7 Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.
Mormon makes it a point in these chapters to contrast the leadership approaches of Amalickiah and Moroni. In the prior chapter, he describes in detail the treachery and cruelty of Amalickiah, culminating in his becoming king over all of the Lamanites. In subsequent verses, he describes Moroni’s efforts to prepare the Nephites for the coming war, and he describes Moroni’s character and motivations in more detail. But in this verse, as he pivots from one leader to the other, the contrast is clear. Amalickiah is focused on his own power and influence; Moroni is focused on the welfare of the people he leads. Amalickiah is deceitful; Moroni is faithful and trustworthy. Amalickiah sees himself as the strategist and decision maker and doesn’t appear to have much need for the ideas of his subordinates. Moroni, on the other hand, is “preparing the minds of the people,” which implies that he sees them as agents who have chosen to align themselves to this cause, not merely as pawns whom he has the power to control. He respects them as individuals, and he wants them to be prepared to act in unity and faithfulness in the heat of battle.
Today, I will follow Moroni’s example of leadership. I will think about the welfare of the people I lead, not just about the objectives we are trying to achieve. As I plan for the coming week and consider the challenges we will face, I will figure out not just how to address those challenges successfully but how to prepare the minds of the people I lead, so that we can face those challenges successfully together.