Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ameliorating the consequences

A popular aphorism, from the title of one of the LDS Hymns collection -- "Do what is right, let the consequence follow".

I offer some hopefully thoughtful reflection on this idea.

It is consistent with inspired counsel that we are constantly to conduct ourselves as wise stewards. We must do all we can to consider the implications of actions that affect our own life, and the lives of others. Utmost in our priorities, it is imperitive to be guided by correct principles, in order to let our thoughts and actions be guided by inspiration from Heavenly Father.

Doing what is right, however, never gives us license to flagrantly act in defiance or willful igorance of the consequences. Thus our attitude can never rightly be, "Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead". We cannot flagrantly ignore adverse repercussions that might have been avoided.

Just as weighty as our obligation to choose right, is the responsibility to ensure that we cause no avoidable harm.

The Savior's admonition

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  (Matthew 10:16).

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  (Matthew 18:4-6).

Respecting the feelings and opinions of others is not necessarily an act of deplorable cowardice. Circumspection and self-control are not personal characteristics of the "lily-livered". Even Jesus Christ tempered His speech and teachings in such a manner that generally reflected a calm and peaceful demeanor. He was rarely threatening, derogatory or harsh. In those instances where He did take such dramatic action, it was only against the most bitter of evil enemies.

With His closest disciples, presumably chosen friends, Jesus seemed to be ever mindful of the patient, teaching approach. Though he was even surely aware that one of his chosen twelve would eventually betray Him, yet He did not opt to cast that man out.

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