In the Book of Mormon, there are two chapters that I find amusing, humbling, and instructive. In the first chapter, Alma 60, the fearless, righteous Captain Moroni writes a letter to his government leaders, scathingly denouncing the lack of support he’s been recieving for his troops, who are starving, dying in battle, and still doing their best to defend their nation. Moroni accuses the government of being lazy traitors who are living in comfort at the expense of their citizens.
In the second chapter, Alma 61, the governor, Pahoran, replies. Pahoran calmly explains that he hasn’t forgotten Moroni and his men, that he’s doing his best, but that he’s been occupied with rebellious uprising in the capitol. Rather than taking offense at the censure of Moroni, Pahoran expresses love and understanding and suggests that they work together to improve the situation for everyone. As they forgive each other and join forces, they are able to succeed.
I can really identify with Moroni in this exchange. There are many times when I jump to a conclusion before I know all of the facts. Imagine if Pahoran had just taken offense at Moroni’s letter and replied with equal animosity? What if Moroni hadn’t had the humility to acknowledge his mistake? Things could have gotten a lot worse.
Most offense arises from misunderstanding. If we could take the time to humble ourselves and find out where the other person is coming from, a lot of conflicts could be easily avoided. And if we do jump the gun like Moroni did, it’s never too late to turn it around and remember that what’s important isn’t necessarily who is right, but what is right.