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: It’s a Trap!
In the Book of Mormon this week, we discussed how the Stripling Warriors were able to survive the battle against the larger Lamanite army, how experiences can make an individual better or bitter, and how the adversary changes his strategy while keeping his motive the same. During the war chapters, one of the more prominent battles is the battle where the 2000 Ammonites or the Stripling Warriors, (who were led by Helaman) defeated a much larger Lamanite army. What is fascinating however is how faithful
and courageous these young men were. In Alma 56:46, they were not going to battle the Lamanites in order to fight; they were going so they would win. They weren’t going to try, but they were going to do what they needed to. This faith is what must be characteristic of missionaries throughout the world, as they are inexperienced and need the power of the Lord to survive. Even though all of the young Warriors were wounded, none of them died, as they had the power of the Lord on their side. However, in life, the Lord’s protection can help us escape the traps of the adversary and the dangers of the world, but that does not mean that we will completely escape unscathed.
Another interesting topic that was covered was how Satan’s strategy changed after the war with the Lamanites ended. Satan’s followers formed a secret band of robbers called the Gadiaton Robbers, who ultimately brought the demise of the Nephite nation. The Gadiaton robbers would surreptitiously assassinate leaders, rob the innocent, and would seek to corrupt the government. They were stealthy, and hard to discern from the common folk, and they were subtle within the Nephite nation. An assassin named Kishkumen murdered the Nephite chief judge Pahoran in order to destabilize the Nephite government. Meanwhile, a Lamanite army marched straight to Zarahemla and took the city in a bold move. Kishkumen was eventually slain by Helaman’s servant, and the Lamanite army was defeated by Moronihah, Captain Moroni’s son. These incidents show just a small taste of Satan’s true motive. His motive is similar to that of the Gadiaton Robbers: to rob and murder to lift themselves up.
Ever since the beginning, ever since God chose Jesus to be our Savior and not Lucifer, Satan’s motive has always been to rob us of our freedom and agency, kill us spiritually, and lift himself up in glory. Had he been our savior, he would’ve done just that. Ever since the War in Heaven, he tries to bring us down from within in a subtle manner, and he tries to use his pawns to bring us down externally. In terms of external forces, I am referring to those who listen to the adversary, and seek to trap those here. Out of all the traps that Satan tries to use, (addictions, anger, frustration, misery,) they all have the purpose of trapping us and bringing us down. So this trap of Satan hasn’t been anything new; it just takes on different forms depending on the individual that Satan tries to bring down. For some, it is an addiction, for others it might be anger or jealousy. The only true way to escape these traps is by turning to the Lord, and surrounding ourselves with positive influences that help create a spiritual environment. Truly keeping the commandments is another thing that we need to stay aware of as well. If we remain worthy and try our best to repel Satan, we will be much better off in the long run.
I Believe: Expressions of Faith