(October 4, 2015)
I loved beyond measure the king’s speech to his people. At the time this speech was given, the people (and the king) faced death. Almost certainly (assuming a Mesoamerican tradition) the king was looking at not only being killed but being tortured to death is exceptionally grisly ways. I have faced difficult times in my life, but I don’t think any of them are nearly as dire as those the Ammonites faced at this moment.
So what does the king do? He gives a speech, and the entire first half of it is focused on gratitude. He expresses his gratitude for the deliverance they have been given spiritually even as they face destruction temporally. What a wonderful example to each of us, as we face our own challenges, to remain focused on gratitude rather than mired in concerns.
The other thought I had was on the prayers of the Ammonites as they were being cut down. Surely, as people willing to die rather than defend themselves or risk taking the lives of others, they were righteous. The scriptures all but say they received Exaltation, so the Lord must have heard their prayers. And yet, they were cut down all the same. What lesson is there for us in this? Just because we are worthy, and just because we are seeking a worthy goal (and something greatly important to us), does not mean that our prayers will necessarily be answered…at least, not in mortality.