Comments | Meridian Magazine

Sign up for our newsletter

   

Signed up, but still not getting our newsletter? Click here.

 

August 19, 2022

Comments | Return to Story

Wally GoddardSeptember 24, 2017

I appreciate the many thoughtful comments. I am sorry for those who have suffered terribly. In spite of the arguments made, I cannot endorse anger. There is a place for righteous indignation (inspired by the Spirit) but both the Lord and research declare anger to be destructive. I agree with them. In every case, I believe there are alternatives to anger or "stuffing." We may not know them when we first need them, but, if we are guided by gospel truths, we can find them.

Ron BarnesSeptember 15, 2017

I agree with most of this article. However, I strongly disagree with the concept that "We can choose not to be mad." If a heavy object crushes my foot, I can not choose for it to not hurt. I can choose how I react to the pain, but it will still hurt. Likewise, I can choose how I react to my anger, but I will still be angry. I get angry too often, but I never get violent. If I am angry with a person they will probably never know it because I don't confront them. I deal with my anger alone and don't involve anyone else. It's not a perfect solution. Maybe some day I will find one.

RitaSeptember 10, 2017

Anger is always a secondary emotion. Finding out the primary emotion is critical to defusing the anger. Fear, disgust, contempt, guilt, stress, anxiety and other emotions can all manifest themselves as anger, but need to be dealt first. Just laying aside the anger without dealing with the underlying emotion does not solve the problem, and can make it worse.

AnthonySeptember 8, 2017

I agree with the premise of the article in the situations that he discusses. However, "anger is bad" becomes a blanket judgment in situations where anger is solidly warranted and even necessary. Consider this: how often do the scriptures tell us that the Lord was angry? "But wait!" you might say. "He is perfect and therefore doesn't sin when He gets angry, whereas we sin when WE get angry, so we should never do it." To which I say, "Pfffft. We were given all our emotions to be like Him, including anger." Here's what I know - those that have been caught in abusive relationships with no real outside help (and even often when they do have outside help) cannot extricate themselves without a great deal of energy. Would someone who wants them to escape tell them to just keep forgiving an abusive partner who is showing no sign or interest in changing in the name of virtue or saving a marriage? I've seen it - often anger is *the only way* for someone to generate enough emotional energy to get out. Anger, REAL anger. Anger at being mistreated for so long. Anger at being controlled. Anger at lost time and lost relationships. These are valid reasons to be angry, and they empower someone to break free. But what about the lessons on how bad anger is? When that person (or any person) decides to cling to their anger, it turns to poison instead - anger is not a tool to tap into forever. While we can use it to extricate ourselves, we should not hang on to it for longer than the situation warrants. (I should also note that while forgiveness is important, the other person's value is not more than mine and thus God will rarely instruct someone to stay in a destructive relationship for the other person's sake.) God's anger is typically a scalpel, not a club (despite the rare examples like Sodom and Gomorrah or even the Flood). I have felt his anger and love simultaneously when I have been rebellious. His anger was not damaging, punishing, or shaming - it was sharp, but not cruel. He called me to repentance in a strong way and I needed it. I was grateful for His anger applied in a godly way. And anyone saying that we should never have anger under any circumstance is not teaching us the Lord's way. Anger is tough to manage properly, but stuffing it down either forces us to pretend we aren't angry when we really are (making us a liar and accusing God of expecting us to be perfect) or we castrate our ability to feel joy in the highest amounts - we cannot remove our ability to feel negative emotion without damaging our ability to feel ANY emotion.

Uncurly.com DIY Brazilian Keratin TreatmentSeptember 7, 2017

Mike: We can do much good by humbly expressing our regret and apologizing to those we've hurt, asking them what we can do to repair the damage, and specifically asking their forgiveness. This can help them feel our sincerity and move into the relief of forgiveness. This is a principle taught by the Savior.

Kalu O. UdensiSeptember 6, 2017

I remember reading a general conference article on this subject, it said that 'anger is not an expression of strength, rather an indication of one's inability to control his words, thoughts and emotions. WHEN THE WEAKNESS OF ANGER CREEPS IN, THE STRENGTH OF REASONING GOES OUT.

Gail B.September 6, 2017

It was a good article, but I agree with Tiffany and Paula's comments. Right and Wrong need to be taught in situations where children error. Anger doesn't have to necessary be a part of the that but just changing the subject doesn't work either. I've seen plenty of parents do that and their children grow up pleasing themselves and irresponsible, "if it doesn't make me happy or crosses what I want then I don't want anything to do with it." Some have even left the church because they don't know how to keep rules or understand consequences. For Tiffany's point, some people are way more "laid back" than others, nothing bothers them. Some people aren't like that, they have a shorter fuse as Pre. Hinckley mentioned one time.They do need to learn how to manage their anger and deal with it properly to avoid hurting ones they love and damaging their own health, however some people don't care about anything and "whatever" goes, at home, at work, at church. I believe passion is a good thing when it is under control. Still we must make sure we don't lose the Spirit, and that we are guided by it.

Richard EastwoodSeptember 5, 2017

As implied in this article, becoming angry is a choice, a bit like when we choose not to be offended by something - we all have agency, and because of that, anger is not just something that happens, imposed by some uncontrollable condition, it is actually a choice.

Tiffany KeimSeptember 5, 2017

I'm not quite sure about this . Anger is a GREAT emotion however how we ACT on anger is the issue. Anger is information to ourselves saying something is not quite right. It leads to introspection of self of why certain things trigger us. Articles like these keep others in a place of judgement if they experience feelings of anger, What does one do then with this emotion? They hold it, stuff it down to a point where it creates dis-ease. Let's not shame anger. Let's learn tools of where to put this emotion and the information it has to offer us.

Paula jenkinsSeptember 5, 2017

I understand why someone should not explode with anger when a child finger paints a carpet. But in this example, the child was not taught a simple truth: we don't destroy property. Such a simple lesson that could have been taught with kindness. It's ok to teach a child the truth, even if his feelings are hurt momentarily.

Grateful ReaderSeptember 5, 2017

Thank you Wally. This brought tears, many tears. several years ago our son brought a very sweet and benevolent woman into our family. The means by which this was done - we were not so proud of - we loved them, supported them and eventually they went to the temple. They became irritated with other members of our family (members who were loving accepting, supportive and forgiving) for the very ("universe") reason you declared. They spewed angry words at them and then to me for not seeing the universe their way. It has caused a year of silence and judgement. A year of eggshells. Can this be undone? We have tried to take it in stride (differences in personalities) and we've also tried to eliminate agitating circumstances. We are a big family and we are not all on the same page and that task is monumental. Where in the world do we go from here?

DSPSeptember 5, 2017

Excellent things to think about - loved the article!

TrudySeptember 5, 2017

I was raised by abusive parents who raged at me and demeaned me. I found the church when I was and unfortunately applied the admonition that disciples of the Lord shouldn't be angry to myself. I applied it to myself in an unhelpful way. I thought that if I were living the gospel that I should not feel anger. This went along very well with the unspoken rules of my family one of which was that only Mom could be angry. I began to feel nothing as I stuffed the anger down. As I have grown in the church I've come to learn that Heavenly Father gives me emotions to let me know when something is right or something is wrong. Now when I am treated unjustly or unkindly I recognize the feelings of anger, sadness and fear that come over me and I take it to the Lord. He helps me to either resolve the problem in a kind way or remove myself from dangerous situations.

MikeSeptember 5, 2017

If we have hurt others by reacting in anger, how can we heal those wounds? It seems likely the wounds may be so deep they will never heal without the Savior involved in both parties.

ADD A COMMENT

  • INSPIRATION FOR LIVING A LATTER-DAY SAINT LIFE

    Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.