Tonight I continued to read in Alma. In chapter 49, the Lamanites attempt to invade the Nephites, but they are well prepared so they are unable to do so. Even though the Nephites maintained their land and none of their men were killed something stood out to me. In verse 24 it reads "There were about fifty who were wounded, who had been exposed to the arrows of the Lamanites through the pass, but they were shielded by their shields, and their breastplates, and their head-plates, insomuch that their wounds were upon their legs, many of which were very severe". The Nephites were prepared, they were lead by God, they had every protection they had available to them, yet many were wounded and many were wounded severely. Some might see this and think, "Well, God must not have really loved them if He didn't completely protect them. They did everything they could and were still hurt! Why would he allow bad things to happen to them?" This story reminded me of this cartoon I once saw.
Many of us, including myself, fail to see all that God has blessed us with. With the story in Alma he saved many of their lands and spared all the people of the Nephites. Yes, some people were hurt, but so much worse could have happened. Luckily, the Nephites did count their blessings and they did "thank the Lord their God, because of his matchless power in delivering them from the hands of their enemies". (Alma 49:28)
This was also a great reminder to me that just because we are on the Lord's side it doesn't mean that we won't still face some challenges, that we won't face any hurt. If God were to completely shield all the bad from us, could we ever appreciate the good? Would we ever turn to Him? He loves us so much that he allows us to feel the occasional pain so we can learn from it and become better.
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility [...] and if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness, there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away". (2 Nephi 2:11,13)
Yes, bad things WILL happen, even to good people. However, just like the Nephites we will ALWAYS be delivered IF we are trying our best and living how God would want us to live. God will not let us fail, He wants us to return home. It is His mission to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man and it is our mission to follow His commandments so we may return. (see Moses 1:39 and D+C 11:20) When times get rough, just remember that diamonds are only created after heat and pressure is applied. God wants you to be a diamond, He will help you make it through. He has done it before and He won't hesitate to do it again. :)