Saturday, October 25, 2014

D&C 98:23-24 -- On Letting it Go

"Now, I speak unto you concerning your families—if men will smite you, or your families, once, and ye bear it patiently and revile not against them, neither seek revenge, ye shall be rewarded;
But if ye bear it not patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being meted out as a just measure unto you."
Doctrine and Covenants 98:23-24

This is interesting, and I think often very difficult.  When people smite us in whatever way, we aren't often prone to bearing it patiently.  And often we want to revile, and we *want* revenge.  We see the injustice and we feel that imbalance, and we want it corrected, *now.*
Of course, sometimes we find ourselves on the other side of this equation, and we're the ones that have done the smiting.  And I think that from *that* perspective, we can see the wisdom of God's statement.  God wants to give space to us--to all of us--to learn and grow, and to have room to repent.
The chapter gets more interesting after this as well, talking about people who smite us several times, and how the rewards get greater if we refuse to strike back, but that at some point God allows us to take further action to protect ourselves if we so choose... but still mentioning that even then, if we don't, it brings great blessings.  Again, something that it is hard to be patient with.
Am I advocating social injustice, living in abusive relationships, or saying that hostile environments are good?  No.  I think God makes it clear that there are times when he allows further action, and I also think patience can include removing yourself from the situation or the environment.  I'm just saying maybe we should think about it a little bit more before rushing to take action.  We probably all need to work on our patience, and no matter how cool we are, we probably have some experience with losing our tempers and being cruel to others in some way.  Maybe we should remember that we need some space to repent, and try to offer that same space to others as well.  Plus, who doesn't need the bonus blessings that we get from being patient in situations like this?  Today, let's take a step back and let things go.

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