Amazed at the talks so far. President Oaks’ talk on loving one another touched me deeply.
Discussing the turmoils of our times, especially here in the United States, he noted that the Savior has called upon us to love all people. Pres Oaks noted this includes those who disagree with us on politics, policies and important issues of the day.
First, he encouraged us to love our political opponents. We should speak with love and civility towards those we disagree with. Given the incivility of the day – for example the presidential debate was filled with it from both major parties – it is time we begin to replace contention with love. The first thing Jesus taught the Nephites is that contention is of the devil, and we should instead emulate the Savior and Father (3 Nephi 11). I hope in the coming month, as we approach the election, we can all speak kind words to each other, even in discussing politics and politicians.
2nd, Pres Oaks discussed our Constitutional freedoms and responsibilities. We have freedoms given us in the First Amendment of speech and assembly. Government must respect these freedoms. At the same time, these freedoms do not allow us to riot nor rampage.
3rd, We are duty bound to obey the laws of the land. Christ told us to render the things of Caesar unto Caesar, and the things of God to God. We are to work within the boundaries of the law to seek redress and fix bad laws.
4th, The Constitution is inspired of God to bless people in all lands. It is not a perfect document, and so we’ve amended it to better perfect it, such as giving women the vote and ending slavery. The American ideal is found in the Declaration of Independence, which notes we are all equal under our Creator and given inalienable rights. That ideal is enshrined in the Constitution’s powers to protect individual rights, and seeks to increase and improve those rights as we go along.
5th, Racism still exists. Not only is there racism towards black people, but also Latinos and Asians, among others. We cannot be passive in regards to this racism. We must actively, but peaceably, seek to overcome such things. This includes ending bad laws that place both police and minorities in a bad place – in contention against one another.
6th, Mob rule, or anarchy, is bad. We cannot abide by it, as we cannot abide by tyranny of government. As we seek to have Christ like love, we will seek righteous laws that will allow all peoples to enjoy the good portions of their cultures, while encouraging us to leave behind those portions that harm.
7th, True patriotism is about the Constitution and freedom. Any other form of national pride cannot bring freedom and unity. We need to focus ourselves politically through the prism of the Constitution.
Pres Oaks found the true middle ground between the contention and division. He condemned the mob riots, but also condemned racism. He encouraged us to obey the law, while seeking peacefully to end bad laws that harm minorities. He encouraged us to refocus on the Constitution as the inspired document we should hold up. Most importantly, he explained that all our problems can only be solved through Christ-like Love.