Currently, I am reading the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ that goes hand-in-hand with the Bible. The Book of Mormon is a record of those who lived in the ancient Americas. This morning I was reading a section where the people of the Lord (we’ll, call them “the believers”) are at war with a group of people who severely persecute and punish the believers.
Two chief leaders of the believers are writing letters to each other about how they can sufficiently defend their people and win the battles that are being waged against them. At one point, they speak of two war captains that are in need of more food and more men in order to keep fighting and protect their lands. One leader says to the other, “See that ye strengthen Lehi and Teancum (the captains) in the Lord; tell them fear not; for God will deliver them...” (Alma 61:21).
As I read this, it struck me that what the war captains needed was physical strength – food and men. Yet, the focus of the instruction from one leader to another was to strengthen the captains spiritually. To me, this illustrated the importance of spiritual strengthening to enable us to face all hardships – physical or spiritual.
What does it mean to strengthen ourselves spiritually? One key thing I have found to strengthen myself spiritually is to take time to connect with God each day. This can be done by kneeling in prayer, taking walks in nature, serving in our homes and communities, reading scriptures or uplifting books that focus our perspective on God, etc.
Just like the believers in the Book of Mormon we will all have times of trial and hardship. What I learned in my reading of the Book of Mormon today is that no matter what type of trial we face – be it emotional, physical, etc. – we must seek to strengthen ourselves spiritually and God will deliver us in His time and in His way. I find it interesting that less than two years after the exchange of the letters I mentioned above, Teancum (one of the war captains) actually dies in battle.
Sometimes I hear people joke that God has a sense of humor because the way they find themselves delivered from their trials is not the way they wanted to be delivered. For Teancum, that meant returning home to the God that gave him life. It occurred to me this morning that perhaps part of why we must strengthen ourselves spiritually is so that we can accept with peace the path of deliverance God will have us walk, especially when it is not the path we desire.
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