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.Thomas S. Monson, “School Thy Feelings, O My Brother,” General Conference, October 2009
Why couldn’t Haman be happy? He had been promoted above all the other princes. “All the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman,” except one: Mordecai (Esther 3:1-2, Esther 5:11). Subsequently, the king and queen invited him to a private banquet, and then asked him to return the following evening. But as he related his good fortune to his friends and family, he explained why he was not deriving more joy from these privileges: “All this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate” (Esther 5:13). How foolish to allow such a small slight to overshadow the opportunity of a lifetime! If he could have simply let Mordecai’s behavior go and not let it bother him so much, he could have been so much happier, and he could have avoided the foolish decisions which led to his undoing.
Haman reminds me of a military commander in the Book of Mormon named Morianton. The leader of a city, Morianton picked a fight with a neighboring city, which put him in conflict with the commander of the Nephite army, Captain Moroni. Aware that he could not win that fight, he resolved to lead his people away to the north. But at about this time, he became “angry with one of his maid servants, and he fell upon her and beat her much” (Alma 50:30). She ran away and revealed the plan to Moroni, who was able to thwart it.
Both of these men, Haman and Morianton, allowed passion to get the better of them. If they had been able to manage their emotions more effectively, deal with their irritations more respectfully, and stay focused on the big picture, both of them could have avoided the catastrophic failure which they experienced.
Today, I will avoid acting on feelings of irritation or resentment. I will keep those feelings in check, so that I can enjoy the positive experiences of the day.