----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Cobabe" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2003 6:14 PM
Subject: RE: [ZION] Punch Their Lights Out

> Returning good for evil is an intriguing idea.  But the suggestion in
> this context brings more questions than it seems to answer.
I don't see it as raising so many questions. It certainly tests us in this
context and in almost every context. What context do you see the application
of  "returning good for evil" as being more appropriate?

The exceptions you raise, of Christ cleansing the temple, for example, must
be seen in the greater context of God's will.  Occasionally we are asked,
when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and only when moved upon by the Holy
Ghost, to take a more judgmental and aggressive response. Like Nephi  in 1
Nephi disposing of Laban.  The exceptions don't complicate the general rule,
which is to love your fellowman at all times and to treat him as though he
has great worth (D&C 18) even when his current behavior seems to contradict
that designation. And Paul seems to add, especially when his behavior shows
questionable worth on his part. (Romans 12.)

Returning love to those who mistreat us is exceedingly difficult and can,
when we have been severely or continuously abused, only be accomplished, I
believe, by an appeal to and the ministration of the Holy Ghost. But it's so
necessary.  We can't truly love God and hate our fellow men, because our
hatred puts us at odds with God's wishes. God's wish is to bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of all men.  He wants us all to succeed, and
that means for us to get along with each other.  In an interesting sense
that's the whole of the gospel, at least it's the first great commandment
and the second that's like unto it.

Even when God has prompted aggressive judgmental action, it has not been a
green light to be hateful. Nephi did not take joy in cutting Laban's head
off, even though Laban had sought to take his life and stood in the way of
Nephi's need to get hold of the brass plates. Nephi's test here was one of
obedience to a very distasteful task. Not the sort of response that is
indicative of the phrase "punch their lights out". Of course if our urge to
"punch their lights out" is prompted by the Holy Ghost as a righteous
judgment and necessary in God's plan, then I guess we should go ahead. But
I'd check with the prophet first on that one, because these people are
protesting against the church as a whole and the response to them by
individual members should conform with the directions given by the prophet
of the church. Has President Hinckley issued a statement on the protests and
how members are expected to deal with them?


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