There Is Always an Olive Branch

Maybe the path to peace entails not only forgiveness but understanding.

We all seek to be understood and loved.

Photo by Lee Seonghak

With billions of people in the world, it may seem impossible to understand and love everyone. Sister Kathleen H. Hughes discusses this difficulty—and how to overcome it—in her 2005 general conference address, “That We May All Sit Down in Heaven Together.”

Sister Hughes explains that in this life we need to breach the barriers between each other and acknowledge each other as children of God and as fallible humans.

Although this talk mainly addresses Latter-day Saint women, the message of helping others spans across all demographics. It can certainly apply when thinking of enemies. I use the word enemy loosely, because no one is truly against us except for Satan himself. At some level, we all seek to be understood and loved, and those who would antagonize us are no different.

We should approach each interaction with antagonists as a chance to extend to them an olive branch of peace. This approach goes beyond forgiveness; acceptance is what is needed. Acceptance of mistakes, of the past, and of the future. We can then focus on interacting with others in the best possible way.

Mistakes should not bar our acceptance of people, because we are all imperfect humans. Everyone can be helped and understood; we need only take the opportunity to do so.

Learn more by reading “That We May All Sit Down in Heaven Together.” 

Source: LDS General Conference

—Linde Fielding, Mormon Insights

feature image by chezbeate

Find more insights

Read or watch “That We May Be One” for more insight about accepting and drawing closer to each other.

For advice on how to avoid judging others, check out “Judging Others—Just Stop It.”

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