Snakes, Wolves, and Doves – On Loving those Who Hate Us

By Asa Laws and Zachary Collier

Our thought tonight comes from Matthew 10, as the Savior counseled with the twelve before sending them off into the world. He said that they were being sent like lambs before wolves, so they should be prudent, or wise, like snakes. He also told them, however, to be inoffensive and peaceful – like doves.

This counsel is good for us as we are living in a world of wolves now. As members of the Church, we stand out. We look, sound, and act differently. Things sacred to us are called silly by others, and are “trod underfoot of men.” We are the easy prey of the world, and we are preyed upon in the press and especially by countless people online.

Even as such, we should remember to be courageous and wise, and hold our ground. As members of Christ’s Church, we don’t fight by boasting. We don’t fight by offending. We don’t revert to tactics of pride.

We are fighting a Holy War. A war against prejudice, a war against deceit, a war against sin and hatred of all kinds. A war that is truly holy, dedicated to God, and sacred, is fought His way. Holy Wars are waged by humility. The Prophet Joseph declared, “I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world… It will not be by sword or gun that this kingdom will roll on: the power of truth is such that all nations will be under the necessity of obeying the Gospel.”

If we wish to win this fight, we must resist employing the same tactics our enemies use. Name calling, discrimination, half truths, ignorant remarks, judgments, etc. have no place in Mormonism. We must use peace, kindness, service, persuasion, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and faith. When there are problems in the world that need solving, those attributes – taught to us by the Gospel of our Lord – become necessities.

We also need to trust that the Lord will support us during our trials. The Prophet Joseph again declared: “Hell may pour forth its rage like the burning lava of Mount Vesuvius… and yet shall ‘Mormonism’ stand… God is the author of it. He is our shield… and in His Almighty name we are determined to endure tribulation as good soldiers unto the end.”

So when we interact with others who perhaps view our faith unkindly, remember to be as wise as a serpent, but as harmless as a dove.

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