We Are Not of Your Faith – Alma 44:9

9 Behold, we are not of your faith; we do not believe that it is God that has delivered us into your hands; but we believe that it is your cunning that has preserved you from our swords. Behold, it is your breastplates and your shields that have preserved you.

Pride is insidious. It tells us that we are being rational when we are simply justifying our biases and our natural inclinations:
  • Laman and Lemuel, who had seen an angel, accused Nephi of “[working] many things by his cunning arts, that he may deceive our eyes” (1 Nephi 16:38).
  • Six hundred years later, the Nephites, after hearing the words of Samuel the Lamanite and beginning to see some of his prophecies fulfilled, rejected that evidence with these words: “Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken” (Helaman 16:16).
  • In the passage above, Zarahemnah, the leader of the Lamanite army, rejects Alma’s assertion that the Lord has strengthened the Nephites, and instead attributes their preservation to superior armor. Tellingly, he begins his statement with these words: “We are not of your faith.” In other words, “We would have to change our beliefs in order to see these facts in the way that you do, and we refuse to change our beliefs.”
These are not rational arguments. They are excuses for being unwilling to humble themselves, face the facts, and adapt to the realities they were experiencing firsthand.
We all have a tendency to become defensive and to justify ourselves when things are not going as we wish they would or when we encounter evidence that conflicts with our desires. But we would be wise to learn from these negative examples in the Book of Mormon and to recognize when our ego is preventing us from seeing “things as they are” (D&C 93:24). 
Today, I will watch for signs that I am becoming defensive and will do my best to humble myself, to consider the evidence impartially, and to adapt as needed when my experiences do not match my preconceptions or expectations.
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