001P - Battle Prayer

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

74 BC somewhere in these Americas: It would have been called a holy war. The combined forces of the Lamanites and the Nephite dissenters, the Zoramites, had come into the land of Antionum. They were angry with the Nephites because of their religion, and their intent was to conquer them, bring them into bondage, and destroy their Church and all that belonged to it.

The Lamanite forces numbered into the many thousands, and outnumbered the Nephites by more than double. The Lamanite forces were led by Zerahemnah, a man with a lust for power and a hatred for the Nephites and their Church. He was a talented military strategist and an able commander. The Nephite forces were led by a young man of only 25 years of age. His name was Moroni. If Zerahemnah was talented, Moroni was a genius at strategy and tactics.

In the land of Manti, the battle came to a head as Moroni’s forces outflanked and surrounded the army of the Lamanites. Like dragons did the Lamanites fight.

“… Never had the Lamanites been known to fight with such exceedingly great strength and courage, no, not even from the beginning.” (Alma 43:43)

The Lamanites came at the Nephites with such ferocity that they cut through their armor, pierced their breastplates and cleft in two their head plates. It was so brutal that the men of Moroni began to give way before the Lamanite onslaught.

Moroni could read his men and knew their hearts. He sent forth and inspired them with thoughts of their lands, their liberty, and their freedom from bondage. And at that moment a remarkable thing happened: The men of Moroni, turned around and “… cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage. And they began to stand against the Lamanites with power; and in that selfsame hour that they cried unto the Lord for their freedom, the Lamanites began to flee before them…” (Alma 43:49-50)

Outnumbered by more than 2 to 1, the Nephites put the Lamanites to flight and trapped them in terror against the River Sidon.

Moroni stopped the fight and demanded Zerahemnah surrender. Moroni had no more desire to bring someone into bondage than he did to be in bondage himself. If the Lamanites would throw down their weapons and make a covenant of peace, man for man, he would let them depart out of the land in peace. Zerahemnah, however, rejected the offer, and the battle commenced once more.

Moroni was a man of his word. Either Zerahemnah and his men left under a covenant of peace or they would never leave at all. They made the covenant.

I have reflected on that moment when the tide of war and the course of Nephite history was forever changed by a united prayer in the heat of battle. Freedom and agency are eternal companions. It does little good here or hereafter for men to have one and not the other, and they are not the same. Hence, our Lord is and has always been the God of battles - the Lord of Hosts. Our country and lands, our rights and liberties, our families and friends, and our Church and rites of worship are precious gifts paid for with blood. That sacred blood is our debt.

When the enemy is too many, and hides like a snake in the grass, perhaps it is time to fuss less over legislation and unite our voices again in mighty prayer.

Source: Alma 35, 43-44
Glenn Rawson – August 2016
Music: Paul Cardall
Song: “I’m Gonna Pray for This Land” - Wintley Phipps