I honestly don’t know where to start, what to say. Words are my life, I have always prided myself on having the words to say in every situation. But things are happening and people are talking and writing and emotions are running high. I have wanted to write something, but the more I read and hear the more I just want to shout at everyone to stop talking. Everyone has an opinion and everyone believes their opinion is right and all others are wrong and no one wants to take any time or make any effort to listen to anyone else or compromise in any fashion or discuss anything with any civility.
People are angry and people disagree over basic fundamental truths and that makes things difficult.
But, there are a few things that I would like to say now, a few thoughts I have been having. I have always found that the best way to organize my thoughts is to write them down. I often work my way through a difficult topic or theme by writing an essay on it – discovering just how I feel about it as I type the words down. Here goes:
I don’t want to preach or pretend that I have answers that are any better than the answers that have been offered by others. I don’t want to tell people that they are wrong or that they shouldn’t be feeling or thinking the way that they do. I don’t want to shame any one for thinking or not thinking a certain way.
Yet, I strongly believe that everyone has a right to speak what they feel is right. And I have thoughts and beliefs that are very dear to me and when I see and hear and read about people saying and doing things that I fundamentally disagree with I find that I cannot remain silent or I fear that I may become complacent and complicit.
Do what is right, let the consequence follow. Those are the words to a beloved Latter-day Saint hymn. Each of us is ultimately responsible and answerable to our God, our Father, for the words we speak and the actions we take. If we strive to live our lives in such a way that we can feel the influence of the Holy Spirit, where our thoughts and words and actions are guided by God, then we will find that we will know what to say and do. And it will not matter if or how many people notice us or agree with us. If we do what is right we can let the consequence follow and know that we have done what is right before God.
And how do we know what is right? We need to read the scriptures and be familiar with the word of God. We need to pray and converse with our Father. And we need to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to teach us all things what we should do and to bring all things to our remembrance.
There are actually very few times when the Lord had spoken to the whole earth and laid out commandments that apply equally to all people. Mostly, the Lord asks and expects us to come unto him, to know him and to develop a deep and personal relationship with him so that he can help us individually through each day.
I look at the world today and I almost weep for the anger and sorrow and pain and suffering and conflict and confusion that I see. And then I remember that the prophet Enoch looked up and saw the God of Heaven weeping and asked him how this could be. The response was, “Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood”
I cannot do much to change the world, but I can do much to change myself and my family and those around me. I can be a little kinder to those I come into contact with, I can do more to reach out to my neighbors in love and friendship, I can stand up and speak up when I see those who are in need or being hurt or oppressed. I can.
I have been overwhelmed lately with all of the negative reports in the news, of all the reports of sorrow and suffering. I have struggled to find what I can do with my limited means and influence. And I have been impressed that I need to spend more of my time focusing on the positive and working to #ShareGoodness.
There is still much to be glad for. I am in absolute awe of the overall peaceful transition of power in the United States. President Obama, even though he knows that President Trump will work to reverse everything he has worked for these last 8 years, did nothing to prevent President Trump from taking office.
If you want to know just how bad things could have been, look at what is happening in the Gambia.
I am impressed with all of my friends and many others who are getting out and getting involved. They are finding causes that they are passionate about and rolling up their sleeves and asking ‘How can I help?’ The only way that this will change is if people stand up and work to change it. Do what is right.
I do not presume to know what you should do, how you should think or feel about any particular subject, but I would encourage you to take some time and consider these things for yourself. There is One who can tell you what you should be doing in your sphere of influence and if you ask, God will give you answer. For me, I am going to love my family more, I am going to love my friends and neighbors more, and I am going to do more to share the love that I feel from God with those who do not feel that same love.
God is Love. God is the Father of us all and so we are all an eternal family and we should be doing more for each other because of that fact.