Many Had Become Hardened…and Many Were Softened – Alma 62:41

41 But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.

What effect does adversity have on us?
  • Some people are hardened. They build up defenses which reduce their ability to feel and which make them less empathetic toward others. As a result, they are able to carry forward with their day-to-day activities in spite of the pain they have endured, but their lives become less fulfilling as they cut themselves off from some of life’s most rewarding experiences.
  • Some people are softened. Their pain prompts them to humble themselves, which enables them to access God’s grace and His healing power. They become stronger as a result, more able to empathize with and help others in distress, more capable of doing God’s work, and, ironically, more sensitive to the emotional richness of life.
Why does adversity harden some people and soften others? Because of how they choose to respond. Mormon doesn’t say that the war humbled the people. He said that, because of the war, many people “did humble themselves.” We may not be able to choose our trials, but we ultimately can decide what effect those trials will have on us. As Neal A. Maxwell taught, “partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is…part of the emulation of Jesus” (“Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ,” General Conference, October 1997).
Today, I will choose to humble myself in the face of adversity. I will seek to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life, so that I can become stronger, not weaker, as a result of the trials I face.

One thought on “Many Had Become Hardened…and Many Were Softened – Alma 62:41

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  1. Thanks for this post. Mormon's observation that it is the response to trials and life's experience that matters demonstrates his understanding and eternal perspective. I find when I respond well with challenges, I'm focused on a long term perspective. When I respond poorly, generally I'm short sighted in my perspective and not focused on things of eternal importance.


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