Friday, May 29, 2009

Fortress of Righteousness

We read in Alma how Captain Moroni fortified the Nephite lands and cities as a protection against angry and aggressive forces which were attempting to destroy his people. He describes his efforts in fortifying the cities in Alma 50.

1 And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites.

2 And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be timbers, yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities.

3 And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high.

4 And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that the stones and the arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them.

5 And they were prepared that they could cast stones from the top thereof, according to their pleasure and their strength, and slay him who should attempt to approach near the walls of the city.

6 Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land.

Moroni recognized the severity of the conflict and the nature of his enemies so he prepared strongholds as a protection for his people. His people fortified the cities with heaps of dirt and pickets and Moroni caused towers to be built tall and strong that the people could see and defend should their enemies come upon them.

Likewise, as parents, we must recognize the severity of the evil forces which are pushing upon our families, seeking to destroy us. We must fortify our homes to be strongholds of safety, or as Joseph B. Wirthlin called it, "a fortress of righteousness". We have been given a design, or pattern by our Heavenly Father, through His prophets, to strengthen and protect our families. We can also follow Moroni's example in fortifying our homes like he fortified the Nephite cities.

We can follow a proven design by fortifying our homes, building them upon the righteous principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Once we follow this divine design and build our home upon a sound foundation we must maintain our family fortifications. Moroni erected towers to keep vigillant watch in case the enemies came close. Likewise, as parents we must keep watch upon our children to ensure evil influences do not creep in underneath our noses. We must maintain a Christ centered home with both parents standing as equal partners in marriage, keeping guard in the towers overlooking the home.
Dallin H Oaks said, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, love and compassion."

Elder Wirthlin has said, "If Satan can weaken or destroy the loving relationships among members of families, he can cause more misery and more unhappiness for more people than he could in any other way." (Spiritually Strong Homes & Families, May '93 Ensign)

Satan is at war with us. Are we at war with him? And are we taking the threat as seriously as we should or do we suffer from a false sense of security?

Elder Russell M Nelson said, "I know that the earth was created and that the Lord's Church was restored so that families could be sealed and exalted as eternal entities. And I know that one of Satan's cunning methods of undermining the work of the Lord is to attack the sacred institutions of marriage and the family."

The threat against our marriages and families is real but we can have confidence that as we follow God's patterns in establishing and maintaining our families on principles of righteousness and we are vigillant in maintaining the spiritual fortifications of our home, we will be victorious against the forces seeking to destroy us.

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