9 And now as Moroni had supposed that there should be men sent to the city of Nephihah, to the assistance of the people to maintain that city, and knowing that it was easier to keep the city from falling into the hands of the Lamanites than to retake it from them, he supposed that they would easily maintain that city….
13 And it came to pass that Moroni was angry with the government, because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.
(Alma 59:9, 13)
Negligence has consequences. As Mormon tells us in this passage, Captain Moroni was counting on the additional troops the government was supposed to send to help defend the city of Nephihah. He trusted that those additional troops would be sufficient, since it’s easier to defend a city you already control than to regain control after you’ve lost it. As we learn in subsequent chapters, there is more to the story than Moroni realized at this time: the chief judge was dealing with a serious insurrection and was fighting for his own life. But at this time, Moroni was unaware of those developments and was painfully aware of the damage caused by the inaction of the government.
When we have responsibilities (as we all do), failing to fulfill our duty is a sin. We can’t avoid blame by saying, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” Doing nothing when something must be done is wrong. And the consequences of inaction can be severe. As Mormon reminds us, regaining lost ground in any endeavor, including health, financial well-being, spiritual strength, relationships with family members, or any other enterprise, is much more difficult than maintaining it in the first place.
Today, I will review my areas of responsibility and will consider what I can do to be more faithful in fulfilling my duty in each of them. I will remember that maintenance and consistent care are wiser and less costly than neglect punctuated with occasional heroics. I will recommit to responsible and consistent stewardship.