Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence", Elder Holland references events in the life of the great Biblical prophet, Moses. As a young shepherd, Moses one day went up "into an exceedingly high mountain" and spoke with God face to face. Because of his faith, God showed Moses all of His creations. Following this great vision, as Moses is pondering on what he saw, the devil comes to him trying to tempt Moses to worship him. The moral of the story, Elder Holland describes, is to not let our guard down. That is what his whole talk is about. It is about being prepared for temptation to come before great spiritual moments and not letting down our guard when those great spiritual moments happen in our lives.
Last night as I was reading in the Book of Mormon, I was reading about the people of Alma and how the Lord delivered them from the bondage they were living in under the hand of the wicked Lamanites. After Alma and his people showed their faith in God, He miraculously freed them from their oppressors by causing a deep sleep to come upon the guards, allowing Alma and his people to get away. After traveling all day, the people stop for the night and praise and thank God with take some time to relax. Not much long after, the Lord tells Alma that they need to keep going because the Lamanites are trying to find them. So they leave and eventually are reunited with a large group of Nephites who welcome them with open arms.
As I read this, the first part of verse 23 really stuck out to me where it says, "And now the Lord said unto Alma: Haste thee and get thou and this people out of this land". When I read those words I took a little pause and thought about how this could apply to my life. When I found that answer, I realized that it applies not only to me, but to everyone!
We all have times where we go through something hard and fight and struggle and endure through it. Then, through the grace of God, we are miraculously freed! How often do we just take it at that, thank God, and then sit? If Alma and his people had done that the Lamanites would have caught up to them in no time at all and they would have at least been put under bondage again, but probably killed for running away.
The lesson I learned from it is just because we overcome something hard doesn't mean it is over. Just because something great has happened, it doesn't mean that we are in the clear. Just because we have had a powerful spiritual experience doesn't mean we can let our guard down. That is the message Elder Holland shared from Moses experience and that is the message I learned from this story of Alma and his people.
I am a huge fan of hockey. Growing up outside Hockey Town, home to the Detroit Red Wings, I came to love hockey and quickly became fascinated with the sport. It is amazing to watch! One thing I noticed pretty early on was the fact that these guys were all over the place! I would watch for a few seconds as Steve Yzerman skated all over the ice and then a few seconds later he skated over to the side and jumped back on the bench for a line change. I never really understood why the line changes happened so frequently and lasted for such a short amount of time until my year at college.
At college I had a roommate who also loved hockey and, conveniently enough, his favorite team was the Red Wings. Whenever a hockey game was on TV we would sit down to watch it and after only a few games I understood so much more than I did during my entire childhood. I learned about the strategy that goes on in the line changes; how one has the better scorers, one has the better defenders, one has better skaters, etc. I learned how important to have those line changes occurring not only with that strategy but also so that the players didn’t get too worn out and had time to rest a bit before they skated again.
And yet, every time a skater got on the ice, they skated and skated hard for the entire time. They didn’t mess around by standing in the same spot waiting for the play to come their way. They skated to the play and made the play happen. Even when an opponent got on a breakaway and it was a one-on-one, the defender wouldn’t just stand there hoping he would stop him somehow. No, he was constantly skating making sure that he was ready to cut off the opponent when the time was right. Our lives are just like this!
Satan in the opponent and he is often on a breakaway where it feels like a one-on-one chance. We can’t just stand still hoping to come out on top, we have to be moving and making those opportunities for us to put a stop to him and his diabolical plans. It is important to remember that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we are given strength during the play to be better than we can be on our own. But that still doesn’t give us an excuse to sit around hoping and praying that we don’t lose, we need to act and to always be on the move! Even when we have the puck and are on the attack, we need to be constantly moving!
I know that as we always continue to push forward, even when life seems easy, we will be able to avoid situations that could lead to our misery and possibly even destruction. By always making sure we are on the move towards God, we will always be able to stay away from traps that come from dumb decisions. We will still face trials in our lives, we always do and always will for that is our purpose for life. But through constantly being on the move we can avoid unnecessary trials and heartaches. I have come to know that this is true in my own life and I testify that it is true.
I know I shared it in an earlier post but it is so great that I am going to share it again! Here it is! :)