Fighting With Shadows

I’ve been angry these past few days. Politicians have been doing stupid things and blaming each other for them. I keep wanting to sit them down, explain to them the laws of common sense, and slap them in the face. Our old landlords still haven’t gotten back to us about our missing-half-of security deposit. I kind of want to sit them down and show them the receipt and slap them in the face. This morning, we found out that a man who served in Ethan’s mission is leaving the Church – among other reasons – because of the way he was treated by a local authority. It makes me sad. I want to sit him down, talk to him about God for a while, and somehow box some sense into him.

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On my mission, one of my companions and I would joke about writing “DUH!”on a 2×4 and carrying it around with us so we could conk people on the head when they said something that didn’t make any sense. Things like, “If God told me I was wrong, I couldn’t believe Him, because I’m always right.” I often wanted to use the DUH! stick when people thought Utah was on the west coast, right next to California. (Landlocked state, people. Landlocked.)

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And then I thought about it. I was reading the words of the prophets this morning, when it just kind of – well, slapped me in the face. You can’t fight darkness. I can’t smack the doubts out of anybody’s mind. But the darkness will leave when the room – or the mind – is illuminated. I can walk around all day kick-boxing at shadows, but all it’s going to get me is a good workout and some really weird looks from passersby. But if I bring a flashlight, I can remove the shadows entirely.

I promise I’m not a violent person. But maybe my immediate reaction is to verbally attack – and that’s not kind, nor is it effective. I need to make more of an effort to understand people from here on out. If somebody says something that doesn’t make sense, I should find out why it makes sense to them – maybe they’ve got some corners of their mind that haven’t been lit yet. Or maybe they’ve got some light that I haven’t considered. At any rate, I need to work on kindling the fire in others’ minds, rather than snuffing it out. I want to push away the shadows by letting in the sunlight. 

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