What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: wiseacre
Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause. (Victor Hugo, via Quoty)
Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today. With such words, spoken under the influence of the Spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, confidence can prevail. (Jeffrey R. Holland, The Tongues of Angels)
It is very easy for us to let our unbridled tongues speak negatively of others. It is even easier to let our unbridled fingers do damage in writing a harsh email, a scathing blog post, or an acrimonious comment.
We’re all guilty of it, some more than others. Some hypocritically lift themselves up to higher ground and cast their vilifying darts at the people below, while others look up from below to criticize, disparage, and tear down.
As Elder Holland masterfully taught us in this past conference, these things ought not to be.
But they are. Why? Why do some tear others down and ridicule? Why do some mock and blaspheme? Why do others criticize and gossip? What is it about human nature that encourages such behavior? As people seeking to establish Zion, should we not be living a higher law? After all, even our very thoughts will ultimately condemn us if they are not at a Zion standard:
For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence. (Alma 12:14)
I’m very aware (through various sources) that there are some who strongly disagree with my opinions and beliefs. I’m aware of what some of these people say, both in public and private. It’s disappointing to see the spirit that accompanies such backbiting and contention. Christ would definitely disapprove.
On my part, I’d like to apologize to anybody I may have offended in the past in a blog post, letter, email, in person, or any other interaction. Though some of my blog posts (usually the more political ones) can be blunt and direct in calling out what I see as wrong or evil, I try not to directly attack an individual. I try not to gossip or speak ill of others. I’m sure there have been plenty of instances where I fell short of that expectation I have of myself, so if I’ve offended or spoken ill of any of you, I humbly apologize. Please forgive me and be patient with me as I work on improving myself and becoming perfect in Christ.
I truly hope that we can all strive to use our words as weapons for good. We must make an exerted effort in our daily communication to build each other up. Only then will the gospel prosper and Zion be brought about.