Some weeks ago as I was studying for a lesson I was to teach, I noticed a small little detail about Captain Moroni. I didn’t say much about it in the lesson that day, but I came upon it again when I was studying for an institute lesson I was teaching just a few days ago. There are endless things to admire about Moroni, but this seemingly minor detail alluded me until recently:
And it came to pass that when the men of Moroni saw the fierceness and the anger of the Lamanites, they were about to shrink and flee from them. And Moroni, perceiving their intent, sent forth and inspired their hearts with these thoughts—yea, the thoughts of their lands, their liberty, yea, their freedom from bondage. (Alma 43:48, emphasis added)
The Nephites were about to quit. To run. They were about to “shrink and flee” from the opposition. I don’t blame them. And at that very moment Moroni acted upon a principle that is time-proven. We can encourage others by sharing truths, principles, and thoughts in a timely manner.
When I’ve been struggling as a teacher, the encouraging shared thoughts of a student, parent, or administrator have reminded me of my worth and assisted me in getting back in the game. When I felt discouraged as a bishop, the expressed thoughts of my sweetheart or a ward member did much to get me back on the horse. I also kind of like that Moroni “sent forth and inspired their hearts”. I can’t be sure, but the phrase “sent forth” seems to imply something written (if Moroni himself went and talked to the army, the record might say that he “went forth”, but I may be totally off on this).
Who can you think of that is struggling in the battle? Who is feeling like they want to “shrink and flee”? What can be shared with them to inspire their heart?
A few thoughts to keep in mind:
- Genuine thoughts and notes are more powerful than “empty” phrase that are sent just to be sent.
- What is shared should be, well, true (as opposed to made up)
- Being specific in an encouraging note is better than being general (which sometimes comes across as disingenuous)
- Timing is, often, everything…