We definitely live in a time of wars and rumors of wars. There are many people who have friends and relatives who are involved directly in the war in Iraq and the war against terrorism. My heart goes out to those individuals and families.
For many of us these wars are something that concerns us, but may not affect us greatly day-to-day. These are wars which for the most part are fought ‘over there’. Many of us go about our lives much the same way we always do. But this might not always be the case.
With the world getting smaller and smaller we may face great danger right here at home. The future of terrorism particularly concerns me. What was once a problem for people in other parts of the world may someday become something that each of us will need to be concerned about. Not merely for political reasons, but for reasons of personal and family safety. Are we prepared for this?
I wrote a post about gun ownership over at Small and Simple here. This was a more general post. But I might now ask what any of us are willing to do to defend our own lives and the lives of our families if we need to. When many of us think of self defense we might think of what we hope is the slim chance of a burglar breaking into our home. This is bad enough. What if the threat got even worse? What if terrorist threats became a real threat in the city we live in?
I have often thought about an interesting contrast that I read in two different stories in the Book of Mormon. One is the story of Captain Moroni, and the other is the people of Ammon.
In Alma chapter 43, as Alma and his sons preach the word, the Lamanites come against the Nephites in war. Moroni prepares the people for battle, and the following verse is given:
And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion. (Alma 43:47)
In contrast to this example we have the people of Ammon. After they were converted they had a very different feeling. It was said of them that:
Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war…(Alma 24:6)
As a result of this more than a thousand were slain without any resistance.
As I consider the last days, it seems that things will likely get worse than they currently are. Wars and rumors of wars will continue and grow. Wickedness and crime will surely increase. And while we are told that the righteous have no need to fear, what might the righteous do to prepare for difficult times in the last days? Are you prepared to defend yourself and your family unto bloodshed, as was the attitude of Captain Moroni? Or will you refuse to take up arms against your brethren as the people of Ammon?