And thus he [Captain Moroni] was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain that which was called by their enemies the cause of Christians. (Alma 48:10)
This bit about how the Nephite’s enemies called it “the cause of Christians” stuck out to me recently, and it puzzled me. It made me think, “What is the cause of Christians? What do we fight for?”
It made me think of all the different times when I’d had to contend or persuade for something relating to church and my religion, and I realized that the cause of Christians is essentially our fighting for standards in society that will support our way of life and make it easier to live the commandments.
We ask people to keep the swears down so we can think cleaner thoughts. We look for clean movies and TV so we can have an easier time finding good clean entertainment. We want that for our children (and hopefully ourselves), so we fight to prevent exposure to those things.
We want modest clothing, so we ask for that.
We want as many people as possible to be free to hear about the gospel, free to believe it, free to act on it, free to teach it, so we advocate for freedom of religion.
We want people to have opportunities to create wholesome family structures in hopes that someday they will be able to make their family eternal, so we advocate for traditional marriage and strong family units.
We uphold integrity so that we can be honest. We uphold civility so that we can be civil and be successful doing so. We uphold liberty so that we can be free to make our own choices, and we advocate for measures that will allow us to be free from sin and live the commandments more fully.
All these things can be effectively termed “the cause of Christians” because they represent a series of conditions we advocate be maintained in society so that we can have the greatest possible social support in fulfilling the duty we owe to God.
How does knowing this help us today? I think it helps us realize that those battles we fight from time to time which seem so isolated are actually all related to each other. They are part of a larger cause. If we see them as isolated skirmishes, it can seem like the battles come out of nowhere, but if we see them as part of a larger cause, we will be less surprised and have good responses prepared ahead of time that will help us deal wisely and civilly while maintaining our cause.