Monday, November 9, 2015


Dear Y.A.

I want to share an experience with you.

In Elders' Quorum yesterday, re-reading President Benson's definition of "enmity" really brought something home to me. I don't really do "hatred" enmity, but he also includes "a state of opposition," and when arguments occur (about anything) I'm quite easily inclined to think, "No, what you're asking for won't work the way you think and is a bad idea. We shouldn't do that" which actually does qualify as "a state of opposition" and therefore enmity and therefore pride.

So I need to find a way to hold my opinions without opposition, without thinking to myself, "I don't want you to get what you are asking for." Non-religious example: gun control. I think trying to ban guns in the U.S. would be horribly counterproductive and just punishes law-abiders with more hassle without actually making anyone safer; but when someone starts talking about "gun crime," I need to not oppose them and want to gripe about their desires. Instead, I should find a way to disagree without opposing, which tends to emphasize areas of agreement and possible compromise. I don't have to think, "I hope you manage to ban guns in the U.S." but I CAN think, "I really value the culture of freedom in the U.S., and I value simple laws that people can actually keep. I hope you find a way to get what you want in terms of increased safety for everyone without compromising the things that I value." If I can do that I will avoid feelings of enmity and therefore pride.

It seems to me that the primary "re-thinking" the Church has done in recent years is to studiously avoid encouraging any kind of enmity or opposition between its members and gay activists. That doesn't mean that some people won't take offense anyway, but I do see a pattern of trying very hard to avoid opposition and seek mutually-agreeable compromises. Presumably this same approach would be taken by the Church on any potentially-contentious issue, not just this one. It's an emphasis on charity.

Hope you're doing great. I love you!


If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

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