Tuesday, August 25, 2015

3 Nephi 11:28-30 -- On Angry Mud Puddles and Finding Solutions

"And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away."
3 Nephi 11:28-30

These verses are part of what Christ talked about when he appeared to the people in America.  In this chapter they feel the prints of the nails in his hands, and they know that he is the promised Messiah, and then he calls Nephi and others up and gives them power to baptize.  That part is interesting because these people already had the gospel, but he is asking them to be baptized again, similar to what John the Baptist did in preparation for Christ on another continent.  I think it was because Christ was asking them to make new commitments and covenants with him, beyond what the Law of Moses asked of them,  I like the idea of renewing baptism anyway... being washed clean just the once seems like it would be way too easy to fall into a mud puddle and then just give up.  But with this, and with the sacrament that we take each week, we have the opportunity to renew the promises that we make at baptism, and God renews his promises too, including forgiving us for our sins.  So, we get to continually be washed clean, and get better and better at avoiding mud puddles, and other things that make us filthy.
In these verses Jesus talks about disputations and contention and anger.  And I think that these are interesting things that we might want to study up on a little, because I think this is one of those mud puddles that we fall into way too often.  Talking about ideas is a great thing, which I think that God loves just as much as I do.  It's fascinating to explore different possibilities and ideas and to expand our minds a little bit.  But too often we instead take our ideas and try to bash other people over the head with them, figuring that if they don't agree with us voluntarily, maybe we can push the ideas in there by force.  Thankfully, this does not work.
Christ tells us that the one that is stirring us up to anger about these things is not him, and that *his* doctrine is that we stop doing that.  And I get that it isn't easy.  There are a lot of emotionally charged topics that we deal with every day, especially ain the political arena.  We all have opinions and thoughts about what we see around us, and often we feel quite strongly about these topics.  Today though, let's try to let go of the spirit of contention.  Let's walk around the angry mud puddle.  Let's only worry about whether our choices are in accordance with what God wants, rather than fighting with each other about it.  If we can do it without anger, we can still discuss ideas and solutions to local and world problems.  And without the anger, perhaps we can find a way to compromise and find solutions together, even when we don't all agree.  There is still a lot of room for productive thought and negotiation without contradicting God's will.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews