Monday, January 18, 2010

Love Your Enemies

“How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?"

Enoch saw the earth and all the people living in it. He saw wickedness and hatred and Satan with a great chain in his hand veiling the face of the earth in darkness. Satan looked up toward Heaven and laughed. And the Heavens wept.

“How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever... and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?”

And the Lord said: “Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood... Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?” (Moses 7:28-37)

We all have the capacity to choose our own progenitors. We can be children of God of children of Satan and the choice is made by the doctrine we choose to follow. The Title of Father is given to God the Father (Matthew 5:48; 6:9; 16:17), Jesus Christ (Mosiah 5:7; 15:1-3) and Satan (Moses 7:37; 3 Nephi 11:29; 2 Nephi 9:9). As children share the attributes of their parents, so do the spiritual offspring of God or Satan share the characteristics of their spiritual parents.

John said: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:8-11)

The simplicity of the message is striking—that we should love one another—this is what makes all the difference. Nephi prophesied: “For behold, at that day shall he [Satan] rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.” (2 Nephi 28:20) These are the fruits of Satanic progeny—hatred, anger, emnity.

Conversely, Christ says “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) And this call is universal. Loving our own friends just won’t cut it. Jesus says “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven...” (Matthew 5:44-45) This is a hard saying. Are we able to hear it? (John 6:60) This doctrine must be taken seriously because it is forms the basis of our relationship with God. We become children of our “Father which is in heaven” by loving all, including our enemies.

I think it is safe to say that what is taught here is that we should not only love our enemies but we should in fact have no enemies at all. If we have enemies, let it be by their will and not by our own. Let our enemies be conquered not through violence, but by turning enemies into friends. This does not mean that our friends will respond in the same spirit of friendship. But as Disciples of Christ let us be friends to all and thus become children of Christ and children of our Heavenly Father.

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