As I reviewed verses 1 and 2, the thought came into my head that these people (the Amulonites and Amalekites) were deliberately in opposition to whoever had a belief in God. Now that the Lamanites had converted to God and though these former Nephites had tried to escape this influence by moving among the Lamanites, the opposition had come again into their own country.
In my Sunday School classes yesterday, we were having a discussion on faith, hope, and charity. Our instructor made an interesting observation about the adversary's counterfeits: fear, despair, and anger. I mention this here because this is what is motivating these former Nephites to take action against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
"...[they] were stirred up by the Amalekites and by the Amulonites to anger against their brethren.Fear can be a powerful motivator, and has been for much of the world's history. But faith is the greater motivator, the correct and true form of motivating according to the Plan of Happiness. When we act in faith, the end result is increased joy. When we act in fear, the fruit is confusion and loss.
"And their hatred became exceedingly sore against them, even insomuch that they began to rebel..."
There is a difference between fear and faith though. Fear is the natural human tendency. It requires no effort to cultivate and is found in abundance. Faith is a gift of God, and as such, it must be prayed for.