Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Political discord

Allow me to preach a bit of repentance here. Feel free to read into it whatever you feel is appropriate.

I cannot imagine what it is about political discussions that seems to make otherwise perfectly nice people suddenly become mentally unstable, abusive, and emotionally volatile. This phenomenon, the tendency to segregate into angry groups that incubate nothing but growing polarized animosity toward others of different views, jeopardizes every legitimate claim we might make on aspiring to become the Lord's Zion people. If we pursue our personal ends under such tactics, I am certain the Lord will disclaim us and the fruits of our efforts.

Our model in such instances ought to follow the example of inspired leaders, none of whom resort to public censure or harsh personal invective to convey the message. They teach correct principles, and good government is the inevitable result.

Perhaps a quick review of President Benson's speech on pride would be an appropriate reminder.

The central feature of pride is enmity--enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means "hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition." It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others.

The scriptures testify that the proud are easily offended and hold grudges. (See 1 Ne. 16:1-3.) They withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings.

Let us choose to be humble.

We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are. (See D&C 38:24; D&C 81:5; D&C 84:106.)

We can choose to humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us. (See 3 Ne. 13:11, 14; D&C 64:10.)

Let us choose to be humble. We can do it. I know we can.

Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 4

3 comments:

Michael said...

A timely reminder. Very good. Thanks.

Brother John said...

Very good, Jim. I wish it were not so in my case, but knowing what is right does not always result in doing what is right. And politics is a case in point. I just cannot believe my neighbor is so immoral and stupid, yet I know that he undoubtedly feels the same way about me, and probably with as much justification.

If we really wanted to love our brother as ourself, we would put politics on a back burner and give it as much importance as it deserves, or in other words, not much. If we would get as worked up about repenting of our sins as we do about a political campaign, we would probably be much better prepared to meet God. And that day approaches rapidly for all of us.

Jim Cobabe said...

John, I think all of us share a naturally skeptical attitude, a by-product of our personal ego and pride. Yes, it is one of the things we strive to overcome.

President Benson thought it was possible.

I believe him.

As for being prepared to meet Heavenly Father, I have learned that the schedule for that is not under my control, as much as I would have liked to duck out early. I have worked very hard to internalize an attitude of respect for the gift of life -- my life. I don't know when it will be finished, so I just keep plodding on doing the best I can.