We read in Alma 48:17 that if all men had been like Moroni, the powers of hell would be shaken forever. Since Moroni is an important protagonist in these chapters, it is good to analyze what he did and how his actions apply in our lives today.
What was it that Captain Moroni did that made him so powerful?
Alma 46 – Moroni flies the Title of Liberty – This is one way we can take a stand for righteousness – we can fly our own personal title of liberty. What are ways that youth can “fly their own Title of Liberty today?
Do not underestimate the power of one person
In Alma 46:9 we read, “we see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.” I find this verse to outline a powerful principle: one person does make a difference, either for good or evil. Amalickiah and Moroni are opposites that perfectly illustrate this principle. We had a good conversation in class discussing characters in history or in literature that show that this principle is true.
We read in Alma 46:7 that the Nephites lived in a “precarious and dangerous” time/situation … when you live in this time, you need someone who lives by true principles and openly flies their beliefs in front of the world. We need young people who are unafraid to stand up for their beliefs and show by their actions what they believe. A great video that illustrates the power of one person to influence others is “Honesty, You Had Better Believe It.” It is downloadable here.
Alma 47 – Don’t come down from the mountain
We can learn much about the tactics of the Adversary by learning how his servants operate. In Alma 46-47, we see exactly how Amalickiah manipulates others to get his way. We know that his goals were to be a king and to usurp power over both the Nephites and the Lamanites (Alma 46:4; 47:35).
Alma 47:6 – Notice how strong willed Lehonti was. Lehonti and his men were “fixed and determined” to not follow Amalickiah to war against the Nephites. They knew what they would be up against! These warriors were determined to not follow this renegade Nephite to war, and they took a position that they could defend: the high ground on Mount Antipus (Alma 47:7).
The little things do matter. The Adversary knows this, and so he uses ways and means that are Alma 47:4) to perform his work.
Alma 47:10-15, 18 – Poisoned By Degrees
Amalickiah urges Lehonti to come down to the foot of the mountain… Lehonti still won’t come down. So Amalickiah tries again – three times. When he can’t get him to come down, he comes up to Lehonti to where he is.
He convinces Lehonti that he can come down with his guards (you will be safe!) and talk with him. He is assured that he will, if he follows Amalickiah’s plan, be in charge of the combined forces of both his and Amalickiah’s men. He is assured that everything is safe and fine, and that he will have complete control of the situation.
Lehonti falls for Amalickiah’s plan, and pays for it with his life. If we come down, even a small degree, we may fall for temptation. Lucifer wants us to believe we are in control. The truth is, once we come down, even a little bit, we may find ourselves in his realm and under his influence. Think about policies, procedures, warnings and council you have received to be protected by the Savior in your life. We had a good discussion of prophetic counsel that we have received in the past year that may seem small when taken separately, but when viewed in its totality, was significant.
We learn that Amalickiah makes certain that Lehonti is poisoned by degrees. This is a powerful expression, once we come down off the mountain, Lucifer poisons us slowly so that we don’t even notice that we are poisoned. How are youth poisoned by degrees in our world today?
Lehonti died believing he was in control! That is sad, yet it is one of the ways that the Adversary works. I believe Mormon included this in the text because he knew that youth today would be faced with subtle temptations where they could be “poisoned by degrees,” thinking that they were in control of the situation they faced. Mormon exposes one of Satan’s tactics in this chapter.
Some examples of being“poisoned by degrees” that students readily came up with included: pornography, greed/materialism, alcohol or other addictions.
May we always be firm and resolute, refusing to come down off Mount Antipus and may we be unafraid to fly our flag as we face the challenges of our day.