Helaman 4:13, my favorite scripture

My favorite scripture is Helaman 4:13. Kind of an obscure and offbeat verse to have as my favorite, isn’t it? In my ward, probably yours, too, Helaman 5:12 is much more common as a favorite scripture!

13 And because of this their great wickedness, and their boastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper, but were afflicted and smitten, and driven before the Lamanites, until they had lost possession of almost all their lands. (Helaman 4:13)

The first time I really read this verse (way back in the 1990’s when I was in seminary), this verse literally made me laugh out loud – I don’t know why, but something about the way this scripture is worded just struck me as really funny. The Nephites boasted in their own strength, were subsequently left in their own strength, so of course they did not prosper!

Helaman 4:13 is one of those hidden gems that speaks a very important gospel truth: our own strength, however great it might appear to be, is not enough. Relying on our own strength will get us nowhere at best, or at worst we will be “afflicted and smitten,” like the Nephites.

To really prosper, we must rely on the Lord “For [his] yoke is easy, and [his] burden is light (Matthew 11:30).”