19 And when the armies of the Lamanites saw that the people of Nephi, or that Moroni, had prepared his people with breastplates and with arm-shields, yea, and also shields to defend their heads, and also they were dressed with thick clothing–
20 Now the army of Zerahemnah was not prepared with any such thing; they had only their swords and their cimeters, their bows and their arrows, their stones and their slings; and they were naked, save it were a skin which was girded about their loins; yea, all were naked, save it were the Zoramites and the Amalekites;
21 But they were not armed with breastplates, nor shields–therefore, they were exceedingly afraid of the armies of the Nephites because of their armor, notwithstanding their number being so much greater than the Nephites.
The Nephites had a clear sense of mission and a conviction that they were doing something important (Alma 43:9-14). That is a great starting point. At the company where I work, we refer to this as “The What.” First, make sure you’re doing the right things.
Next comes the other half of the equation: “The How.” Once you’re sure you are doing the right things, your task is to do them as effectively as possible. Captain Moroni planned ahead, worked hard, and was innovative: the Lamanites had apparently never seen anything like the armor the Nephites were wearing, at least not on this scale. They certainly were not expecting it.
Even when we know we are doing the right thing, we can’t simply comfort ourselves that we will be blessed with success if we don’t do our part. This includes planning for the future, anticipating difficult situations we might experience, and preparing ourselves accordingly.
Today, I followed the example of Moroni by making a list of things I need to do to be prepared as a seminary teacher for the new school year. I recognized that, even though I’m entitled to the Lord’s help, I need to do my part in preparing thoughtfully and creatively in order to do the important work I have been called to do in an effective way.