January 7, 2019


Shimogamo, Kyoto


Sato choro

Week 71: goal setting continued. " if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni"

Last week I shared a message about setting goals. In that email I intentionally under-emphasized the wickedness of Amalickiah. Just to clarify, this is what is written about Amalickiah and his achievements--- that he was "a very subtle man to do evil", and "we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men."

Now, I would like to proceed with the second half of our scriptural example of goal setting:

We continue our story with Moroni. Moroni is described as a "strong and a mighty man" and as "a man of a perfect understanding". He had one important goal for the new year, and that was to defend his liberty, his land, his wife and his children, their peace, and that of his countrymen "that they might live unto the Lord their God". He wanted to protect his home from the power hungry Amalickiah who had made it his goal to subjugate the Nephites.

In order for Moroni to accomplish his goal to defend against Amalickiah's oncoming army he established a few priorities:

1. Strengthen his and his people's faith in and testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

"Moroni... had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God... And this was their faith, that... if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger; And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them"

The Lord loves us, and if we follow him he will strengthen us to accomplish more than we ever could on our own. Moroni understood that the Lord is able to help us accomplish our goals, so he prioritized strengthening thier relationship with God. What a smart guy!

2. Build up the weak spots

"In their weakest fortifications he did place the greater number of men" Moroni understood a great principle for improvment. If you don't fortify your weakest spots, then regardless of how incredible your strengths are the enemy will always have a way to win. I'm sure that this process required a lot of contemplation and self assessment in order to determine what really needed improvement, but it is worth it. In addition to strengthening the weakest places "he had been strengthening the armies of the Nephites and erecting small forts, or places of resort; throwing up banks of earth round about to enclose his armies, and also building walls of stone to encircle them about, round about their cities and the borders of their lands; yea, all round about the land."
Diligence and patience are definitely required.

3. Work in unity and establish peace.

"Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people than was Moroni; for they did preach the word of God, and they did baptize unto repentance all men whosoever would hearken unto their words.
And thus they went forth, and the people did humble themselves because of their words, insomuch that they were highly favored of the Lord, and thus they were free from wars and contentions among themselves"
Moroni very well could have preached to the people as well. He was a very faithful man, he had a firm testimony of the gospel, and he had on previous occasions very compellingly adressed the people to bring them to a rememberance of God and the covenants that they had made with Him. However, even the most capable man can fail if he's spread too thin. So, Moroni worked in unity with Helaman and his bretheren to accomplish their goal of preparing the people temporally and spiritually to defend themselves.
Cooperation and delegation are key to success, especially in the Lord's Kingdom.

So, those were Moroni's priorities, and with those priorities in mind he worked diligently and unceasingly. He and Amalickiah had diametrically opposed goals, and they both worked very hard to accomplish those goals for roughly the same amount of time. Let's see the results of their efforts.

The Lamanites come up against the Nephites to battle in the first fight of the war, and at what had previously been one of the Nephites weakest cities, "now behold, the Lamanites could not get into their forts of security by any other way save by the entrance, because of the highness of the bank which had been thrown up, and the depth of the ditch which had been dug round about, save it were by the entrance."
"And thus were the Nephites prepared to destroy all such as should attempt to climb up to enter the fort by any other way, by casting over stones and arrows at them.Thus they were prepared, yea, a body of their strongest men, with their swords and their slings, to smite down all who should attempt to come into their place of security by the place of entrance; and thus were they prepared to defend themselves against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that the captains of the Lamanites brought up their armies before the place of entrance, and began to contend with the Nephites, to get into their place of security; but behold, they were driven back from time to time, insomuch that they were slain with an immense slaughter"
"Thus the Nephites had all power over their enemies; and thus the Lamanites did attempt to destroy the Nephites until their chief captains were all slain; yea, and more than a thousand of the Lamanites were slain; while, on the other hand, there was not a single soul of the Nephites which was slain."

The Lamanites suffer sever losses, while not a single life is lost on the side of the Nephites. The story eventually ends with Amalickiah taking a javalin to the heart, while Moroni retires and lives out the remainder of his life in peace. That's what happens when you set about to achieve your goals with the Lord as your partner. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can prevail against us."

Let us be like Moroni.

God bless.
All the best.
Ttyl, in a bit!

With best regards,


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