19 And now, Moroni, I do joy in receiving your epistle, for I was somewhat worried concerning what we should do, whether it should be just in us to go against our brethren.
20 But ye have said, except they repent the Lord hath commanded you that ye should go against them.
When we act with courage, we can inspire the people around us to do the same.
When the chief judge, Pahoran, received a scathing letter from the military commander, Moroni, he recognized immediately that Moroni didn’t have all the facts. Pahoran was dealing with a group of insurgents, who were hoping to gain control of the Nephite government and disrupt Nephite defenses until the Lamanites were able to win the war. Pahoran had fled the city and was recruiting troops willing to defend the government. Pahoran responded to Moroni’s inaccurate allegations by explaining the issues and asking for help. As Elder David A. Bednar explained in the most recent general conference, this measured response was an indication that Pahoran possessed the Christlike attribute of meekness (“Meek and Lowly of Heart,” General Conference, April 2018).
But there is another lesson to be learned from this experience. As Pahoran explains in the passage above, he had been somewhat hesitant to use force against the rebels who had threatened him. He probably knew them personally. As he says, he wasn’t sure whether he was justified in fighting back. But when he read Moroni’s letter, he was emboldened by Moroni’s unequivocal language. Moroni had threatened to bring part of his army to Zarahemla and attack Pahoran in order to ensure that the Nephites had a government which supported the cause of freedom. (See Alma 60:24-30.) Moroni said he was “constrained, according to the covenant which [he had] made to keep the commandments of…God” (Alma 60:34). Even though these words had been directed at Pahoran personally, he was able to apply them to the insurgents and to take courage from Moroni’s conviction. He was therefore able to join forces with Moroni and defeat the insurgency.
Today, I will follow Moroni’s example of boldness. I will remember that words of truth, courageously spoken, can inspire others to be courageous as well.