(September 19, 2015)
The Lord is very clear that His battles are His battles to win, and our job is just to fight in them. The Lord expressly states wo be to them that lie because they think that another lies. He doesn’t say this only because (as in the case with Joseph) sometimes you could be wrong about the one you are lying about. No, it is far more insidious when you believe that the sins of another justify you in engaging in deceit.
I have, sadly, gone through this process myself. There are those in my life who became convinced that I was lying about a given subject (I wasn’t, but that is irrelevant for this discussion). Because they thought that I was guilty of something and just not getting caught, they determined that they would fabricate evidence of my crimes. Surely that wouldn’t be too bad, right? After all, all they were doing was lying about the evidence they had about something that I must be doing and getting away with.
The cascading consequences from this dishonesty on their part has been horrific. It has been tragic to me, to them, and to a number of innocents hurt by their actions. They cannot admit to their lies (even now), and have tied themselves to their lies like an anchor. While I hope for their repentance for their actions (and I certainly no longer bear them ill will – through everything, the Lord has greatly blessed me far more than they have hurt me), I don’t see how they can get from where they are to where they would need to be to repent.
That is the great danger of excusing our own behavior based upon the behavior of others. Once we put us in the ‘good’ category and someone else in the ‘evil’ category, and we then say that we can take whatever evil actions we need to take and they will be justified because we are ‘good’ and they are ‘evil,’ we place ourselves beyond the power of the Atonement – not because the Lord cannot save us but rather because in the very moment we sin we feel that we do not need saving. We enact damnation on our souls.
This Section contains another reminder of who makes up the Lord’s Church – whosoever repents and comes to the Lord is His Church. If we justify our evil because of someone else’s evil, we are no longer repenting of that evil and have by so doing placed ourselves outside of His Church.