Saturday, September 19, 2009

Personal Power Strategies

This is the first of a news series of posts I plan on doing. I previouslydiscussed how good spiritual principles are often interchangeable with good military principles. I also realize that examining The Book of Mormon from a purely historical standpoint ignores a large part of the book's aim and focus. So this ongoing series will first discuss abstract military principles based on both historical military theory and practice. Then I will either reference an excellent discussion of it somewhere else, or I will put on my Sunday School teacher hat and explicate the necessary spiritual principles. The emphasis will be on the connection between good military principle and good conduct and spiritual behavior.

Hard Things First: Our first example comes from the writings of Clausewitz and the Scriptorium Blogorium. Clausewitz, and U.S. Army Doctrine defines the Center of Gravity as "the source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act." (Joint Publication 1-02, DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms). A good example from history would be the fact that Robert E. Lee's surrender is considered the end of the Civil War. Yet Jefferson Davis was still trying to reorganize the Confederate government, General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army 17 days later, and some Indian tribes continued to fight for several years under the confederate banner. So this results in many pedantic historians trying to pad their own egos by saying things such as: "Well Lee's surrender did not actually end the war..." But due to Lee's victories he had become one of the South's principle centers of gravity. Thus his surrender DID end the war.

Michaela over at Scriptorium Blogorium has an excellent discussion of what this meant for Captain Moroni's strategy, and what it means for our spiritual strategy as well. I don't have enough good words to say about how accurate her analysis is.

Taking the High Ground: In Alma 47 we read that the Lamanie army mustered upon a mountain. And the commander Lehonti refuses to come down and meet Amalickiah under a justified fear that he would be killed. This is such an intuitive principle it almost explains itself. Popular culture reinforces this trend; in The Two Towers (2002)and The Return of the King(2003) the Rohirrim retreat to a mountain fortress and muster their army on the side of a mountain. In Jewish history the revolt of AD70 lasted the longest for those that retreated to their mountain fortress. And the Chinese and Koreans resisted the Mongol invasions for over 50 years due to their use of self sustaining mountain fortresses. Please see Huang K'uan-Chung's article in Chinese Ways of Warfare, edited by Hans Van De Ven. I could point out other numerous battles from Hastings (1066)to the Seven Days Battle (1862) that display the importance of the high ground as well.

Robert D. Hales discussed some of the spiritual applications of this principle in a recent address.

So what do you think? Do these principles help you in your daily life? Do they give you additional insights into how you behave? As an added bonus I've added the video to "Bring the World His Truth" (Army of Helaman).

3 comments:

David J. West said...

Just positive reinforcement here since I have missed commenting on the last few posts.

I look forward to your future posts in this category.

Morgan Deane said...

Thanks David. I was starting to hear crickets around here. But I also got a few emails from some new readers so it hasn't been too bad. Thanks again for commenting.

Michaela Stephens said...

"many pedantic historians trying to pad their own egos by saying things such as: "Well Lee's surrender did not actually end the war..." But due to Lee's victories he had become one of the South's principle centers of gravity. Thus his surrender DID end the war."

I love this!