Love not Contention

“Contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil; take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness, and as many as repent, and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved.” -Doctrines of the Saints 12:35-36, Avahr 25:40

When we discuss differing opinions, it should be remembered that all are welcome to their beliefs in all matters. We cannot expect one’s beliefs to override the witnesses and testimonies another has received from God. When one feels entitled to answers they come to the table with the spirit of antagonism. This is Ego, speaking in a Kabbalistic sense. It is a seeming entitlement to ‘rightness’ as the sole proprietorship of truth being displayed by Ego.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we must remember that truth comes from God, not man. The scriptures are meant to enhance our relationship with God and guide us toward Him. God and the Spirit are our pinnacle guides and God is the ultimate authority. In true discipleship, we are seekers of truth. We do not claim perfection. Nor do we claim our way to be the only path to Christ. What we do strive toward is unyielding love, acceptance, and support of all who wish to travel the path toward Him.

​”For behold, the ​​​Spirit of Christ​ is given to every ​​​man​, that he may ​​​know​ good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. ​But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do ​​​evil​, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. ​And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the ​​​light​ by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same ​​​judgment​ which ye judge ye shall also be judged.” -Moroni 7:17 RAV, 7:16-18 OPV

In the Latter Day Saint movement a common question is where one’s authority comes. We are a movement based on revelation. The common answer is that our inspiration is revealed and authority given by God. If we believe, know, and understand God worked through Joseph Smith Jr., why does it become impossible for God to continue this pattern today? We must, as Saints, respect the revelations, love, and authority God has given everyone in our shared movement, working together in Christ wherever we are called in the Lord’s vineyard.

We must remember that no mortal person has any right to push judgement or cast stones at any other person.

“when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” -John 8:7

Each of us must remember that our judgement and accountability lies at the feet of God alone. As such, we strive for unconditional, Christlike acceptance and love. If our intention is to bring people to Christ’s love and service, our discussions must be based on love or contention will draw them away. Let the Spirit of God, which is love, be our guide in all things.

“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

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Scott Stover
Scott Stover
3 years ago

Kristine, this is very good. I personally share these sentiments. I wish more people would understand what you are trying to say and why.

I ask the following in sincerity and respect:

Where does the idea of authority come from? Why do so many seem to think that authority is important, and must be received from God, and even received in a certain specified way? I understand that your position (and that of David…even of your fellowship) is that authority is given personally, by revelation, and not conveyed by man, or by a “line” of authority.

But I ask – is not love authority enough? If I do something out of love, is that not the purest form of “in the name of Christ”? Even if performing an ordinance, is not the love behind the performance sufficient authority to validate the ordinance?

I am purposely, openly waxing rhetorical. I’m not seeking to use the rhetoric to manipulate.

If you have an answer, that’s great. If you don’t, that’s ok, too. As with most rhetoric, I have already given what I think is the answer.

But perhaps you have a different viewpoint that I might benefit from.