Monday, June 28, 2010

War and Modesty

Frankly, the "war chapters" in the Book of Mormon have always been a challenge for me to understand.

Bring on Isaiah . . . but The Book of Mormon War Chapters?!?!

However, I am getting better about listening to and learning what the Spirit wants me to understand as I studying the word of God.

So the other night, while I was studying, I was AMAZED to learn about the importance - the LIFE SAVING IMPORTANCE - of modesty.

Modesty in the War Chapters.  Who would have thunk?

These ideas are taken from Alma chapters 43 and 44.

First of all, Mormon illustrates the stark physical difference between the Nephites and the Lamanites during this scene with Captain Moroni and Zerahemnah.

The people of Nephi, obedient to Captain Moroni, were prepared with breastplates, arm-shields, shields to defend their heads AND (to top it off), they were dressed with thick clothing.

The army of Zerahemnah, on the other hand, did have swords, they did have bow and arrows, they did have stones and slings, but, they were naked . . . well, okay, they did have a skin girded about their loin, but that didn't hide the fact that they were still naked!

Their cohorts in crime - the Zoramites and Amalekites - were not naked (thank heavens).  However, somewhere along the line they had missed the memo to bring along their weapons.  So they had clothes but no breastplates.  No shields.

Interestingly, Mormon says that the Lamanites "were exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor - notwithstanding their number being SO MUCH GREATER than the Nephites."

So here is this GINORMOUS army of Lamanites - "immodestly" dressed for war, so to speak - against this modest army of Nephites. 

So these armies battle it out and soon, the Lamanites find that the are beign overpowered.  They come together.  They meet and there is this dialogue between Captain Moroni and Zerahemnah.

Captain Moroni:  Zerahemnah, we, the Nephites, will prevail! We will do so because of our religion, our faith in Christ, our rites of worship (We have made and we keep sacred covenants, you know, that is why we are dressed so modestly), our church AND by the sacred support we have received from their wives and their children.

Zerahemnah: Ha. We don't go to your church or believe in your faith.  We don't believe that God has helped you.  NO!  It is because of those ridiculously thick clothes you are wearing and that extra stuff you brought along - the breastplates and the shields - that protect you.

Okay.  Stop right there.  Let us just assume for one moment that we are as skeptial and as faithless as Zerahemnah in the reasons why this small Nephite army would prevail over the enormity of the armies of the Lamanites.  Let us just suppose that God's hand had nothing do with the success of Moroni's army.  What, then, would it say to us about modesty?

I think I could say that modesty alone could save lives!

But modesty, coupled with making and keeping sacred covenants, becomes virtue.

And virtue - a prerequisite to enter into the Lord's house - gives strength for one to make and keep and live sacred covenants.

It's what Captain Moroni explained to Zerahemnah in 73 B.C.

It's what Church leaders are exhorting us in 2010 A.D.


  1. I agree with the part about Isaiah and wars. Lots of wars. I don't quite get it when they say skip over Isaiah, which is interesting for me cuz I don't feel I understand most of what I read anyways. Modesty is a really good thing. Even for babies.

  2. I told....I love the WAR chapters. I always get some of most favorite insights from the "juxtapositions" found in those chapters.


  3. Anne, Believe it when I say that I really did think about you when I had that "AHA" juxtaposed moment in the war chapters! ;)