When the Lamanite armies, under the leadership of Zerahemnah, arrived at the land of Jershon, they were dismayed. Captain Moroni and the Nephite army were prepared in a way that they had not anticipated:
Moroni had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing—
Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins;…
But they were not armed with breastplates, nor shields—therefore, they were exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor, notwithstanding their number being so much greater than the Nephites.
Nearly two years later, the Lamanites attempted to invade Nephite territory again. This time they were ready, or so they thought:
They had also prepared themselves with shields, and with breastplates; and they had also prepared themselves with garments of skins, yea, very thick garments to cover their nakedness (Alma 49:6).
But the Nephites again had the advantage, because of some innovative new preparations they had made:
But behold, to [the Lamanites’] uttermost astonishment, [the Nephites] were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi (Alma 49:8).
The Nephites had turned their cities into powerful fortresses, surrounding each of them with a “ridge of earth” patrolled by armed guards (Alma 49:4). Once again, the Nephites were able to easily defend themselves, despite being outnumbered by their enemies.
As I’ve thought about these two stories today, I’ve thought about how I can be more prepared for challenges I and my family may face in the future. Here are a few thoughts:
- The Nephites didn’t make these preparations in the heat of battle. They anticipated events and planned for contingencies during times of peace. Likewise, the time for me to prepare for an emergency is now, not after it strikes.
- The Nephites worked hard to forge armor and construct defensive barriers. Effective preparation requires diligence.
- The Nephites didn’t become complacent when their original preparations worked. They continued to innovate, preparing themselves “in a manner which never had been known.” I too can think of new and creative ways to be prepared.
Today, I will prepare for the future. Like the Nephites under the leadership of Captain Moroni, I will prepare early, I will work hard, and I will be innovative in my preparations.