this morning i was reading about the anti-nephi-lehies and all that they went through. they truly were a people that were converted to the lord and they knew what they wanted. here they are covenanting (promising) with the Lord that they would no longer shed the blood of their brethren, so they "...bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day..." (Alma 24:16). now because of this covenant that they have made they will wage war nor fight against those that come against them. when the lamanites did come against them they "...prostrated themselves before them to the earth, and began to call on the name of the Lord;..." (Alma 24:21). the anti-nephi-lehies really were being steadfast and immovable in the covenant that they made with Heavenly Father. they knew that they would be saved "...for we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved." (Alma 24:26). now because of this there were many lamanites that were converted. their hearts became swollen within them and they threw their weapons of war down, and they would not take them up again. it is great because there were more lamanites that had joined the people of God, the anti-nephi-lehies, than the number of those that they had slain. "...thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people." (Alma 24:27)
i really do love the anti-nephi-lehi people. they are a people of God. they gave of so much and taught so much that they have become my hero's.
we had a great lesson once that was based off the story of the anti-nephi-lehi people. because the anti-nephi-lehies buried their weapons of war as a covenant and testimony to the Lord, they gave of something and truly repented for their sins and had forsaken them, gave up completely and to never return back to, what caused them to sin. so in our lesson we did just that. we were given little pieces of paper where we drew a sword on one side and then wrote down something that was an affliction in our lives, our something that we needed to change on the other side. after we did this we buried our "weapons of war, for peace." (Alma 24:19). it really was a great lesson. i learned that day that when we give up that which we have been holding to is a call for repentance, a call and time to change.
the anti-nephi-lehies not only teach us about courage and diligence, but they teach us about repentance. i have asked myself many times before, " am i truly sorry for what i have done?", "am i willing to give it up completely and never return?" . repentance can definitely be a hard thing to do. however, life is not meant to be perfect but to be a continual process. repentance helps us to get one step closer to our Heavenly Father. it is all because of Jesus Christ that we have the opportunity to be with our Heavenly Father again and we can become perfect "...even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48).
i am so grateful to have such a loving and merciful Heavenly Father. we truly can become like Him. i know that He sent His only begotten son down for us so that we can live with Him again. Christ died for us and he loves today. He will help us, we are not alone. always remember that prayer is the answer to everything.