My Heart Did Sorrow Because of This – Mormon 2:25-27

25 And it came to pass that we did contend with an army of thirty thousand against an army of fifty thousand. And it came to pass that we did stand before them with such firmness that they did flee from before us.
26 And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.
27 And my heart did sorrow because of this the great calamity of my people, because of their wickedness and their abominations. But behold, we did go forth against the Lamanites and the robbers of Gadianton, until we had again taken possession of the lands of our inheritance.

In the long run, we know that good will be rewarded and evil will be punished. However, in the short run, bad things sometimes happen when we are doing what we should, and good things sometimes happen when we are sinning. This temporary dislocation of justice is a blessing for us, because it gives us space to learn to judge the intrinsic value of our actions, independent of immediate outcomes.
Mormon clearly had this perspective. In spite of the extraordinary military victory which his armies had just experienced, he recognized that they were wicked and did not qualify for the Spirit of the Lord. It must have seemed strange to his associates to see him mourn for his people even as they won battle after battle and achieved their military objectives. But he was wise enough to see things as they really were and not to be distracted by temporary successes.
Today, I will judge my actions based on their intrinsic goodness, not based on the immediate outcomes. I will “do what is right; let the consequence follow” (Hymn 237).
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