Saturday, July 22, 2017

Seek Spiritual Solutions

9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear all ye of far countries; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.
10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us.
11 For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:
12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
13 Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. (2 Nephi 18:91-13)
In these verses, Nephi quotes Isaiah. Isaiah’s situation at that time was one in which the Jews were greatly worried about the threat of being invaded by the Assyrians, who were particularly cruel and barbaric to prisoners (think torture and killing in lots of painful ways just because they could).

It would be natural for the Jews to want to seek for military allies (a confederation) and gird their armor on, and counsel together about what to do. But Isaiah said the Lord told him they needed to do something different—don’t worry about allies, or battle prep, or counsel, or whatever.  Instead, “Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” (v13)  He told them to fear God and sanctify themselves for God.

Why? From a worst case scenario, repenting would prepare them for the next life if they died.  For a best-case scenario, keeping the commandments would give them the moral oomph to endure the difficulties they faced.

It’s still true today that when we face difficulties, even large-scale ones on a national level, the first best thing we can do is get our lives in order spiritually so we can have the strength to deal with it.  Repent and keep the commandments.

If we were to have some sort of crisis like the mobbings of Missouri or the invasion of Johnson’s army into Utah, it would be easy to get really worried and seek temporal solutions.  I would hope we’d be able to turn to the Lord, like Isaiah recommended.