To build a testimony of Jesus Christ, we need to control our anger toward His other children, even when we don’t share the same opinions.
When I was a child, one of my father’s favorite spiritual lessons was about bridling passions (Alma 38:12). He would explain what the function of a horse bridle was, then teach us why it was important for us to rein in strong feelings like anger, and then he would be the “horsey” as we rode around on his back. It was an effective visual that I still recall easily; and that’s good, because I need that bridle—we all need it—now more than ever.
In Elder Quentin L. Cook’s recent address, he said that if we want to have a testimony of Jesus Christ, we must bridle our passions. He said, “Anger…can cause great heartache, diminish the influence of the Spirit, and separate us from God and His work. The adversary takes every opportunity to fill our lives with images of violence.” To have a close relationship with our Heavenly Father, we must control our anger and be kind, no matter the circumstances.
These days, some of the strongest anger is found in societal and political discussions. On social media, people spew insults, lies, and accusations, rarely thinking about the flesh-and-blood people on the other side of the screen. People harass and mock others for their opinions. People resist sharing their views online for fear of being attacked. They make each other miserable.
We have a duty to keep our anger from hurting God’s other children. Elder Cook reminds us that to be able to maintain a testimony, we must develop Christlike qualities like patience, charity, and humility. Unfortunately, many people have abandoned those qualities in favor of anger and hatred. The world needs us to bridle that anger. Our brothers and sisters need us to pause before we type that comment, to count to ten before we argue, and to listen in ways that help them feel understood.
To read more about how to maintain a testimony of and relationship with God, read Elder Quentin L. Cook’s full article “Be True to God and His Work.”
—Suzanne Uchytil, Latter-day Saint Insights
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Find more insights
Take a look at Allie Arnell Hamilton’s article “Peaceful Politics: What Past Leaders Teach Us about Civic Charity” for examples of charity from American leaders.
Read Dylan Parker’s article “Love Is Our Response” to learn more about how we can love the people we don’t agree with.