Wednesday, August 3, 2016

3 Nephi 12:22-24 -- On Overcoming Anger

"But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee—
Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you."
3 Nephi 12:22-24

These verses are part of a lesson that Christ taught the Nephites which is very similar to the Sermon on the Mount (See Matthew 5:22-24).  Reading both versions this morning, different things jumped out at me.  One of them is that being angry is never something that we should embrace or pursue.  It happens, yes, and sometimes we might not be able to prevent it because we're not in control of our emotions enough... but wherever we can stop it, we should.  Escalating the situation and harming relationships is never the right choice, no matter what we have tied up in it.

Although at the moment it feels important and even paramount, when we lose our tempers, it doesn't matter whether we're right, partially right, or dead wrong.  What matters is that we couldn't control our emotions, and we feel like lashing out rather than remaining calm.  Instead, figuring out what triggered the incident and working to dial ourselves back, taking the time and the space to breathe and get ourselves under control again is priority number one.  These verses make it clear that not only does anger mess us up, but it gets in the way of our relationship with God.  Conflict and hatred have to be out of our hearts and minds if we want to make wise decisions and be able to commune with and confer with God.

Today, let's work to remove any anger that is lingering in our hearts and minds towards anyone else.  Let's be strong enough and humble enough to let it go, and resolve any contention we have with others.  Life without anger and hatred is a dream worth working for.  Let's find a way to remove the painful distractions from our lives, learn to give and to love, and most of all, learn how to approach God with nothing weighing on our souls or consciences.

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