(July 21, 2014)
I have long thought that this chapter was the single most optimistic chapter in the entire Book of Mormon, and short of the scriptures detailing Christ in the garden, on the cross, and the empty tomb this chapter is the chapter that fills me with the most hope. There is the language of hope for the righteous – that they will be protected and gathered in, but that isn’t the language I am talking about. There is also the language of Divine intervention – sending down fire to protect the righteous, but that, too, isn’t the language that I am talking about.
No, the language I am talking about, and the most hopeful verse in the scriptures (save, possibly, my favorite verse in the scriptures [Mosiah 26:30]) is verse 26. We see Satan being bound, and we imagine Michael and his legions with flaming spears tying Satan in chains and thrusting him into the pit. But note what this verse says – that isn’t the way things are going to happen. Satan is going to be bound because of the righteousness of the people of God – people like you and me, should we choose to be those people.
At times it seems hopeless to achieve the level of righteousness that we feel we need to achieve, but this scripture gives us hope. If we persevere, we have it within our capacity to build our lives and our love through Grace to the point where Satan no longer has power over us. Then, as we each do that, over time we will have Wards were Satan likewise has no power over us, then communities, cities, States, and eventually the world. We understand better than most the calamities that are headed our way, but we also know from the scriptures (including this one) that we will through Christ overcome. What a blessing of hope that provides!