This weeks scripture share actually comes from many weeks back in my studies but it has still been on my mind so I thought I'd start here.
As I was reading in Alma 44 I was incredibly impressed by a leader in the Book of Mormon who was not righteous but who had a very admirable characteristic - His word was his word. In our world these days this characteristic is slipping and often non-existent. Do you always keep your word? To your spouse? To your children? When you say you will or will not do something is your word as good as done?
In Alma 44:6-7 it reads, "6 Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us.
7 And now, if ye do not this, behold, ye are in our hands, and I will command my men that they shall fall upon you, and inflict the wounds of death in your bodies, that ye may become extinct; and then we will see who shall have power over this people; yea, we will see who shall be brought into bondage.
So Moroni clearly states here that if they do not deliver up their weapons and promise to never come against them in war they plan to make them extinct. That is a scary thought. Now in our day most people would probably deliver up their weapons and say that they would not come again to war but all the while be planning their attack in that very moment. But listen to Zerahemnah's response in verse 8:
8 And now it came to pass that when Zerahemnah had heard these sayings he came forth and delivered up his sword and his cimeter, and his bow into the hands of Moroni, and said unto him: Behold, here are our weapons of war; we will deliver them up unto you, but we will not suffer ourselves to take an oath unto you, which we know that we shall break, and also our children; but take our weapons of war, and suffer that we may depart into the wilderness; otherwise we will retain our swords, and we will perish or conquer."
Even this wicked leader held his word in high regard. What an admirable characteristic. I think we all could learn from this scriptural account a little about keeping our word. It is such a necessary characteristic to have today. We all make covenants with our Heavenly Father. We all make promises to our children or our spouse. We all accept upon us responsibilities in church callings or within our communities. We all set personal goals and declarations that may only be known to us. In all of these situations the keeping of our word is so important.
As I thought about Zerahemnah I was reminded of the words of Karl G. Maeser:
"I have been asked what I mean by my word of honor. I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls-- ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground - there is a possibility that in some way or another I will escape; but stand me on a floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of the Circle? No. Never! I would die first."
Let us all be more accountable for our word. Let us all hold our word in higher regard. We will become a more honest and covenant keeping people to God, ourselves, and our family and friends if we will always keep a promise, always tell the truth, always keep the covenants that we make, and always remain accountable for an agreemant we make. Let us learn from a not so righteous leader that our word is important.