Graduating Life with Honors

Decisions to take the higher road can make us feel disadvantaged; but when in doubt, consider what the Anti-Nephi-Lehies did. 


Photo by Ricardo Cruz

In the Book of Mormon, Aaron presents his account of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies—a people who, when they had come to a knowledge of their Savior, promised never to lift their swords again to shed blood. When their enemies attacked them, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies turned to the Lord in prayer rather than lifting their swords again. Although many of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies were killed, many more of the enemy soldiers were deeply touched by the Anti-Nephi-Lehies’ faith and were converted to believe in Jesus Christ.

The Anti-Nephi-Lehies died to keep the promises they made to Heavenly Father. Do we take our promises that seriously? For example, those of us who were baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints promised to keep the commandments. How quickly do we justify not keeping the Sabbath day holy? How quick are we to add conditions to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”? Unless he’s an idiot. Or unless she is mean to me. Most of us will never be asked to die to keep our covenants, but perhaps living to keep our covenants is the greater task.

The Anti-Nephi-Lehies understood the plan of salvation, or God’s plan for us in this life and after we die. They recognized that this life isn’t about survival. It’s not about winning. It’s not about making the most money. The Anti-Nephi-Lehies’ understanding of the bigger picture enabled them to see eternal success. Even though we may think their lives ended prematurely, they graduated this life with honors.

Let us all have that same vision. Let us be champions for the purposes of God that we may keep—and help others receive—the vision of what this life is about.

Read the story in Alma 24.

Source: Book of Mormon

—Allie Bowen, Mormon Insights

feature image by Gillian Callison

Find more insights

Read or watch Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin’s talk “The Great Commandment” to learn how love plays a role in the success of your life.

Learn more about the plan of salvation from Elder L. Tom Perry in his address “The Plan of Salvation.”

Begin reading in Alma 53 to see more miracles in the lives of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies as they hold fast to their promise.

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One Comment

  1. It’s tempting to sometimes add “conditional clauses” to our covenants, but remembering the eternal perspective does help us make tough decisions. Thank you for writing this article!

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