Recently some questions about the story of Captain Moroni and Pahoran came up in our conversations at home. It was wondered why Moroni was so forceful with Pahoran and why Mormon felt the story needed to be preserved for our benefit today. As you recall, Captain Moroni was not getting the support which he needed to successfully prosecute the war with the Lamanites. He blamed Pahoran and sent a very forceful letter questioning Pahoran’s manhood and loyalty and demanding, under threat of the sword that he be sent the people and supplies which he needed. As we then discover however, Pahoran was having his own troubles. The Kingmen had taken over the capital and Parhoran was forced to flee for his life. He was currently quite busy trying to raise a defense and gather the things which Moroni so desperately needed. (Book of Mormon, Alma chapters 60 and 61.) It would appear that the great Captain Moroni did deal rather unjustly with Pahoran.
Today we live in a fractured world. Particularly here in the United States, we seem to be severely divided. False witness, accusations, and lies permeate our interactions, especially in the worlds of politics and social media. Perhaps the moral of this part of Captain Moroni’s story is not that of the great captain but rather can be gleaned from Pahoran’s response. While having been severely and unjustly chastised, Pahoran’s answer was not bitter nor accusatory in return. He did not answer his unjust censorship with harsh words, nor did he turn against Moroni for his unjust judgement. Pahorn’s answer was simply:
“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.”
Pahoran did not say: “Oh yeah! Well your momma…”, or you’re a real jerk, you’re not the only one with problems you know,” or, “forget you, if you are going to be that way I’m outa here and you can find your own stuff.” Pahoran, did not judge Moroni even though Moroni had falsely judged him. As a result, the problems were addressed and corrected. The Kingmen were dealt with, materials and men were gathered and the war won. Pahoran’s humility and maturity was key in a successful conclusion to a very difficult situation.
Can our reactions have similar effect in outcomes in today’s world? Most definitely. So, when your Captain Moroni berates and accuses you, remember Pahoran and the way in which his response preserved a country at risk.
Samuel Waen Jensen