(October 19, 2015)
We will, as we strive to live the Gospel in a pluralistic (and, increasingly, unrighteous) society, fall into situations where it is necessary to take a stand to defend not only our beliefs but also our rights to hold those beliefs. Just as Moroni realized that he needed to take his sword and kill his enemy in order to preserve his right to worship God, we too will ultimately find ourselves in conflict (hopefully not mortal conflict, but that is largely outside of our control) to preserve this very same right for us.
There is much to learn about how we should respond in these situations from
Moroni. First, he backed off when he had control of
the situation. He did not back off
before, when the issue was in doubt, nor did he continue to fight when the
situation was in control. He backed off
once he was certain of the victory.
At this point, he gave his enemy an opportunity to escape the consequences of his own unrighteous behavior. In all honesty, this is somewhat amazing to me. He faced an enemy that was seeking for power, who unjustly hated him and his people, who had undoubtedly killed those he loved (and would have gladly killed him). And yet, despite all of this (and despite perhaps his enemy ‘deserving’ destruction), he backed off at the moment he had control of the situation rather than pursue justice or retribution.
Seeing this, in my current situation, is really quite amazing to me and brings home what kind of man
was. I aspire to that level of love for
those who intentionally work to hurt (or destroy) you, but I am not there yet.