Saturday, July 31, 2010

Alma - Chapter 52

In a previous chapter Mormon tells us that Moroni thought it no crime to use stratagem to one's advantage when at war.  I agree.  And so in this chapter Moroni and Teancum set out to scam Jacob the leader of the Lamanites.

It was a typical scam with all the right elements.  Jacob was vulnerable, because he was eager to make a name for himself.  He wanted to impress Ammoron in the worst way.  Who could blame him.  He certainly wasn't getting any comfort from the Holy Ghost.  So when Teancum marched by looking so vulnerable, it was such a great opportunity to advance his career, pad his pockets and improve his lot.  I'll bet he greedily said, "This is too good to be true!" And, of course it was.  Just like every other scam in the world.

We don't hear any more from Jacob as he was killed in battle, desperately trying to recover from his horrible error in judgment.  That is commonly another vulnerability scam victims demonstrate; unwillingness to give up on the pipe dream until it is perilously too late.

Now usually, it is bad guys perpetrating the ruse upon the "innocent."  But, though, in this story the situation is reversed it is still very instructive.  And, as we Mormons seem particularly vulnerable to the scam, we can take this chapter as a warning too.

I've been scammed.  I reacted to the set up in classic Jacob fashion.  I was so excited about the "opportunity" that I never stopped to remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  My mistake was relatively small, costing me a few hundred dollars.  I was sorely tempted though, to go after the perps and seek revenge.  Fortunately, a level headed friend talked me out of it.  Had I chased them down as I fully intended to do, I'd have been out numbered and quite possibly my losses would have been greater, even to the loss of my life.  I'd have had to exceed the speed limit significantly to catch them in their flight and at the very least, risked heavy fines for traffic violations.

In the end, I realized that I was no wiser that Jacob and but for the grace of God, might have met his end.

Let's not be like Jacob, let's look before we leap.

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