(October 18, 2014)
There were a couple of interesting things in this chapter, but my mind focused on the Lamanites fighting like dragons as they became cornered. As I am certain I have mentioned, I see the war chapters in the Book of Mormon as an extended metaphor for our personal war with sin (they are historical as well, but I believe they were included for the principles they teach us).
Over and over in our lives, we will find ourselves in a battle with sin and with evil. Oftentimes we will feel, as did Mormon in his day, that the battle is unwinnable and it will take Divine intervention to survive. This, of course, is always true. But at other times, we will find ourselves in a position similar to
Moroni – our sins on the ropes as we fight
and prevail at long last.
It is at those times when we are particularly vulnerable. The Lamanites here began fighting as dragons – sundering breastplates and cleaving helmets. Likewise, when we feel we have a particular vice or weakness on the ropes it is the time to become extremely cautious as that vice will often attack with a newfound strength (or we will face an attack from Satan in a different direction). Regardless, in my experience when we are close to overcoming a flaw in our life and making legitimate progress we will suffer a significant attack that we must withstand. I have found that by expecting and preparing for this attack I am better able to resist it when it comes.