I’ll admit it; I was beat by Article of Faith 13.
Maybe not so much beat as intimidated. It is longer and looks harder, but I finally did memorize it.
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and we hop to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
This last week, my mind has thought often on the role of charity and, in particular, some of the attitudes and qualities listed in the thirteenth Article of Faith. Late last week, I got an e-mail containing an article predicting the next few years of American history. The e-mail was written from the far right-wing perspective and, to sum it all succinctly, basically said that we are all going to hell in a handbasket.
My first thought after reading it was that it was a typical commentary from the minority side of politics. It was no different than what we heard from the left side several years ago except that the names and places were changed. But I also found myself agreeing with much of what the author said.
Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely reject inflammatory commentaries from any side as inappropriate and unconducive of productive dialog. In some ways, I strongly agree with my wife who famously stated her political opinion as follows: “I don’t have to explain myself to you; get over it!” But I also enjoy discussing the state of the nation with well-informed, open-minded people who enjoy seeing why I feel the way I do as much as I enjoy seeing why they feel the way they do.
I discussed the article with some good friends. Between the three of us, we have three distinctly different political persuasions, and we often use each other as a way of honing our own opinions and thoughts regarding politics. After talking to them, I was reminded of another friend who had a former boss she despised. One day she was walking down the hall behind him when she had the distinct impression that he too was a child of God and that God loved him enough to give His Son. She went on to say that her perspective of that boss changed. She didn’t necessarily like him more or less than previously, but she did have a more Christ-like view of the value he had in God’s eyes.
I suppose the point of all this is that I believe that the vast majority of our leaders are doing what they honestly feel is right and correct. I won’t ever fully agree with any political leader, and I don’t think that matters. I am becoming increasingly disappointed with the constant dialog on both sides of the fence about the wickedness and evil of either side. To invoke the cliche: Can’t we all just get along? And I mean that sincerely.
This last Article of Faith is my favorite, and I can see why it seems to be the most quoted as part of that “rite of passage” from Primary to Young Adults. It defines us. We are honest. We are true. We are chaste. We do believe in doing good to all men. And more than that, we believe that is possible in anyone.
Obama will probably never fully satisfy in all he does. He’s already disappointed in some areas, so I guess that goal is shot, but I believe that he will try his best to do what is right according to his beliefs and ideals. As long as he does that, he has my full respect and support.