Throwback Thursday: Elder Hales on Responding to Accusers

elder-hales-in-an-interview-paast-bioLately, I’ve been impressed by the sermons of Robert D. Hales. From an address entitled Christian Courage in October 2008, he taught the importance of being Christlike in our conversations with others:

This is especially important in our interactions with members of other Christian denominations. Surely our Heavenly Father is saddened—and the devil laughs—when we contentiously debate doctrinal differences with our Christian neighbors.

I imagine the same is true when we engage in contentious debates with fellow Latter-day Saints or anyone else for that matter. After all, regardless of the subject matter or the parties involved, the spirit of contention has only one source.

I’ve had more than a few conversations with others who have been critical or dismissive of my beliefs. These interactions have made me think about how I could best respond, and often, I want to do and be better. Here are some additional takeaways from Elder Hales, all direct quotes:

  • Remember that Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world.
  • The Savior responded differently in every situation.
  • When we do not retaliate—when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger—we too stand with the Savior.
  • “The world hath hated [my disciples],” Jesus said, “because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14).
  • True disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition.
  • As true disciples seek guidance from the Spirit, they receive inspiration tailored to each encounter.
  • And in every encounter, true disciples respond in ways that invite the Spirit of the Lord.
  • As true disciples, our primary concern must be others’ welfare, not personal vindication.
  • Without guile, true disciples avoid being unduly judgmental of others’ views.
  • As the Savior demonstrated with Herod, sometimes true disciples must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all.
  • We do not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way—the way of Jesus Christ.
  • …to “love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us]” (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage.

Photo credit: lds.org

 

2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Elder Hales on Responding to Accusers

  1. Having Christian courage, I think, means having confidence because of a security we feel as we follow God and do what he would have us do in our lives. Insecurity makes us want to react with anger or revenge towards other who we feel have wronged us. If we have the security that God gives us by doing what is right, we will feel the influence of the Holy Ghost comforting us, and allowing us to see the bigger picture. Perhaps then we will see that someone’s acts that might offend us are really just a sign that that other person, also a child of God, is really hurting inside themselves. We may or may not be in a position to help that person, but we can help ourselves keep this perspective by living in harmony with the Lord’s spirit. This insight, I hope, will help me be a better Christian and better fellow human being, a better husband and father.

    • Well-said, Procolled. Henry B. Eyring once spoke of how important it is to view ourselves as both a child [of God] and a disciple [of Christ]. When we really see ourselves in that way, there is strength.

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a reply!

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