I loved the talk President Packer gave a few years back when he said beware of the 'tolerance trap.' I think we need to consider, as he did, not just personal tolerance of individual differences. Lecturing each other on tolerance seems hardly necessary if we focus teaching the first two great commandments. We need to clearly understand those commandments and then enduringly work at living by them. To me, the tolerance of what President Packer spoke about is most noteworthy and of great importantance to understanding the big picture today....and well as promoting critical thinking that will hopefully lead us thru troubled times It means reflecting on what happens to a society, country or civilization when we tolerate that which goes against Gods Laws of Morality. In the almost 8 decades of my life I have seen that which goes against Judeo-Christian moral values (and certainly LDS ones) be challenged, tolerated and accepted. We now find ourselves individually and collectively, as a nation and as a church, struggling from from the devastation and the consequences from such tolerance and acceptance. We must care about tolerating differing opinions but we also must stand steadfast in not accepting that which goes against the laws of God.
I couldn't agree more with this article even though I see myself and my own self-righteous indignation and intolerance in it. My wife just commented to me about certain Facebook comments from family members terrible critical of church leaders and those that agree with the recent update in Manual 1. While they want to criticize and denigrate all those that agree with the policy change and do so with much bitterness and venom and certainly without much love or understanding. On the other hand, I find myself responding perhaps not so publicly with about the same level of intolerance and my own self righteous thoughts. We demonize each other sometimes the most when we are screaming about intolerance. To my limited understanding, this is why true love and charity is such an attribute of the mature disciple and follower of Christ.
At the root of this issue is "shame." Brene Brown has become the populist source of information on this subject. But the bottom line is that people seem to believe they should never feel shame--no one should ever shame them (hurt their feelings). That is not so. Feeling shame, at least momentarily, is an important part of the repentance process. When we call someone to repentance, that person will feel shame. Which is why we must immediately "show forth an increase of love". That is why D&C 121:43 is so, so important. That said, learning to appropriately deal with this painful feeling within ourselves and not to cause it in others (except briefly during repentance) is one of the most significant life skills each of us can develop. In a fallen world we shame each other whether we intend to or not--and for a variety of reasons. It is part of the human condition. However, if we can turn to the Savior, He will help us overcome the shame feeling, learn who we really are (children of God), forgive those who accidentally hurt us in this way, and repent when we are the perpetrator. Striking back is not the answer. "Tolerating sin" is not the answer (which seems to be the common mantra in society today). The answer is to be more like our Savior Jesus Christ. Which is why I really liked the conclusion of this article. It truly is about divine heritage, purpose, and destiny – – in ourselves and in others.
Thanks for a focus on the fundamentals of what it means to be decent, respectful, and a person who lifts others up--despite their beliefs--rather than tear them down. This is what Americans really need to understand now--perhaps much more so than those from other countries or backgrounds.
Thank you my friend!
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