Monday, June 23, 2014

Doctrine and Covenants 101:81-85 -- On Justice

"Now, unto what shall I liken the children of Zion? I will liken them unto the parable of the woman and the unjust judge, for men ought always to pray and not to faint, which saith—
There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man.
And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him, saying: Avenge me of mine adversary.
And he would not for a while, but afterward he said within himself: Though I fear not God, nor regard man, yet because this widow troubleth me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Thus will I liken the children of Zion."
Doctrine and Covenants 101:81-85

This is an interesting parable.  And it seems kind of opposite what we usually learn as children, which is often along the lines of be nice, and don't bug people.  But in this parable, the widow keeps asking for justice, and though the judge doesn't really care about justice, he gives it to her because she keeps asking, over and over again.  So... what does this mean for us, and how can we apply it in our lives?  I think that one thing that God is teaching us here is patience and persistence.  We don't always get what we want, or need, or what will solve our problems the first time we ask.  We don't always get it the forty-fifth time either... and truly, we don't always get it, period.  Sometimes we need to be focused on our current blessings and being happy for what we have now, and we shouldn't always persist if *God* says no.  But when it is an imperfect authority, and it is right to ask for justice, for compassion, or for a listening ear so that people can understand our perspective and we can resolve differences, then God encourages us to keep working through "proper channels" to solve our problems, and not to give up.  He says later in this section that if it doesn't work that he will take care of it... but his solution is kind of zapping them, and he encourages us to pray for them to listen so that he won't have to solve the problem that way.
And on the other side, as we so often are, let's be willing to listen to people who come to us for justice or for a resolution.  Let's not be unjust, even to people we dislike, or who have wronged us in the past.  Let's not make people have to come back dozens of times for a resolution.  Let's take care of the problem now, and help people wherever we can, giving them the benefit of the doubt, letting go of the past and our dislike or mistrust or desire for revenge.  Let's do all we can to be just and fair and good, and to let go of our hatred and envy and resentment.  Let's be children of Zion, encouraging love and unity and oneness, and never division or drama.

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