To fully understand this gift of agency and its inestimable worth, it is imperative that we understand that God's chief way of acting is by persuasion and patience and long-suffering, not by coercion and stark confrontation...He always acts with unfailing respect for the freedom and independence that we possess. He wants to help us and pleads for the chance to assist us, but he will not do so in violation of our agency. He loves us too much to do taht, and doing so would run counter to his divine character."
Why? Because we are made of flesh, blood, and bones, like other men, and sometimes our feelings are warm, when we think about the conduct of our enemies.
But what do the pure principles of the Gospel teach us?
“Be still, and know that I am God, that I rule in the heavens above, and perform my pleasure on the earth, and that I turn the hearts of the children of men, as the rivers of water are turned”
1. Meek and humble--not self-concerned, dismissive, proud, seeking ascendancy. Blessed are the meek because they are not easily offended. Besides, those who "shine as lights in the world" have no need to seek the spotlight! (See Philippians 2:15.) The world's spotlights are not only fleeting, but they employ inferior light!
2. Patient--not hectic, hurried, pushy.
3. Full of love--not demanding, dominating, manipulative, condescending, or harsh.
4. Gentle--not coarse, brusque, and vindictive.
5. Easily entreated--not unapproachable, inaccessible, and nonlistening.
6. Long-suffering--not impatient, disinterested, curt, easily offended. There are so many people in the Church, brothers and sisters, waiting to be offended. And it doesn't take long. If one has a chip on his or her shoulder, you can't make it through the foyer, so to speak, without getting it knocked off.
7. Submissive to God--not resistant to the Spirit, counsel, and life's lessons.
8. Temperate (self-restrained)--not egoistic, eager for attention and recognition, or too talkative. In your life and mine, the great moments of commendation and correction have come usually in one-liners.
9. Merciful--not judgmental and unforgiving. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall know the caress of causality as their forgiving mercy restores others to wholeness! Though God is perfected in the attributes of justice and mercy, we read that, finally, "Mercy overpowereth justice" (Alma 34:15).
10. Gracious--not tactless, easily irritated, ungenerous.
11. Holy--not worldly.
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