“But, behold … we trust God will deliver us, notwithstanding the weakness of our armies, yea, and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies.”
I just have to take a moment to write the lesson that the Lord taught me today. It’s simple and beautiful and never has the Lord shown me these verses in this way.
In Alma 58 we see Gid and Teomner, Nephite army captains, waiting for provisions. (vrs 3, 4,7). Finally when they “were about to perish for the want of food” Helaman shows up with his 2000 sons and some provisions. It was sufficient to sustain them but it was all they received. Meanwhile the lamanites were receiving new supplies and men constantly. (We did “contend with an enemy that was innumerable” vrs 8.) This is not the first time God would win a battle with these odds.
Nevertheless, the Nephites began to be “grieved and also filled with fear” (vrs 9). But I love their reaction and think there is a great lesson in here for all of us. Verse 10 begins with “Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.” I loved how they managed their fears by crying out to their Father who could save and sustain them. When I read and studied this passage I finally felt their real desperation and need. I could imagine what some of those prayers felt like. I know what it is like to pour out my soul to God.
I also know that the next verse is full of truth too. “The Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us, … he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, …that we should hope for our deliverance in him…And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination to conquer.”
“There is also another lesson to be found in the response of Helaman and his men to the Lord’s promised deliverance. Rather than idly waiting for God to provide for their needs, Helaman’s armies maintained their faith as they took the initiative and successfully executed a military strategy to take over a Lamanite stronghold. Helaman recorded, “And thus we did go forth with all our might against the Lamanites, who were in the city of Manti” (Alma 58:13). Elder D. Todd Christoffersen has taught, “Likewise, as we plead with God for our daily bread—for help in the moment that we cannot ourselves provide—we must still be active in doing and providing that which is within our power.” ( taken from book of mormon central)
Just like the Nephites of old we too must learn to keep lines of communication of a spiritual nature open. We must seek and plead with God to strengthen us and bless us with a hope of His deliverance.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton has taught: “The promises of the gospel are uplifting and ennobling, even exalting. We receive those promises by covenants which are conditioned on our living lives of purity and morality. When we live right and seek to purify our hearts, we draw closer to God and the Spirit. The condition of our heart determines how much evidence of divinity we see in the world now and qualifies us for the eventual realization of the promise that the pure “shall see God.” Ours is a quest for purity.”