One morning during Family Scripture Study I read my four verses aloud and then paused before commenting with that well used expression “Hmmm?” My family broke into laughter, poking fun at their scripture-loving /scripture-likening mother. “She’ll find something in it. You just watch,” said my husband, giving me his vote of confidence. These were the verses at hand:
29 Many times did the Lamanites attempt to encircle them about by night, but in these attempts they did lose many prisoners.
30 And many times did they attempt to administer of their wine to the Nephites, that they might destroy them with poison or with drunkenness.
31 But behold, the Nephites were not slow to remember the Lord their God in this their time of affliction. They could not be taken in their snares; yea, they would not partake of their wine, save they had first given to some of the Lamanite prisoners.
32 And they were thus cautious that no poison should be administered among them; for if their wine would poison a Lamanite it would also poison a Nephite; and thus they did try all their liquors.
When the Lord says to liken all scripture unto ourselves these verses were not on the list of exceptions. There was definitely something instructive to me. These were my thoughts.
1. “Many times did the Lamanites attempt to encircle them about by night…”(v.29) – For many of us the hardest time of day to remain abstinent from destructive substances and behaviors is during the nighttime hours. How many daytime hours of abstinence and sanity have I experienced that ended in nights of over-eating, over my bedtime, over-thinking, over-worry, over-crafting, or over-organizing etc.
2. “And many times did they attempt to administer of their wine to the Nephites, that they might destroy them with poison or with drunkenness…”(v.30) – I’ve never been drunk with wine, but I can easily lose focus and stop doing the will of God as a complex day comes head to head with my weariness at day’s end. Often no one knows but me. I know it! To others it just looks like an evening “snack” and a project “she’s” excited about, but to my physical and spiritual welfare it’s poison. It’s addiction.
The next verses beautifully express the way to spend an evening of abstinence Book of Mormon style. These verses help us understand how they resisted.
3. “But behold, the Nephites were not slow to remember the Lord their God in this their time of affliction…” (v.31) – First and foremost they remembered their God.
4. “They could not be taken in their snares; yea, they would not partake of their wine, save they had first given to some of the Lamanite prisoners…” (v.31) – They would not partake. They abstained from anything that might possible be unsafe.
5. “And they were thus cautious that no poison should be administered among them; for if their wine would poison a Lamanite it would also poison a Nephite…” (v.32) They were cautious.
6. “and thus they did try all their liquors.”(v.32) “To try” is not necessarily to taste. Sorry! “To try” is to examine, to prove, to check.
So, if you are like me and the evening is a challenge to your abstinence and sanity, perhaps we should join our ancient brothers and sisters in remembering the love and power of our Lord Jesus Christ; in not partaking, in abstaining; in being a little more cautious with the setting of the sun; and in testing or examining what is offered to us, behavior or substance, before accepting it. This is how to Enjoy An Evening of Abstinence Book of Mormon Style!
By Nannette W.
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009
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