45 Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.
46 And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.
47 And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.
In describing the battle between Zarahemnah and Moroni, Mormon emphasizes the difference in motives between the two armies. Zarahemnah’s goal was the “usurp great power” over the Nephites “by bringing them into bondage” (Alma 43:8
). In contrast, the Moroni and the Nephite armies “were inspired by a better cause.” Their motives were:
- To defend their families
- To preserve their freedom, including the right to worship according to their conscience
Mormon calls these motives “a better cause.” He tells us that the Nephites felt it was their duty to defend these things, and he cited two scriptures supporting that position.
Today, I will be grateful for the blessings I enjoy, including my family and my freedom. I will invest time and energy in strengthening my family. I will be grateful for the freedoms guaranteed to me by the Constitution of the United States, and I will remember that those freedoms can easily erode if we are not vigilant in defending them.
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