In a world full of opinions and online shaming, extreme sides and empty noise, it may often feel like we’re shouting into a void when we stand up for what we believe in. Does someone change their mind on an issue because of a social media post? Will everyone roll up their sleeves and get to work when something is no longer trending in the public consciousness? Do we know as a society how to work together to change the world for good?
The answer, more often than not, seems to be a resounding no.
As we face and will continue to face confusion and contention in the world around us, we are blessed to have the supreme example of Jesus Christ to inspire us. Jesus was revolutionary because He sought to conquer people’s hearts, rather than cities. Instead of forums to convince and change minds, He planted seeds of faith and love. He knew in order to grow in grace and truth we would need new, soft hearts instead of the stony ones so impacted by the influence of the world. By understanding how Jesus impacted the world around Him as part of His divine mission, we can better understand how we can impact the world for good.
Jesus Taught the Truth
Jesus taught and lived eternal truths. He said, “If ye then are ye my indeed; And ye shall the , and the shall make you .” With so much information (and misinformation) available at our fingertips, learning and applying truth is essential. We discover truth through study, pondering, and prayer. We should seek out multiple viewpoints, take a close look at sources for credibility, and ask ourselves if the information we’re reviewing aligns with the two great commandments to love God and love others.in my word,
Then, we can share truth clearly and confidently. While the passion of our convictions can help inspire others, we should try to avoid complicated arguments that are manipulative or distort the truth in order to be more persuasive. We can rely on the Holy Ghost to allow truth to impact others. Remember Nephi taught that “thetaketh the to be hard, for it them to the very center.”
Jesus Embodied Humility
Unless we are careful, feeling learned and full of truth can easily lead to pride. Jesus glorified the Father in all things; the truths of the gospel were not used to heighten His station or provoke worldly acclaim. In John 5:19, He told an angry mob, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what hethe do.” He also said, “I do of myself; but as my hath me, I these things.”
People are almost immediately put off when someone acts like they are superior in intelligence or understanding. We should not only avoid acting superior, but we should believe in the principle of progression. There is not a single point in this life where we will have learned it all. We must always rely on God and give glory to Him for whatever we’ve come to understand. We should embrace opportunities to see different perspectives and to learn from others. We must especially remain open to learning from God and to be corrected.
Elder F. Enzio Busche once said, “God knows better than you what you need. He always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us – everything will fall into its place.” As we embrace humility, our motivations are purified and we become more powerful and inspired in sharing our messages.
Jesus Offered Bold Invitations
Jesus always offered bold invitations to those He taught. To some, He said, “Come, follow me.” To others, “Go, and sin no more.” When correcting Peter, He even said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” What do all of these instances have in common? Jesus knew exactly who He was talking to, He understood the capacity of the person, and He didn’t shy away from asking that person to give Him their all.
In all of our interactions, we should remember the divinity of all God’s children and the admonition to love our enemies. Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can discover the rudimentary seeds of light in every child of God, even if they use their agency not to nourish those seeds. This mindset will link us to Christ’s vision, leading to increased inspiration on how to be courageous in inviting others to act.
Jesus Frequently Forgave
We are commanded to forgive. It is natural, especially in the face of atrocity, to long for revenge and retribution. In our efforts to seek justice, we should be wary of acidic hate trying to corrode our sensitivity to the Spirit. Forgiveness is not absolution. Forgiveness does not remove consequences. Forgiveness means you recognize God is the ultimate judge and are willing to give up the decision on how to judge to him.
Do not remain in dangerous situations. Do not tolerate evil. But forgive faults, extend mercy, and hold out a helping hand. Jesus said throughout scripture that His “hand is outstretched still.” If we are serious in emulating His example, we should do all we can to keep our hands extended towards all of God’s children.
Jesus Never Compared Pain
Pain can be compared. Levels of impact and tragedy do exist on a scale that is often murky. It’s clear that an emotional scrape is not the same as an emotional bullet hole. Decades of systematic racism don’t compare to someone feeling uncomfortable as they discover truths about the society and culture we live in. Jesus is astonishing because He never uses His pain against us, even though He has every right to.
On the scale of pain, He wins. Every time. His suffering for all mankind is unfathomable. Yet, He does not compare His experience to ours except to offer hope in redemption. He does not tell us our pain does not matter or is inconsequential because His is greater. He honors all pain. He seeks to comfort the child who loses a favorite toy, a man who was rejected by the girl he liked, the young woman who has been sexually assaulted, the victims of catastrophic natural disasters, and the communities devastated and tormented by racism. He seeks to comfort us all.
We shouldn’t make light of serious issues (thereby preventing prompt aid) by pitting clearly lesser experiences against those of greater magnitudes. But it is an honest truth that pain can make people weak. The natural man makes us concerned with our pain and our pain alone. If we want to ask someone to take on more pain, we make them stronger by acknowledging their experiencing rather than diminishing it. This doesn’t mean we condone it as an excuse for inaction. It simply means we are putting a hand on their back, as Christ does, as we ask them to shoulder more.
Christ says, “I know you’re in pain and following me will only bring more. Here is why it is necessary and here is why you can do it.” Sometimes, this is all it takes to turn weakness into strength, and an enemy into an ally.
Jesus Trusted in His Father’s Will
We all long for a world filled with peace. Yet, we know in the last days that “shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be , and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. And then shall many be , and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And because shall abound, the love of many shall wax .”
There is always hope through Jesus. Hearts can and will be changed, especially as disciples of Jesus truly take a stand for His teachings and His love. But we also need to have faith as we see the world growing darker that one day the light of our Redeemer will break forth in majestic glory never to be dimmed again.