Commitment to Covenants

Reading: Alma 24

One of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon has always been the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.  These were the Lamanites converted by Ammon who covenanted with the Lord that they would never again kill people in an effort to repent of their murderous ways before their conversion. When the other Lamanites decided to attack the Anti-Nephi-Lehies they remained true to their covenant, even though it meant allowing their attackers to kill them without fighting back. In verses 17 and 18 it says:

And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth. And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.

When the Lamanites attacked many of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies were killed, but they were happier to die remaining to their covenant than they would to live having broken their promise with God. Because of their example many of the attacking Lamanites were converted, which made the Anti-Nephi-Lehies very glad for their choice. In verses 26 and 27 it says:

And it came to pass that the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt but what they were saved. And there was not a wicked man slain among them; but there were more than a thousand brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lord worketh in many ways to the salvation of his people.

The scriptures make it clear that God does not ask all us to be pacifists like the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, but rather to defend our families if absolutely necessary, but God does require that all of us keep our covenants that we have made with him. Today we make covenants when we are baptized and when we go to the temple. When I read this story I hope that I can be so committed to my covenants that I would rather die than break them.

Today I am going to think about the covenants that I have made and make a short list of the things I have promised to do in my journal, and see if there are any places where I am falling short.

Is there any other lessons you learn from the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies? Can you think of the covenants you have made, and how you are keeping them?

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1 comment so far

  1. Michaela Stephens on

    “this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.”

    One of the things I get from this is that not only did they promise not to fight again, they also promised to give and to work hard. I think that in their unconverted state, fighting was probably the way that they provided for themselves (robbing others so that they wouldn’t have to work for what they wanted themselves). Conversion for these Lamanites meant a complete change in how they lived.


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