Tolerance, Compassion and Offense

“Tolerance is not the same thing as acceptance, and acceptance is not the same thing as an endorsement.” – Larry Alex Taunton, The Atlantic

Such a simple truth…

In this country do we not have the simple right to be offended? Isn’t it okay? Isn’t it enough? Can’t we simply be offended by something someone says or does without becoming intolerant of their right to an opinion or position? Do we really need to silence and punish those who disagree with us or think differently? I’m not talking about any sort of right to protest on someone’s front lawn but simply the right to have personal beliefs and principles and to share them when appropriate.

Why is this relatively simple concept so difficult for so many to understand? I seem to remember guidance and direction from my childhood that is pertinent even in this day and age. After my feelings had been hurt by something someone said to me I was told, “just don’t pay them any mind, they simply don’t know any better.”

It is entirely possible to abhor sin in all it’s forms without hating the sinners themselves. This is very fortunate since we’re all sinners.  Choose compassion and don’t compromise your morals. As a result you will live a happier life and our society as a whole will benefit.

Abraham Lincoln, 1863…

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth, and power as no other Nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us.

“It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” (John Wesley Hill, Abraham Lincoln, Man of God, 4th ed., New York: G. P. Putnams Sons, p. 391.)

A Witness and a Warning

“I fully believe that we can turn things around in America if we have the determination, the morality, the patriotism, and the spirituality to do so.”

“I testify to you that God’s hand has been in our destiny. I testify that freedom as we know it today is being threatened as never before in our history.

“May God bless us that, with His help, we will not fail to bring to pass His purposes on earth.”

Ezra Taft Benson, “A Witness and a Warning,” Ensign, Nov 1979, 31

Reflections of Christ

At this time of year the thoughts of many of us tend to shift from the worries of the rest of the year and turn to things of a more eternal perspective.  Mark Mabry and his crew have produced a wonderful exhibit described at his website, Reflections of Christ, that focuses on Christ in, what I consider to be, a most thoughtful and extremely touching manner.

This first video looks at Christ’s birth, death, and glorious Resurrection and recreates some of the stories and scenes we remember from the New Testament.

This second video focuses on Christ’s visit to the Americas, following his Resurrection, as described in The Book of Mormon.  Just as in the first video, the emotions expressed by those being photographed are so real and genuine that I think it’s hard to not feel the emotions yourself.

I hope that you will enjoy these videos as much as I do.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!