Alma 24:11 - 24:15
Alma 24:11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain—
The reason for not wanting to go to war or fight was that repenting of all the murders and other crimes against each other and the Nephites was such a strain on their spirits that they were afraid that if they were again to take up arms, they might revert back to their old ways and like it. They had managed to have the guilt of their past actions removed by God, but it might happen again if they reverted back to their past attitudes towards each other and the Nephites. This was a real danger if they were to fight against those who wanted to destroy them.
Wonder if we have ever repented of some infraction and it was all we could do to repent of it at the time? We all have our favorite sins and have we tried to repent of them. And was so difficult that we need to never do it again or we would fall back to our old ways? Straining to repent of our favorite sins is a real test as to our commitment to the gospel plan. Feeling our guilt of such sins removed as in the case of Enos is the mark of how well we did or that we have not yet reached that point in the repenting process.
Alma 24:12 Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.
The king now says since they have reached to point of feeling good about themselves and that their guilt for pass sins have been removed by God, he encourages his people not to take up arms.
Alma 24:13 Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords that they be not stained with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain our swords again they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son of our great God, which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins.
He is genuinely afraid that if they took up arms again they could not repent again and that the atonement would not have any effect again on them.
Alma 24:14 And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.
God has made it clear that if they did take up arms again, they would not have the same assurance to salvation as they might revert to old attitudes. He has made this known to the king because God loves them so much and have sent angels among them to help them in their repenting processes. God knows that if this generation of Lamanites can stay pure that it will be passed down to future generations and they will therefore know of the plan of happiness that they now enjoy.
This shows that importance of living the gospel, because what we do affects future generations. This is very evident in the descendants of the inactive as opposed to the descendants of the active.
Alma 24:15 Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.
The king proposes to the people that they bury their swords as a testimony of their commitment to live the gospel. That they are will to die rather than lose their souls if they should again take delight in the killing in war. In this manner, they can all stand before God and since there is no blood on their swords, it will be a witness as to their commitment to live as they should.