17 Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing a great check, yea, seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts, and began to humble themselves before God, and began to assemble themselves together at their sanctuaries to worship God before the altar, watching and praying continually, that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction–
18 Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.
How did Alma know that his visits had accomplished their purpose and that it was time to go home? The original problem which had motivated him to dedicate himself full-time to his calling was pride among the members of the church as manifested in unkind treatment and neglect for those in need (Alma 4:11-15). Since he knew that the root cause was pride, he was watching for signs of humility among the church members. As Mormon tells us in this passage, Alma saw increased humility in the form of church attendance and sincere prayer. These indicators of humility were enough to convince him that his mission had been successful. The original symptoms–unkindness and neglect–would take care of themselves, because Alma had successfully “checked” the pride of the church members by preaching the word of God and by helping them to connect with the Spirit of the Lord.
Today, in my leadership responsibilities, I will strive to follow Alma’s example. I will look for the root causes of the problems I identify and focus on addressing those root causes. Rather than stay involved until everything is perfect, I will look for evidence that the underlying issues have been addressed, and allow people to resolve the implications of those issues within their own sphere of responsibility.