Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Battle Is At Its Height

..Hot, heavy, and humid, your breathing feels hindered -- though you cannot determine whether it is the atmosphere or the odds that seem to be against you as you draw in another difficult breath. You clutch tightly to the nearby mast with cold hands as you try to escape the anxious and nervous feelings inside of your war-stricken mind. ..Taking a final glance at the piece of rough parchment addressed to the King, your last written sentence sternly echoes in your ever-present conscious; '..your servant doth have twelve warships under his command and he is still alive, that the enemy shall never be safe in the West Sea..’.

You gaze behind you at the men standing thoughtlessly on each of the 12 warships. ..Men you've known and fought with for years. Men you have served -- men who have served you. ..You start to remember the thousands more who used to fight so valiantly alongside you, and your body starts to tremble. Men whose families you cared for, whose lives and character you so greatly cherished. ..Whose dying wishes you personally fulfilled.

..And yet, those 27,000 men are not with you now. Your once proud fleet of over 150 ships has been decimated by those against you to a mere 13, and as that fleet floats fearlessly behind you, you think to yourself, '..Are we really enough?’.

Then, a man runs to you on the deck, his footsteps quick and heavy, his body language anxious and abrupt, but his words calm and collected - experienced - as he conveys to you that your enemy has just left the nearby harbor with their forces. ..You hear the number - though it doesn't seem real. "Sir, there are surely over 300. ..How should we act?" He says calmly. ..He does not look scared.

He is confident in his Captain. A few more minutes pass, and after careful listening and quiet pondering you've decided that the time is now. Your plan has to work,there is no other option.

You make the call. You choose a man,sturdy and valuable, one you have trusted and loved throughout your experience in the war. You give him his orders, and send him on his way. His task is simple. "You are the bait, and nothing more. You are not a sacrifice. You are not a casualty. You will return. You are needed." ..You've promised him. As he leaves, you glance back toward the rest of your small but faithful crew, and make the signal. They begin to ready, and you close your eyes. 

Moments become eternities as you hear subtle voices calling your name. ..As you open your eyes, and gaze towards the horizon, you can see your dear friend returning as planned. ..With the 300 ships at his back, his distance is closing in swiftly. It's time to move. Your men, assembled and ready, follow your lead into the nearby strait.

As you listen to the steady waves crash against your battle-torn ship, you are caught up in the masterful plan you devised, that will decide the fate of your beloved country. You think about the strait you chose, and why you did so.. with currents so powerful.. ships can only enter safely one at a time .. we are thirteen strong. ..through the deep shadows of the surrounding hillsides..  friends and comrades will be blessed with concealment.. since we are only thirteen strong…and it's narrowness.. allows for the use of steel defensive chains we can lay across the entire width, to be used to restrict the enemy's movement as we lie in the shadows, avoiding the possibility of a surroundment. ..Since we are only thirteen strong, it would prove fatal.

..As you sail silently into the powerful strait you notice a heavy mist - as if an unexpected blessing- that helps to conceal your dear friends as they make their way, swiftly, secretly, into their pre-designated areas. The visibility is in your favor. The shadows are now your ally. You are simply outnumbered nearly 25 to 1. ..And before you know it, it has begun.

This is the story of Yi Sun Sin, a Korean naval commander, famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty, and is well-respected for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield not only by Koreans, but by Japanese Admirals as well. Military historians have placed General Yi Sun-Sin on par with Admiral Horatio Nelson as arguably the greatest naval commander in history for his undefeated record against seemingly insurmountable odds despite no background in naval training.
As I read and learned about this story, which you should totally look up on Wikipedia, I was reminded of how important the role of diligence is. This man goes on to defeat the 333 ships in the Japanese army with his army of 13 warships. ..An unheard of victory in the history of naval battles. Not only was Yi Sun Sin a commendable and admirable naval commander with no experience, but he also was an admirable human being. Fulfilling his soldiers dying wishes personally, caring for their families, and suffering near-death torture and imprisonment twice for things he didn't do, he is the Korean Captain Moroni. ..Pretty cool.
I invite you to check out this story, and think about how awesome people can truly be if they just focus on humanity in it's most precious moments, and never lose sight of what is most important.

My dad said to me once, "..though it may not be easy at times, or pleasant, the test of a man's character is not how he acts when things are difficult, but how he acts in the trenches and agonies of his trials."

..Yi Sun Sin's dying words were, when wounded by a single bullet in a later battle,
""The battle is at its height...beat my war drums...do not announce my death."
May you keep beating your war drums! The battle is at it's height! 

I love you all!! Have the best week!

Doctrine & Covenants Section 58
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. 
27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

All the love,

Elder DeMille!

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