It Was His First Care – Alma 51:13-16

13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.
16 For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people; for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction. And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.

Moroni’s responsibility was immense. He led the Nephite armies, and their enemies posed an immediate and significant threat to their country. He had been fortifying cities, recruiting soldiers, and rallying the people. Now, he faced a group of citizens who refused to fight, not because they wanted to avoid violence, but because they wanted their own country to lose. As we saw in the prior chapter, internal weaknesses can be far more damaging than external ones. With everything Moroni had to do or could be doing to prepare his people, he saw that addressing the treason was his highest priority.
As I plan my day today, I want to follow Moroni’s example and invest my time and my energy in my highest priority activities. There are so many good things I could spend my time on, and there are many other things which would be a complete waste of my time. As Dallin H. Oaks reminded us:

Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as Church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources.
We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives (“Good, Better, Best,” General Conference, October 2007).

Today, I will set my priorities in the morning, and I will spend my time and energy on the activities which are most important for me to do today.

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