45 Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.
Mormon has a clear message for us as he describes Moroni’s battle against Zarahemnah and the Lamanites: motives matter. The Nephites were protected by their armor, and Mormon acknowledges the role of this new technology in their success. However, the critical difference between the two sides was their reason for fighting, as Mormon reminds us repeatedly.
The message for us is clear: make sure your motives are rock-solid. Make sure you are fighting not only the right battles, but for the right reasons. There is power is righteous motives. It can lend you a spirit of calm and quiet assurance even in the midst of those who are in a frenzy. It can give you moral authority as you encourage others to sustain their efforts. (See verse 48.) It enables you to avoid the instability that comes from cognitive dissonance.
Mormon’s message is applicable to us in our daily lives: make sure that your motives are pure before you enter the fray, then trust that those righteous motives will carry you through to victory.
[Notice how this same principle works against Amalickiah a couple of chapters later in Alma 46:29. When he saw that his people were doubtful concerning the justice of their cause, he did not dare go to battle.]