Monday, November 11, 2013

Upgrading our Family Battle Plan

What used to be good enough to protect our families then, isn’t good enough today. 

Captain Moroni was awesome. I can hardly wait to meet him in the next life. We can learn a lot from how God taught him to defend against his enemy, the evil Lamanite army.  

God inspired Moroni to defend the Nephite cities in ways that had never been done before. 

“Thus he was preparing to support their liberty, their lands, their wives, and their children, and their peace, and that they might live unto the Lord their God, and that they might maintain ... the cause of Christians” (Alma 48:10).   

How did they defend themselves? 

They built up forts, banks of earth, and walls of stone. They dug heaps of earth around all the cities, then timbers on top of the ridges, then tall frames of pickets, and towers. There was only one way to enter the city – at it’s entrance.  He didn’t stop making preparations for war to defend his people. (See Alma 48:8, 49:4, 50:1-6).

Moroni also prepared his soldiers with armor unlike any that had been used before. This is the first time a Book of Mormon army wore breastplates, arm-shields, head shields, and thick clothing. 

Moroni also sent spies to discover the enemy’s tactics. Then he sent men to ask the prophet Alma what God wanted them to do. 

This message is BIG for us today. How?

President Kimball said, “In the past, having family prayer once a day may have been all right. But in the future it will not be enough if we are going to save our families.” He was being quoted in 1990. That’s 23 years ago. The prophet was saying we need to upgrade our battle plans. 

Last week we had stake conference. The visiting Seventy told us his parents were new converts when he was a child. They were still figuring out how to live this new LDS faith, and weed out their Catholic traditions. His parents weren’t consistent with family scripture study or family prayer. Our general authority said, “I think I turned out okay. And I think my siblings turned out okay.” 

Then he said it would be tempting to think if that worked a couple generations ago, it would be enough today. He said that is wrong. 

Here’s why. 

President Henry B. Eyring said, “As the forces [of sin] around us increase in intensity, whatever spiritual strength was once sufficient will not be enough. And whatever growth in spiritual strength we once thought was possible, greater growth will be made available to us. Both the need for spiritual strength and the opportunity to acquire it will increase at rates which we underestimate at our peril” (“Always,” Ensign, Oct. 1999, 9).

So our stake president invited every family in our stake to go home that day and hold a family meeting to do two things: 

1) Evaluate our battle plan. How are we doing at protecting our family against the devil and his tactics? 
2) Set specific goals. 

Here are the four areas he recommended we focus on: 

Scripture study
Gospel discussions at every opportunity
Keeping covenants and bringing the temple into our homes with temple attendance, family history, indexing

Our stake president said we are at a time where we need to prepare in ways that we never have before, just like in Captain Moroni’s time.

It’s not the first time he said it. This seems to be the theme our stake president keeps being inspired to teach us. I love this theme. I hope he keeps teaching it. We need it. Over and over and over. We need to keep “upping our game plan” as he said.  

We obeyed our stake president. We discussed and set goals that very day, and yesterday we pulled out our list to evaluate and tweak. How are we doing? What else needs to be done? What goal would each person like to set to support our “upped battle plan” to protect our family against Satan?  We wrote those down. 

These are questions we must never stop asking ourselves, and acting upon, if we want to protect our families from Satan as Moroni protected against his enemy. There really is a war going on. Just as Moroni had God’s help in protecting his people, so will we have God’s help protecting our families.

Let’s get to work. 


Kel Grammar said...

Thanks for this Sister Edwards. I needed to hear it. :)

Linda Robbins said...

Becky, you are so inspiring! You are solid in the gospel and a powerful example of righteous womanhood! I learn so much from you, and you have given me fuel for the fight! Charge!!! I love you!

Marni Hall said...

Great thoughts, thank you. I read then Elder Benson's Oct. 1971 talk called "Satan's Thrust -- Youth" a couple weeks ago. Very surprising to read the strong and pointed words he used then, and think about the challenges today. I love Captain Moroni too, and how he was able to prepare in ways never known before. Love the idea of evaluating and upgrading our battle plan!

Stephanie Larsen said...

Our family is just a few chapters away from Capt Moroni in our family study. I love this post can't wait till we get there and we can discuss this in the context of what we're reading. Love it.

Kathy said...

Can't wait to spend more time about this article with my family. I love the missionary pic above. Do you know who the artist is?

Becky Edwards said...

Kathy, isn't that a beautiful painting? Here is a link to the paintings. It appears that Doc Christensen is the artist. I'm glad you asked, which led me to look this up. I'd love to get a print for my almost-missionary son!