I'm sorry I missed the last two weeks. I have no excuse other than I always remember in the mornings and figure I have all day to do it, and then I forget!
Verse 2 gives me the chills. Samuel is telling them to repent and warns them that if they don't, their pregnant and nursing women will "have cause to mourn" because they will flee and have no place to go, so they will "be trodden down and left to perish." I always want to cry a little when I read this verse, having been pregnant and nursing so much of the last few years. But then I remind myself that these are warnings for those who have not repented!
Samuel tells them something important in the next verse. He tells them that the Lord has chastened them because he loves them. I think this is a concept we hear a lot but it's hard to actually live through. The Lord doesn't give us trials because he doesn't love us, he gives them to us because he does love us and wants us to grow from them. I know I need to remember that more.
Samuel also compares the Nephites to the Lamanites. I think it's interesting that he says that if the Lamanites had experienced the "mighty works" that the Nephites had experienced, they would not have fallen away. At this point, the Lamanites were actually much more righteous than the Nephites. I can see how the Nephites would have been angry to hear that said. The Lamanites had always been their enemies and they probably had a superiority complex. It's too bad that most of them couldn't humble themselves like the Lamanites did.