And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.
To reward those who cut off the heads of the enemy and yet to admire acts of mercy and compassion; to hand out titles and stipends to those who capture the enemy’s cities and yet to give ear to the doctrines of universal love [Mohism]; to strengthen one’s armor and sharpen one’s weapons in preparation for the time of trouble, and yet to praise the elegant attire of the civil gentry; to hope to enrich the nation through agriculture and ward off the enemy with trained soldiers, and yet to pay honor to men of literary accomplishment…to indulge in contradictory acts like these is to insure that the state will never be well ordered. The nation at peace may patronize Confucian scholars and cavaliers; but the nation in danger must call upon its frightening men.
“Worthy men hide in a disordered generation. Above they have to follow the ruler, below, there is no straight speaking, When the ruler is arrogant in behavior, the people have many taboo words. So men distort their honest sincerity, capable knights disguise their true substance. Though their real mind is unhappy, they dare not but praise...they dare not but labor...they dare not but follow.
If the [people in a Legalist army] favor the benevolent ruler [of the opposing state], look up to him as to a father or mother, and rejoice in him as in the fragrance of iris or orchid, and on the contrary regard their own superiors as so many wielders of branding irons and tattoo knives, as their foes and enemies, then human nature being what it is…how could they be willing to fight for the sake of men they hate and do harm to one they love?