Mordecai and the Jews mourn and fast because of the king’s decree. Esther, at the peril of her life, prepares to go in unto the king.
(See Esther 4:1–17.)
President Thomas S. Monson said:
“Through a servant, Mordecai sent word to Esther concerning the decree against the Jews, requesting that she go in to the king to plead for her people. Esther was at first reluctant, reminding Mordecai that it was against the law for anyone to go unbidden into the inner court of the king. Punishment by death would be the result—unless the king were to hold out his golden scepter, allowing the person to live.
“Mordecai’s response to Esther’s hesitation was to the point. He replied to her thus:
“‘Think not . . . that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.
“‘For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, . . . thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed’ (Esther 4:13–14).
“And then he added this searching question: ‘Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ (Esther 4:14).
“In response, Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews he could and to ask them to fast three days for her and said that she and her handmaids would do the same. She declared, ‘I (will) go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish’ (Esther 4:16). Esther had gathered her courage and would stand firm and immovable for that which was right.”
(“May You Have Courage,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 127.)