(October 27, 2015)
It is important to remember that we are not required to labor more than we have strength. Teancum was wise to not attack the Lamanites when there was no hope of victory, and the ultimate success of the operation was dependant on, in part, his unwillingness to sacrifice his men in a futile endeavor.
Likewise, we need to have an eye single to the Glory of God, but at the same time we are to show wisdom and discretion in our efforts. God is all-knowing, and when He tells us to do something we do it (or die trying). But when the instructions come from imperfect people, we are to show forth a certain amount of wisdom in what we do.
Of course, where does that leave us in the current situation. After all, a big problem right now is that too many people are putting their own wisdom over and above the counsel of our leaders (and that is a problem). What makes what Teancum did a good thing, and what they are doing now a bad thing? Certainly it is not merely the result.
I don’t know that I have an answer right now, but the one thing that I see that might explain it is the focus on the Lord versus the focus on self (or political agenda). Someone who believes that the Lord’s will is best accomplished one was is different in nature from someone who believes that the Brethren are evil because they disagree with a certain political or social philosophy. But I will be blunt – I just don’t know.
This is, once again, why the Spirit is so essential. It is impossible for me as I think through things here to come up with a logical rule or test to determine the appropriate course of action (in the abstract, fortunately). But I know the Lord knows, and will direct me in the individual situations that I may find myself in.