This morning I found myself in the last few chapters of Alma, specifically contemplating the correspondence between Moroni and Pahoran. I was reminded of the following experience. Judy had been assigned by her bishop to plan the ward Christmas Party. She asked several ladies to help her with various duties. It was apparent that Leslie (name has been changed) failed to see Judy's vision and wrote her a somewhat critical email stating what she would and would not do to help with the ward party. In a reply back to Leslie's email, Judy acknowledged her own excessive attention to details and apologized for the strain this may have put on Leslie. She thanked Leslie for her help in what she was willing to do. The email that Judy received back was poignant. Leslie thanked Judy for being a "Pahoran" in her response. If you are confused about that comparison, read Alma 60 and 61 for better understanding.
I continued to think of Pahoran throughout the morning. I want to be a Pahoran. He was so mighty in self-control and so humble. He did not waste one second of time being offended or critical. What a great example of meekness.
As I thought of what makes a Pahoran, this scripture came to mind: "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he". Although he was a military man and engaged in bloodshed, Pahoran's thoughts were pure, thus making his words and actions pure even in the worst of circumstances. Contemplating those thoughts led me to a conversation that your dad and I had a couple of days ago. We were talking about Terry Rogers who is the Las Vegas Temple President at this time. We know him well as he was our bishop when we were engaged and later our stake president. Dad had expressed how difficult it must have been for Terry to experience such horrific atrocities while serving in the Viet Nam war. We talked about what a gentle, good man he is in spite of what he witnessed and went through. Terry Rogers is a Pahoran. His heart is pure and he is mighty in self control thus making his words and actions kind and uplifting.
I also had another experience come to my remembrance this morning. When Natalie was twelve or thirteen, she and I had stopped at a department store to buy her some shoes. A beautiful, well-dressed woman, probably in her early thirties, sat down and tried on a pair herself. She walked around in them for a minute and then returned to put on her own shoes. Apparently she could only find one of her shoes and started yelling at a Hispanic girl that worked there and was straightening up the shelves. The girl was flustered as this woman accused her of first hiding her shoe and then actually stealing it. Natalie and I quickly joined the girl in searching for this woman's missing shoe, and as we did, we listened to rude, berating comments regarding this employee. Finally the worker went and got the manager who quickly came over to settle things down. The woman continued to assert her accusations to which the manager said: "Ma'am, the missing shoe is in your hand." Sure enough, there is was. Without realizing it, she had been holding it the entire time. The woman did not apologize or even say one word. She put on her shoe and walked out of the store with her head held high. Obviously her rude comments had found a place in her heart long before they ever passed through her lips."For as [a woman] thinketh in her heart, so is [she]." She was not a Pahoran!
What a great, reflective morning! I thought my pondering on Pahoran was over but it wasn't. I opened up my email to find an inappropriate and caustic message. It was disheartening to say the least. Elder Holland's stirring conference address, The Tongue of Angels came to mind. http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/the-tongue-of-angels?lang=eng As I read his words I gained a greater conviction that there is no place in our lives and certainly in our hearts, to say or write demeaning comments regardless of the situation or the person who the comments are directed to. I fear it is too easy in this day and age to write things anonymously thinking they will have no repercussions on us. They do! "For as [we]thinketh in [our] heart, so [are we]".
I write that my children may know I want to be a Pahoran. I have some things to kick out of my heart so that my words and actions reflect a Pahoran, but that is my desire. I also write that my children may know that meekness, one who is mighty in self control in all things, is within our reaching. I also hope you find the time to study Elder Holland's talk and desire to be a Pahoran too!