Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rejoicing Rather than Retaliating?

Because this week our topic in communications is about conflict, our class assignment was to read and discuss Alma 60-61.

Yes, it's the scathing letter from Captain Moroni to Govenor Pahoran and how he, Moroni, accused him, Pahoran of “exceedingly great neglect” - not just once or twice, but THREE times!

Pahoran was accused of being thoughtless, slothful, lazy, disobedient to God’s commandments, and outright blamed for the hunger and starvation that nearly attributed to the perishing of the Nephite armies.

And interestingly, after all of that, Pahoran’s response, in a nutshell, was “it mattereth not.”

Why didn’t it matter to Pahoran?

Why wasn’t he angry, upset, infuriated, and defensive?

Why did Pahoran respond to Moroni with compassion and understanding? What was up with that man?

So read carefully last night, eager to make a noteworthy contribution to our discussion. But more importantly, I wanted to understand how I could be more Pahoran-like especially when accusatory, contentious, “them there are fighting words” conflict breaks out and instead of listening and discussing opposing ideas, I’m foaming at the mouth and about to go into cardiac arrest!

Then, I found something that caught my eye and caused my heart to understand what allowed Pahoran to receive Moroni’s words as a complementary rather than adversarially.

I found it in verse 19 as Pahoran writes: 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.

You mean, Pahoran was concerned about what to do and in his desire to find the correct answer, he was praying and along came Moroni’s epistle which was the just right answer?

You mean all those scathing, biting, cutting words were received joyfully because they were THE answer to Pahorn’s prayers?

Which has made me ponder this all day: Would I be able to recognize an answer to a prayer if it came at me in the same way Moroni came at Pahoran?

Or would I be too caught up in finding ways to retaliate rather than rejoice?

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