Tuesday, February 21, 2017

D&C 134:9 -- On Religious Influence

"We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied."
Doctrine and Covenants 134:9

There is a lot of good, interesting stuff in this section, but this verse stood out to me because it is basically saying what the First Amendment does, emphasizing the separation of church and state... the idea that we shouldn't encourage or discourage religion, or any particular religion by law.  I think sometimes as religious people we forget how wise that law is, and how much it protects us, and everyone else... and perhaps we need a reminder now and then that God supports that same idea.  God has never been about coercion or using undue influence to accomplish his goals.  He made us free, and he isn't interested in us trying to tear down any of that freedom in his name.  That would be a misrepresentation of everything that he stands for.

Today, let's remember that God supports the individual rights of all people, whatever religion they belong to.  Let's remember that tearing down anyone else's rights also erodes our rights, and that if we want justice for ourselves, we also have to support justice for others.  It is hard to remember sometimes, because probably all of us want good things to prevail over bad things.  Good people over bad people.  But let's also be humble enough to remember that we don't always agree on what is good and bad, even in our families... and we *definitely* can't see into other people's hearts to know whether they are good or bad, or will become such.  We can't see the consequences of our decisions the way that God can, and listening to his wisdom, and walking in the ways that he has asked, is the best way, for ourselves and for others, because God knows what is coming, and how to protect us all and bring us back to him in the end with joy and peace and love.  Let's trust him over ourselves, and work to let go of our biases and our stubbornness, and see what God has in store by walking in his way, and not our own.

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