16 And it came to pass that Teancum had received orders to make an attack upon the city of Mulek, and retake it if it were possible.
17 And it came to pass that Teancum made preparations to make an attack upon the city of Mulek, and march forth with his army against the Lamanites; but he saw that it was impossible that he could overpower them while they were in their fortifications; therefore he abandoned his designs and returned again to the city Bountiful, to wait for the coming of Moroni, that he might receive strength to his army.
As I’ve pondered this chapter today, I’ve been struck by the relationship between Teancum and his commanding officer, Moroni. Earlier in the chapter, Moroni asks Teancum to maintain the cities they still control, to “scourge” the enemy as much as possible, and to retake cities if possible “by stratagem or some other way” (Alma 52:10). Now, Moroni orders Teancum to attack the city of Mulek in hopes of reclaiming it. But as Teancum prepares to follow the order, it becomes clear to him that this is not a good idea, and he abandons the plan. Shortly after, Moroni arrives, and together they craft a better plan, which they carry out together. A few observations about their relationship:
- Teancum’s loyalty and commitment are never in question. He has clearly earned Moroni’s trust. He can therefore deviate from Moroni’s orders with confidence that Moroni will honor his decision.
- Moroni clearly had some new ideas about how to defeat the enemy. He may have wished that Teancum would run with the idea of using a “stratagem,” but Teancum wasn’t capable of doing that on his own. Once Moroni was there, they were able to work together to carry out Moroni’s vision.
Today, I thought about these principles as I interacted with colleagues at work and with my family at home. I resolved to make some changes in my approach to one of my key relationships in order to build greater trust and unity.