Water, Joy, and Symbolism (Ether 15:8-9 and Moroni 7:11-14)

img_9126Time for a picture. 🙂

And now a scripture:

“And it came to pass that he came to the waters of Ripliancum, which, by interpretation, is large, or to exceed all; wherefore, when they came to these waters they pitched their tents; and Shiz also pitched his tents near unto them; and therefore on the morrow they did come to battle.

And it came to pass that they fought an exceedingly sore battle, in which Coriantumr was wounded again, and he fainted with the loss of blood.” – Ether 15:8-9

Look at that picture again. What do you feel when you see it? I lived here. This is on the most northern part of windward Oahu. It is up near Turtle Bay resort – Looking out to Kahuku Point.

When I see this picture, I’m transported back to this place and time. And I feel peace. I think about being at the ocean. The salty-sea air. The trade-winds. The crash of ocean waves. It quiets your soul and puts you in the present moment like nothing else.

In the scripture quoted above, the Jaredites are now at a large body of water. In fact, their word “Ripliancum,” means “to exceed all.” In my mind, this is an ocean. These people have pitched their tents on the beach and are preparing for battle.

The next day, they fight an “exceedingly sore” battle.

It’s not the first nor last battle on a beach. But I find this idea interesting: that the people could be so bloodthirsty and bent on war, they ignore an ocean. They ignore the peace of the rolling waves. They ignore the reverence of stars at night. And they just have their minds set on death and destruction.

It’s sooooo sad!

And it is a result of wickedness.

Later on, we learn:

“For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.

Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.” – Moroni 7:11-14

Those who are wicked and bitter, bring forth wicked and bitter water. In other words – their deeds reflect their character.

Those who are good and righteous will bring forth good water. Again – their deeds reflect their true character.

Who are we? Do we do good deeds? Do we recognize beauty around us? Do we seek for peace? Or do we ignore the beauty and peace around us and pursue selfish desires.

I’m not saying that all beach-front wars are bad. I know that the U.S. needed to storm Omaha beach in Normandy for a greater cause. And I know that this beauty was not lost on those who fought there. Their blood turned the tide red. They gave their lives for the lives of others – despite the beauty of the world that they fought in.

Sometimes this happens. But we can still recognize beauty. We can still choose to be humbled. We can do what is right and bring forth good works. And then, as a result we won’t waste our time fighting on beaches, but instead will be blessed with the peace and joy offered to us through these amazing creations.

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