Heaps of Earth, Timbers, and Frames of Pickets – Alma 50:1-6

1 And now it came to pass that Moroni did not stop making preparations for war, or to defend his people against the Lamanites; for he caused that his armies should commence in the commencement of the twentieth year of the reign of the judges, that they should commence in digging up heaps of earth round about all the cities, throughout all the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
2 And upon the top of these ridges of earth he caused that there should be timbers, yea, works of timbers built up to the height of a man, round about the cities.
3 And he caused that upon those works of timbers there should be a frame of pickets built upon the timbers round about; and they were strong and high.
4 And he caused towers to be erected that overlooked those works of pickets, and he caused places of security to be built upon those towers, that the stones and the arrows of the Lamanites could not hurt them.
5 And they were prepared that they could cast stones from the top thereof, according to their pleasure and their strength, and slay him who should attempt to approach near the walls of the city.
6 Thus Moroni did prepare strongholds against the coming of their enemies, round about every city in all the land.

Moroni’s preparations for battle have been to date been very effective. Now, in the wake of a decisive victory, Moroni continues to prepare his people for the battles to come.
I’m struck by the layering in Moroni’s defense system. There were heaps of earth around each city. On the heaps of earth, there were works of timbers. On the works of timbers, there were frames of pickets. Above the frames of pickets, there were towers. As I think about what we are doing to protect our home from the evil influences in the world around us, I think we also need to create multiple lines of defense for our children:

  • We need to have internet filtering software to prevent the inadvertent viewing of inappropriate information in our home. In addition, as Linda S. Reeves taught, “the greatest filter in the world, the only one that will ultimately work, is the personal internal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father’s love and our Savior’s atoning sacrifice for each one of us” (“Protection from Pornography–A Christ-Focused Home,” General Conference, April 2014).
  • We need to keep inappropriate movies, music, and books out of our home. Additionally, we need to provide our children with opportunities to hear and internalize the word of God. Boyd K. Packer said, “The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection…. Children taught an understanding of the scriptures early in life will come to know the path they should walk and will be more inclined to remain on that path” (“The Key to Spiritual Protection,” General Conference, October 2013).

Today, as I consider the defense structure in my home, I will make sure that it includes activities which fortify my children spiritually, so that when all other lines of defense fail, they are prepared to personally reject evil influences and choose righteousness.

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