Active love and acceptance transcend mortal politics—but how can we live it?
To say that the last year has been a charged one would be an understatement. Division has been at an all-time high, with issues like racial injustice, mask mandates, and even expansionist dogma on the world stage. It truly has been a year of wars and rumors of wars.
With this backdrop, I find President Dallin H. Oaks’s October 2020 general conference talk, “Love Your Enemies,” to be of particular relevance. Elder Oaks observes that political statements and “unkind references” have slipped into Church meetings.
Throughout the talk, he affirms our responsibility not only to be civil with one another but to love each other despite our differences, no matter how large. This love, active love, requires caring for others and choosing not to be angry. As President Oaks says, “Anger is the way to division and enmity.” Instead of choosing to be angry, we must choose to love actively and wholly, without a mind to anything else.
More than politics, more than nationality, more than anything, we are the children of a loving Heavenly Father. There is no distinction more meaningful. As President Oaks observes, “Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a divine vision of the worth of all others.”
We must choose to love—not merely to be civil or quiet, but to be open and compassionate—or we will ultimately play into the hands of the adversary. President Oaks reminds us that no matter how righteous our cause, we need not allow ourselves to be subsumed by anger or partisan thinking. Even though such efforts may be difficult, President Oaks assures us that the Savior himself will help us: “He gave this command to love, and He promises His help as we seek to obey it.”
Read President Dallin H. Oaks’s full talk “Love Your Enemies” to learn more about how to respond in times of crisis.
—Dylan Parker, Latter-Day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY MOHAMED HASSAN
Find more insights
To read more about the commonalities we have with others, read “Remembering Our True Identities” by Luke Van Zyl.
For more ways to find connection during times of strife, try reading “There Is Always An Olive Branch” by Linde Fielding.