Dinner Topics for Friday
The Cause of Our Redeemer
The tyrants and antichrists of the world will not prevail against God’s plan. But liberty and our salvation are not maintained by default. The War in Heaven is the prototype for our sojourn on earth. The struggle is ongoing, and we must choose sides in the battle. Will we choose the cause of our Redeemer, led by Jesus Christ— our Great Deliverer, the Giver of Liberty?
From the great war saga of ancient America, two prominent, opposing figures emerge. On the one hand is Amalickiah, who is described as “a man of cunning device. . . and. . .of many flattering words” who sought “to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted them.” Amalickiah typified consummate evil, proving the “great wickedness one very wicked man can cause.”(Alma 46:9,10)
“Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.”(Alma 48:7) Moroni told Pahoran, “Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country.”(Alma 60:36)
Amalickiah’s insatiable lust for power spawned a massive war machine, bearing down on the Nephites, seeking to crush the last breath of freedom.
But for Moroni, even a small “spark of freedom” was enough to dispel the darkness of tyranny. “Show unto me a true spirit of freedom,” he told Pahoran, “and I will come unto you.” (Alma 60:25,27)
Pahoran assured Moroni that indeed a spark of freedom remained, for the beleaguered freemen had not lost the Spirit of God, which is the spirit of freedom. (Alma 61:15)
Heartened by Moroni’s offer of help, Pahoran continued, “Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God.”(Alma 61:14)
“At this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.” (Alma 46:16) A “cause” is defined as “a principle or movement militantly, aggressively, or with combat; defended or supported.”
Why did the cause of the peace-loving Christians have to be defended with combat? The king-men would not listen to words. They intended to impose their desires by force. Therefore the sword was the only thing they would understand.
So, what is our Redeemer’s cause?
When Satan sought to destroy the agency or free will of all mankind, Jesus gathered the souls of the righteous to defend freedom. Jesus set forth the glorious cause of freedom, and Michael was his commander in chief. This led to an all out war in heaven.
Just as Jesus and Satan clashed in heaven, so the forces of Amalickiah precipitated a great war for freedom in the choice land of promise.
Might the ancient historian have had Jesus and Michael in mind when he laboriously engraved this epic struggle for liberty?
Our Redeemer’s cause is liberty because the Spirit of God is also the spirit of freedom. (2 Cor. 3:17) If we miss the point of the war saga, we miss the very essence of God’s plan of salvation. Without liberty, the gospel could not flourish. Without the gospel of Jesus Christ, mankind would be doomed to spiritual bondage.
“Human liberty is the mainspring of human progress. The one great revolution in the world is the revolution for human liberty. This was the paramount issue in the great council in heaven before this earth life. It has been the issue throughout the ages. It is the issue today. . . we also note the complacency of the people and their frequent willingness to give up their liberty for the promises of a would-be provider.”
The tyrants and antichrists of the world will not prevail against God’s plan. But liberty and our salvation are not maintained by default. This message from history to us is that the War in Heaven is the prototype for our sojourn on earth. The struggle is ongoing, and we must choose sides in the battle. Will we choose the cause of our Redeemer, led by Jesus Christ— our Great Deliverer, the Giver of Liberty?
If— like the stripling warriors and other epic heroes— we obey with exactness, endure valiantly in defending our Redeemer’s cause, and trust in God, He will deliver us.
- How can we apply Pahoran’s injunction to “resist evil” in our society today?
- See 2 Cor. 3:17. Why is the Spirit of God also the Spirit of freedom?
- Play Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Andre Previn, conductor) and envision the glorious victory of Michael the Archangel in the War in Heaven.
Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson