28 And it came to pass that when the people of Morianton, who were led by a man whose name was Morianton, found that the people of Lehi had fled to the camp of Moroni, they were exceedingly fearful lest the army of Moroni should come upon them and destroy them.
29 Therefore, Morianton put it into their hearts that they should flee to the land which was northward, which was covered with large bodies of water, and take possession of the land which was northward.
30 And behold, they would have carried this plan into effect, (which would have been a cause to have been lamented) but behold, Morianton being a man of much passion, therefore he was angry with one of his maid servants, and he fell upon her and beat her much.
31 And it came to pass that she fled, and came over to the camp of Moroni, and told Moroni all things concerning the matter, and also concerning their intentions to flee into the land northward.
The story of Morianton provides two different examples of the following principle: no matter how strong your outer defenses might be, the danger you face may come from within.
- Moroni’s people had built an elaborate defense structure around each of their cities. They had driven the Lamanites out of the east wilderness. They had built new cities in strategic locations. They were well prepared for the expected attack from their enemies, the Lamanites. However, they were not as prepared for the internal conflict initiated by Morianton, one of their own (see Alma 50:25).
- Morianton was prepared to lead his people away from Moroni’s army. He had the loyalty of his people, and he had a plan that might have worked. But he did not have mastery over his own passions. When he lost his temper and abused one of his maidservants, he inadvertently gave Moroni the key to victory.
The message from this story is clear: whether it be a member of your team or whether it be your own self, you must be aware of your internal vulnerabilities. Defending the borders is not enough; you need to also be aware of potential threats within.
Today, as I continue to prepare our family for the new school year, I will remember that the spiritual fortifications in our home begin with my own personal spiritual strength, followed by the individual strength of each member of the family. I will recommit to be better and to do more, and I will encourage family members to participate in those activities which will strengthen them spiritually and bring the Spirit of the Lord into their lives.