I’m going to be honest. I’ve never much cared for the ‘war chapters’ of the Book of Mormon. Too much blood and guts and stories of men who cared more about power and money than about people.
But this morning, this first Saturday of what I’ve come to understand is going to be a season, and not just a single passing storm, of living through the COVID-19 health crisis, I have been taught and inspired by some of the ‘war chapters’.
Early this week, pre-public closures due to COVID-19 and the public panic emptying grocery stores, I was reading in Alma 48, especially verses 13-16. The message I read was:
- remember and act upon what I’ve been taught about how to love, serve, and defend myself and my family against ‘enemies’. (Anything that threatens health and safety)
- To have faith in God and His promise to all of us that if we keep His commandments (the good old fashioned 10 ones cover the bases) He will
- Prosper us in the Land
- Warn us
- Show us how to prepare
- Let us know when we are in danger
- Let us know how to defend ourselves
- The city had been rebuilt (hello, didn’t the prophet promise us in October 2018 that “as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, over time your Sabbath days will truly be a delight”. Hasn’t President Nelson guided the remodeling of the church’s online library, church programs: visiting/home teaching, missionary training, youth organization – even temple ordinances? )
- Others were “astonished at the manner of preparation” (can’t tell you the number of times non members of the church have thought my practice of always having food storage, a more than 2 week supply of household goods etc was astonishing)
- Had prepared their “places of security” (what does society see as places of security? Homes, churches, community connections)
- Had “cast up dirt” (reminded me of the physical preparations I’ve made to have a strong immune system – the regular exercise, attention to nutrition, vitamins and nutritional supplements I take)
Today, the war chapters in the Book of Mormon are speaking to me. Comforting me. Reminding me that all will be well. I am prepared. Even without access to the physical food and supply storage I left in Utah. Because of my faith, my physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional preparation, I will be guided to know how and when to act during this season of the COVID-19 crisis to be healthy and safe and be able to support those I have stewardship for in doing the same.