Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 23)
From his talk, Peacemakers Needed
Part of the President Nelson Series
All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).
Well, I’m on time-out and sitting on my repentance stool in the corner.
I read from the prophet’s last conference talk.
My dear brothers and sisters, how we treat each other really matters! How we speak to and about others at home, at church, at work, and online really matters. Today, I am asking us to interact with others in a higher, holier way. Please listen carefully. “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” that we can say about another person—whether to his face or behind her back—that should be our standard of communication.
Then someone posted this tweet.
President Nelson continues: If a friend on social media has strong political or social views that violate everything you believe in, an angry, cutting retort by you will not help. Building bridges of understanding will require much more of you, but that is exactly what your friend needs.
Contemplating these words this morning, I could tell my standard is not in the right place. I also realized the thoughts in my head sometimes tend towards defensiveness and the negative. Even if I keep it to myself, they still affect me. This is true for relationships around me and online.
Contention drives away the Spirit—every time. Contention reinforces the false notion that confrontation is the way to resolve differences; but it never is. Contention is a choice. Peacemaking is a choice. You have your agency to choose contention or reconciliation. I urge you to choose to be a peacemaker, now and always.
One word especially jumps out at me >> ALWAYS.
<big sigh> Okay…let me recommit and try that again.