Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We Follow Jesus Christ

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

We Follow Jesus Christ, by Elder Quentin L. Cook
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

"The quest of getting something for nothing leads to addiction." That was a message I wrote in my notes at a recent stake priesthood meeting. The speaker used examples of people who try to circumvent the "costs" of building a healthy relationship, courtship, and marriage and instead settle for the ultimately empty nowness of pornography—which is just a shell of true intimacy.

Further examples of something-for-nothing included lying, stealing, and anger.

"Anger?" you ask. "How does anger relate to trying to get something for nothing?"

Consider parents (and non-parents) who lash out in anger when they want to get things their way with minimal results, instead of their opposites who use persuasion, love, kindness, gentleness, and the full suite of Christlike attributes (see D&C 121 for more). Yes, anger can provide quick results, albeit inferior with addictive results.

I thought of the too-common reaction of anger as I reviewed Elder Cook's words:

There are some who feel that venting their personal anger or deeply held opinions is more important than conducting themselves as Jesus Christ lived and taught. . . . how we disagree is a real measure of who we are and whether we truly follow the Savior. It is appropriate to disagree, but it is not appropriate to be disagreeable.

This counsel reminds of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:44):

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Popping around in the news is the overturning, again, of marriage laws in California. You'll remember that after the results of the Proposition 8 ballot initiative came in, many who "lost," or, rather, who voted (or would have voted) against it, responded with hate, vandalism, and anger.

Now that the judicial process has reversed the decision again, how will those who were for Proposition 8 react? Will they exercise the true nature of the Christianity that many of them cited as motivation for the initiative in the first place?

I hope so.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received public criticism for its support of the proposition. It was interesting to review the Church's statement (link) on the overturning. After restating their position and calling for dialogue came the following: "
we urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion."

There was no "call to arms." There was no inciting of violence, vandalism, or villainy. Instead, there came the call to love with the reminder that we follow Jesus Christ.

1 thought:

Anonymous said...

I too am active LDS. And while I am criticized and told that I don't have a testimony because of my position on this, I think the following should be noted:

Voting to take away someone's constitutionally granted equal rights (as we did by approving Prop 8) was neither respectful nor civil.

What I don't understand is how our 11th article of faith allows us to take the action of denying marriage equality.