I Am Not Angry – Alma 61:9

9 And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart. I, Pahoran, do not seek for power, save only to retain my judgment-seat that I may preserve the rights and the liberty of my people. My soul standeth fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free.
(Alma 61:9)

Pahoran had reason to be irritated by Captain Moroni’s letter. In the letter, Moroni had accused him of slothfulness and negligence of duty, which he blamed for the deaths of numerous soldiers. He had even speculated that Pahoran and his associates might be guilty of treason. Meanwhile, Pahoran was dealing with an insurrection, which was the reason he had not been able to send supplies and new recruits to Moroni. Pahoran could easily have become angry at Moroni’s accusations, but he had the discipline to overcome his natural reaction and respond wisely. How did he avoid becoming angry under those circumstances?

  • He maintained his perspective. The epistle might have stung, but how important was it really? As Pahoran says in the passage above, “It mattereth not.” He was able to avoid anger by keeping the source of irritation in context and remembering the big picture.
  • He set aside his ego. As he says in the passage above, “I, Pahoran, do not seek for power, save only to retain my judgment-seat that I may preserve the rights and the liberty of my people.” He avoided anger by focusing on his responsibilities instead of his public image.
  • He recognized the importance of maintaining stability. Volatility in a leader is dangerous and can have a ripple effect, disrupting the organization he or she leads. Recognizing this, Pahoran reaffirmed his commitment to “[stand] fast in that liberty in the which God hath made us free” and thus be an anchor for the people he led.

President Thomas S. Monson has taught:

We are all susceptible to those feelings which, if left unchecked, can lead to anger. We experience displeasure or irritation or antagonism, and if we so choose, we lose our temper and become angry with others…. May we make a conscious decision, each time such a decision must be made, to refrain from anger and to leave unsaid the harsh and hurtful things we may be tempted to say (“School Thy Feelings, O My Brother,” General Conference, October 2009).

Today, I will refrain from anger. When I am irritated or bothered by something, I will follow Pahoran’s example. I will put the incident into perspective. I will focus on my responsibilities over my reputation. And I will strive to maintain emotional stability, knowing that I will influence other people more effectively if I keep my composure.

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