Monday, February 23, 2009

Patriotic-Sixth Stripling Warrior Character Trait

“Now they never had fought yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives…” Alma 56:47

This passage took place before the stripling warriors went to battle. Do you think their patriotism changed after they’d actually fought and saw the ravages of war?
For the answer, let’s look at Alma 58:40 “But behold, they have received many wounds; nevertheless they stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has made them free; and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day…”

Of course, the stripling warriors had changed─their love for country and God grew even stronger. Why do you suppose it would be stronger? Do you think they grew stronger because they had become invested in the cause by service, sacrifice and love?

War is horrible and ugly. There aren’t enough words to describe it. I wrote a nonfiction children’s book about World War One (WWI). In doing the research for that book, I came to understand that war was rarely a snap decision. Some blamed that war on a single shot that was heard around the world. But the German leaders had been preparing for war for decades. That an arch duke was assassinated was the excuse to execute a plan that had been in the making for years.

I also came to understand the plight of many countries during that war. As I think about love of country I’m reminded about the Russian people during WWI. They loved their country, but because of the ravages of war they eventually embraced communism.
The Russian people were starving to death, over ten million would eventually die of typhus fever (brought on by the war), and they were losing the fight. They turned against their leader, the Czar, and assassinated him and his family. The country was in shambles. Vladimir Ilich Ulyana Nikolai Lenin seemed to be the man with an answer; however, Lenin’s answer was not freedom, but communism. The people embraced communism because they were poverty-stricken and needed help caring for their loved ones, their babies. So Lenin seized the chance to gain power over them.

War clearly shows us at least two of the four things Satan uses to tempt us. Gain, and power have been at the root of every war. What about the other two temptations: popularity and lusts of the flesh and things of the world, are they at the root of war?
How could going to war be popular?­­­­­­
How could lusts of the flesh and things of the world play a part in war? Think over the answers, and if you have a chance share your thoughts.

The stripling warriors show us how to fight against temptations not only in war but in our battle with Satan. They used pure faith as their beacon. Their complete faith in God carried them through many battles and saved their lives. All the stripling warriors suffered wounds, but they lived. And they were patriotic.

Sometimes we think of patriotism as raising the flag, singing the Star Spangled Banner, or setting off fireworks on the 4th of July. But if you were to look into the eyes of a soldier as he left his loved ones to serve his country, or a soldier just coming home from a tour of duty, or a soldier who has lost a limb in battle, or even a soldier whose best buddy was killed in action─in their eyes you would see true patriotism.

Patriotism is putting country before yourself.

On Wednesday we will look a little closer at Patriotism and use a "case scenario" that will help us look at it on a personal basis. I'll also give you a challenge.

3 comments:

  1. "Patriotism is putting country before yourself."

    My father, a WW2 veteran, used to say "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I'll fight to the death to defend your right to say it." And he meant it.

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  2. My father was a WW2 veteran as well, and I'm sure he would agree with what your father said. Aren't we lucky to live in a country where everyone is free to voice their opinions? I appreciate your insight.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My father was a WW2 veteran as well, and I'm sure he would agree with what your father said. Aren't we lucky to live in a country where everyone is free to voice their opinions? I appreciate your insight.

    ReplyDelete

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