“But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.”
This is one of my favorite verses because it reflects so powerfully on human nature and how we are defined by our choices rather than our circumstances. All of these individuals experienced the same privations and deprivations of war. They all suffered loss and heartache. But they responded very differently.
Some were softened and turned to God. Others hardened their hearts and turned away from God. Each had to decide for his or her self whether to allow the experience to help or hinder them.
That is true for all of us. Our circumstances can either make or break us. We get to chose how we respond. Trials come to all without our choosing them, but we can chose to use them to grow closer to Christ.