Tonight I returned to Alma to continue reading about Captain Moroni and Amalickiah. In Chapter 50 Moroni continued to fortify the land, even after they had defeated Amalickiah's army. They began to grow prosperous and they had peace in the land for several years, because they had stayed righteous. Verse 23 even says that "there never was a happier time among the people". Well, peace could only last so long... In Chapter 52+53 some of the people of Nephi were growing tired of the chief judge Pahoran. They (kingmen) wanted some laws changed and Pahoran refused, so they desired that they should go back to having kings (most of these people were of higher class, so if they were to return to kings it would likely be one of them). Of course the rest of the Nephites (freemen) still wanted free government, so there was a little bit of contention in the land because of the political divide (kinda sounds like today, huh? ;) ).
Remember our buddy Amalickiah? Well, he is still pretty mad about losing to the Nephites, so when he sees contention among the Nephties it is the perfect time to strike again. He sends his armies and they end up taking most of the lands around the seashore from the Nephites. Captain Moroni, wanting to take back the land, commands the kingmen to pull down their pride and to join the army so they can reclaim their land. The kingmen do end up letting go of their stubbornnness and after an amazing plan from Moroni they reclaim the land (if you want more details on how they reclaimed the land, you will have to read it, it is too epic for me to write in one blog post haha). In that process Amalickiah is slain.
This story is a perfect example of the pride cycle.
Let's start at the top of the picture. In Chapter 50 the Nephites were being blessed, they happier than they had ever been and life was good. Then pride and sin take over when the political dispute began and the people are divided. They are attacked and Moroni must chasten the kingmen and tell them to release their pride. The Nephites then humble themselves, repent, and then they reclaim the land.
In the Book of Mormon you see this cycle time and time again. There are many stories similar to the one I just shared. The pride cycle is not only present in 66 BC during the time of Moroni, but is also present in our day. Here is an example: When we obey the law we are blessed with freedom. When we begin to think that we are better than the law, or too cool for it, we lose that freedom and have to pay the consequences. Once we have learned our lesson we have freedom again.
Yes, we all face this cycle in our lives, on large and small scales, but that doesn't mean we have to be victims to it. The trick is that once we are humble and we are doing what is right and being blessed, STAY THERE! Don't fall back into pride and sin. It is WAY easier said than done, but if we are asking Heavenly Father for help and we are trying our best to live how He would have us live, then I promise that you will find staying on the top of the cycle will become easier and more natural. If you do fall into the cycle, don't fret, there is still hope! You can learn from your mistakes, repent and you well come back out on top! :)