49 But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity, they were not lifted up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves exceedingly before him.
50 Yea, they did remember how great things the Lord had done for them, that he had delivered them from death, and from bonds, and from prisons, and from all manner of afflictions, and he had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies.
51 And they did pray unto the Lord their God continually, insomuch that the Lord did bless them, according to his word, so that they did wax strong and prosper in the land.
One of the major lessons of the Book of Mormon is that when people are successful, they tend to take their blessings for granted, become complacent, and stop doing the things which invited the blessings of God into their lives in the first place. This is sometimes called the cycle of righteousness and wickedness: humility and repentance lead to blessings, which lead to pride and wickedness, which lead to destruction and misery. As Mormon points out repeatedly, this cycle occurs time and time again in the history of the Nephites.
I’m particularly interested in the passages where the people were able to break the cycle and to stay humble and righteous even in times of prosperity. In the passage above, Mormon describes one of those times and gives us some of the reasons why the people were able to break the cycle:
- They remembered what the Lord had done for them.
- They prayed continually.