have to fight each day against my own brain. I have already chosen Christ, I have chosen to fight for good and although every single part of me knows this, there are still parts of my Brain that are conditioned to my self-destruction.
Alma 23:7 says:
‘For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren.’
Anything that we partake in that is contrary to the commandments of God is a weapon against Him. Even the things we consider to be small, and if something is against good, then it’s for evil. God wants us to lay these weapons down and fully embrace His commandments and the fight for good.
Although this is something I try to actively do every day, my brain still wants to ruin my own life, whether that’s from the influence of Satan or the mass of chemical imbalances; and so simply laying down our weapons isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Alma 52:38 Says:
‘…All those who were not slain, came forth and threw down their weapons of war at the feet of Moroni.’
Now as much as I love the guy, I want to throw Moroni completely to the side for a second, and replace his name with Christ..
‘…All those who were not slain, came forth and threw down their weapons of war at the feet of CHRIST.’
We are not expected to overcome our trials singlehandedly, neither are we expected to become perfect in this life. However, Christ gives us the opportunity to become perfect in Him. He will not take our weapons away from us, we need to willingly hand them over to Him, praying with sincerity that He will help us abstain from picking them up again. This is not a one time thing, it takes consistent effort, prayer and faith. I pray each day that I choose the right, that the decisions I make are in line with the commandments of God and that I refrain from using weapons against Him.
I have also started praying that I refrain from using weapons against myself, that Christ gives me the strength I need to overcome the disordered part of my brain allowing me to be fully engaged in the fight for Him. Every morning I hand over my self-doubt, my low self-esteem, and my terribly harsh inner critic and by the end of each day He has reminded me that I am a daughter of God, and that there is more power in knowing that than anything else in this world. 🌍