50 The army of Antipus being weary, because of their long march in so short a space of time, were about to fall into the hands of the Lamanites; and had I not returned with my two thousand they would have obtained their purpose.
51 For Antipus had fallen by the sword, and many of his leaders, because of their weariness, which was occasioned by the speed of their march—therefore the men of Antipus, being confused because of the fall of their leaders, began to give way before the Lamanites.
52 And it came to pass that the Lamanites took courage, and began to pursue them; and thus were the Lamanites pursuing them with great vigor when Helaman came upon their rear with his two thousand, and began to slay them exceedingly, insomuch that the whole army of the Lamanites halted and turned upon Helaman. (Alma 56:50-52)

When I read these verses, I notice the difference between the energy levels in the different armies. Antipus and his men are weary because of the long march in such a short time. The Lamanites are apparently still vigorous after the chase, and the stripling warriors have no comment made about weariness or vigor, so they seem to have had adequate energy.

I think we can draw a lesson from this about the importance of building physical endurance and give that lesson all kinds of spiritual applications as well. We need endurance in energy to deal with physical demands placed on us. We need endurance of patience and long-suffering to deal with setbacks and pain and opposition. We need endurance of faith to deal with extended uncertainty and times when the Lord’s promises don’t seem to be fulfilled when we think they should. We need endurance of moral courage to deal with temptation and opposition.

The tricky thing about endurance is you have to be practicing it all along in order to have it when it is most needed. That means diligence and even looking for opportunities to stretch ourselves when we don’t really need to. And of course there is always the option of praying for strength to endure.

Today let’s think about the kind of endurance we need in our lives and commit to practicing building our endurance so that when the crisis of need comes, we will be prepared. Or, if we’re in a situation when we need endurance, let’s pray for it and hang onto our faith.

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