(December 11, 2015)
I had a pair of thoughts as I read through this Section. The first was the fact that the Lord Himself acknowledged that there were those people who loved to have others suffer. We are taught not to judge in this Church, and I think that sometimes we allow that commandment to carry over into our view of mortality. While we are not to make any decisions as to whether this or that person is evil, it is unquestionable (because the Lord explicitly states it) that there are those who are evil. As He says here, there are those people who love to cause suffering in others. It is beyond our stewardship to say that a particular person is evil, but it naïve to believe that non one is evil (or even that few people are evil).
The other thought was the Lord’s statement that people cry transgression because they themselves are the servants of sin, and the children of disobedience. As much as I would like to apply this to my current situation (and I think it applicable), it seems even more beneficial to apply it to the situation we find ourselves in overall.
Since the Church released its policy change on homosexual marriage, there have been countless attacks on the Church. I have been tracking some of those making these comments, and reading prior comments that they have made. What seems almost universal is the fact that the people for whom this was the “last straw” are almost always people who have criticized the Church for years. They are people who have left the Church, or don’t believe in the Church.
Perhaps there are exceptions to this general rule – I cannot see into anyone’s heart. But there is enough evidence there, combined with this scripture, to make me feel certain that criticizing our leaders (especially unjustly) is a sign of significant sin in our own hearts.