BYU (Brigham Young University) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
In this series (see below), students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the Book of Mormon in the form of letters to someone they know. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures.
In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to speak to all of us of the relevance, power and beauty of the Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ and complement to the Bible. The Book of Mormon includes the religious history of a group of Israelites who settled in ancient America. (The names they use are those of prophets who taught the Book of Mormon peoples to look forward to the coming of Christ—Nephi, Lehi, Alma, Helaman, and other unfamiliar names. We hope those names will become more familiar to you as you read their inspiring words and feel the relevance and divinity of their messages through these letters.)
Let us know if you’d like to receive your own digital copy of the Book of Mormon, and/or if these messages encourage and assist you spiritually as well.
Book of Mormon: Lessons from the War Chapters
In my Book of Mormon class, we have been talking about the “war chapters,” in Alma 43-56. I’ve never really understood why people sometime struggle getting through these chapters because they are full of stories and examples that we can emulate. As my professor talked about, the Book of Mormon serves as a witness and a warning and we should always be looking for ways to apply these stories in our lives. I see the war chapters as being especially demonstrative of the witness and warning examples.
First, we learn about Zerahemnah and Moroni. Zerahemnah serves as a warning and example of Satan because of his need to destroy agency through an unprovoked war and his failure to protect his army; only providing them with weapons of attack. Moroni is a witness and example of Christlike behavior because of his commitment to support and preserve the righteous and mainly preparing his people to defend themselves and their freedoms instead of focusing on attack and offense. Later on in these chapters, we learn that Moroni and the Nephites have been preparing strong fortifications and places of defense the whole time that Amalickiah is trying to destroy them. In addition, we learn in Alma 50:23 that “there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni.”
I know this was because of their faith in the Lord and internal peace. There was no way that the Lamanites could have weakened the Nephites strong defense until internal conflict begins. Morianton and his followers, and the king-men all served to weaken the strength of the Nephites and distract from the major issue of defending against Amalickiah’s army. What we can learn from this lesson is that as long as we prepare appropriately and go forward with faith, external problems will only make us stronger. It is only internal weaknesses that are allowed to spread their damaging influence that will break down our defenses and cause the external struggles to affect us more deeply. My goal is to strengthen myself on the inside so that no external problem will harm my spiritual progression. I know this is possible through sincere self-evaluation and relying on Heavenly Father to guide me in how I should improve.