Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spirit of Contention

Near the end of the meeting, my youngest son went outside to walk around. Then he came back in and told my other son to come quickly and see what was outside.

What they saw was a flock of fledgling doves on the lawn outside the auditorium. It was a large, tame flock of very young birds, at least 40 of them, separated into two groups. They let my sons walk right up to them and only flew off at the very last moment.

When the young flock flew off, they saw an old, wounded dove, sitting on the ground and unable to fly. Sick and struggling, the old dove seemed to be dying. Unable to flee, the old dove only had the power to look forlornly and turn its head.

As they looked at the stricken dove, my sons noticed, across the courtyard, another spectacle. Two large black crows fighting, pecking and rolling in the dirt, locked in a mortal battle, violently contending.

These three signs appeared in rapid succession, inside of a few moments, witnessed by many children.

When my sons came back into the auditorium, the vote had commenced, with two large flocks of people, very tame and docile, attempting to work together to find common ground in peace. Midway through the proceedings, however, the dove was stricken, and a spectacle of contention commenced, disturbing the peace of all. Sadly and unfortunately, many left the meeting shocked, dismayed, and disappointed that the spirit of contention took over and held sway. After the meeting I heard from two different people in other states who watched the proceedings on video feed. Both expressed shock and disappointment with the spirit that was manifest.
As people you lack the ability to respectfully disagree among one another. You are as Paul and Peter whose disagreements resulted in jarring and sharp contentions. Nevertheless they both loved me and I loved them. You must do better. (Answer and Covenant, p. 1) 
The Lord does not fault us for disagreeing, but he admonishes that we must disagree respectfully.

8 comments:

  1. A friend wrote this prayer. I give it my amen:

    _Father in heaven, we have labored as a body to compose the required statement of principles but admittedly have divisions, and have members who yet cannot mutually agree. We have members who are weary of all the tools we have thus far attempted to utilize, and we confess that as yet have not been able to succeed in fulfilling the assignment in a way we all feel is honorable and indicative of the destination we desire to reach._

    _How would you direct us to fulfill this assignment in our present circumstance when there are many with inspiration they feel is from you but which sometimes conflict with each other? How would you direct us to honorably fulfill this assignment when we struggle to both agree on content as well as a process to create a statement of principles that will bless others? We pray Lord, tell us your part._

    _We as a body would rather wait patiently upon you than rush ahead and yet again fall short of the beliefs we profess. We acknowledge you have instructed and corrected us in the A&C,for which we are thankful. As we each attempt to live those teachings in our individual lives we petition for further direction in the completion of this assignment, petitioning your merciful hand to heal our hearts that we may be one. Help us make this assignment a light thing by revealing your part, and if needed correcting us. We ask that you make your will known in a way that each of us, and all of us, may know that the answer came from you, so that we trust not in the arm of the flesh. We are weak, broken, and prone to err, but we believe through Christ, all things are possible._

    _In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen._

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  2. My husband and I and our oldest daughter would have been at this meeting, but my husband had a heart attack on Wednesday, and so we could not go. We watched on the video stream. I so want our hearts to all be one in love. I really don't care what else we agree or disagree on at this point. I add an Amen to the above prayer. I would ask with my small voice that if there is any way everyone could pray together, like the above prayer, tomorrow during the meeting, that we do that.

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  3. I appreciated the spirit of reconciliation that prevailed outside the venue afterwards. I witnessed many hearts softening.

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  4. Just reading in 3 Nephi about the disputations concerning what name to call the church.Have they not read the scriptures which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? Have we not read in the Prayer and Answer to the Covenant to write a Statement of Principles 6 times. To be added as a guide and standard to what? The sriptures, which are a guide and standard. What is a statement of principles that we have been asked to write three times in the prayer and three times the answer. Have we given it depends ponderous thought as to whether a statement of principles is. Denver said a pattern in searching or what the mutual agreement meant. He said he spent two months and keep in ponderous thought about it before he even asked and then spent two months praying before he received an answer. Where is it that we were asked to write a guide and standard? Maybe some of the disputations are a result of not respecting the Lord's words.

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  5. The wonderful feeling of the talks and music was totally crushed and destroyed by those who freely participated with yelling and disagreeing came to an all out hate fest!! Satan entered the building!! The enemy is trying and yesterday succeeded in destroying this movement's progression!!

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  6. We may want to consider that no one can take our peace from us. We alone allow Satan to enter our hearts and bring contention. People may have strong opinions and even though we may disagree with those opinions, that alone does not create divisiveness or exclusion. Remember, we are a work in progress and can still love each other and our differences.

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  7. I have been thinking a lot on what are the signs of the different birds. What does it all mean? I was struggling to figure out who or what the old wounded dove represented. I think it is Wisdom herself.

    We can stop being froward and help heal the old wounded dove by doing as the Answer and Covenant states, "I command you to be wise in word and kind in deed as you write what I require of you."

    Maybe it has been a blessing in disguise that we are still unresolved with what to do about the Guiding Principle.

    It just a thought...Maybe now we can use some of Wisdom's counsel and make this a light thing indeed.

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