When Captain Moroni learned that reinforcements had not been sent to Helaman, he immediately wrote to Pahoran, the chief judge, requesting assistance. Shortly after, the city Nephihah fell to the enemy because reinforcements had not been sent there either. Moroni became gravely concerned about the state of the war and the lack of support from the government. He wrote a much more pointed letter to Pahoran demanding that he fulfill his responsibilities, and accusing him of negligence and possibly even treason.
I can only imagine Pahoran’s initial reaction as he read the letter. He had been driven out of the city by a group of insurgents, and he was in the process of recruiting an army to regain the capital city and restore order. Moroni knew none of this. Upon reading the letter, Pahoran might justifiably have thought, “How dare he accuse me of these things! He knows me. Why does he so easily assume that I am to blame for our difficulties? Can’t he give me the benefit of the doubt?”
If Pahoran did think those thoughts, he got over it before responding to Moroni. His response is measured, respectful, and optimistic. He speaks highly of Moroni, explains the reasons for the lack of support, and asks for Moroni’s help in regaining control of the capital. His response is an excellent example of the Christlike attribute of meekness.
Elder David A. Bednar said:
Meekness is a defining attribute of the Redeemer and is distinguished by righteous responsiveness, willing submissiveness, and strong self-restraint. This quality helps us to understand more completely the [reaction of] Pahoran….
Pahoran was blessed with perspective and strong self-restraint to act rather than react as he explained to Moroni the challenges arising from a rebellion against the government.
(“Meek and Lowly of Heart,” General Conference, April 2018)
Today, I will seek to emulate the self-restraint of Pahoran as I interact with others. If I become irritated or feel like I’m under attack, I will respond respectfully and will avoid the temptation to react defensively.