1 And it came to pass that I did go forth among the Nephites, and did repent of the oath which I had made that I would no more assist them; and they gave me command again of their armies, for they looked upon me as though I could deliver them from their afflictions.
2 But behold, I was without hope, for I knew the judgments of the Lord which should come upon them; for they repented not of their iniquities, but did struggle for their lives without calling upon that Being who created them.
I see three important principles in these two short verses:
- It’s not all about the leader. Even though Mormon was a capable military commander and an inspired religious leader, he humbly recognized that he could only do so much for his people if they were not willing to make the decisions which would lead to their deliverance.
- A great leader loves the people he serves. Even though he knew the likely outcome, Mormon came back to lead his people and to die with them. He knew that they would likely be destroyed, but he was willing to stand with them anyway, to uplift them the best he could, and to fight for them.
- We cannot save our own lives. The Nephites did not create themselves, and yet they relied on themselves to sustain their own lives. When we acknowledge that God gave us life, we will place our trust in Him.
Today, I will follow Mormon’s example. I will defend those I love, I will be patient with them, and I will call upon God for protection and support.