Nathan Tanner

You Always Have the Power to Choose

The last quarter of the Book of Alma is filled with a great war between groups of people who despise one another. Hundreds of years later, a man named Mormon summarizes the impact this war had on the people.

But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.

Alma 62:41

Everyone experienced tragedy and loss. But not everyone responded the same way.

It\’s easy to tell ourselves that no one has been through what we\’ve been through. And if others had, they would be equally bitter or angry.

Possibly. But what I love about this passage is that these people went through the exact same thing. Some came out the other side of the war and chose hardness. They chose anger. They chose bitterness.

Others experienced the same war but chose an alternative mindset. They chose hope. They chose humility. They chose to focus on the good things in their life. It says that they were softened, which I interpret as being willing to learn and grow. They looked at their life and said, this was something really difficult I experienced. What can I learn? How can I grow from this?

We can\’t control what happens to us, but we can always control how we respond.

Don\’t give up your power to choose.