WARNING The following is a bit of a sermon-rant from a frustrated and tired voter. Proceed of your own free will and choice.
It was in 1920, just 100 years ago, that women won the right to vote in the United States. That’s 8 years after the Titanic sank. It’s a privilege some folks in the world still don’t have.
Anyway, I voted today, and I’m just really grateful I have that right. It’s something I take very, very seriously. I researched every entry on the ballot. I’ve been following the presidential election since it started. I’ve heard out both sides of the argument as unbiasedly as possible, I’ve studied, I’ve observed diligently, meditated and prayed my guts out. And I have zero second-guesses or regrets about who I voted for, even though my presidential choice wasn’t exactly the popular vote in Utah.
When it comes to the most contentious election—laden with fear-mongering and conspiracies—that I’ve ever lived through, I just want to share these words from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, which he gave in a talk entitled, “Three Sisters” in October 2017:
“In the year I was born, the world was immersed in a terrible war that brought agonizing grief and consuming sorrow to the world. This war was caused by my own nation—by a group of people who identified certain other groups as evil and encouraged hatred toward them.
“They silenced those they did not like. They shamed and demonized them. They considered them inferior—even less than human. Once you degrade a group of people, you are more likely to justify words and acts of violence against them.
“I shudder when I think about what happened in 20th-century Germany.
“When someone opposes or disagrees with us, it’s tempting to assume that there must be something wrong with them. And from there it’s a small step to attach the worst of motives to their words and actions.”
And from his talk, “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear” in April 2017:
“The Lord has said that ‘when we … exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, … the heavens withdraw themselves [and] the Spirit of the Lord is grieved.’ [DC 121:37]
“There may be moments when we are tempted to justify our actions by believing that the end justifies the means. We might even think that to be controlling, manipulative, and harsh will be for the good of others. Not so, for the Lord has made it clear that ‘the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.’ [Galatians 5:22-23]
“The more I come to know my Heavenly Father, the more I see how He inspires and leads His children. He is not angry, vengeful, or retaliatory. His very purpose—His work and His glory—is to mentor us, exalt us, and lead us to His fulness.”
And then from the Savior Himself, speaking to the people in 3 Nephi 11:29-30:
“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
“Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”
He that hath the spirit of contention… not just the spirit of contention itself, but he who holds onto it. He who keeps it in his heart. Who stirs contention, stokes fires and sows division and hate. This stuff completely drives light from people.
This is not my doctrine, said the Savior. But this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.
Because, as Lawerence Douglas Wilder said, “Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.”
And of course, no one can forget the wise words of Master Yoda, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.”
So stop it. Please.
If you vote differently than I did, that’s fine. I don’t think you’re awful just because you voted differently. I’m not going to stop speaking to you. I don’t believe in that. It’s THIS kind of thinking I am against. THIS is what is wrong with our country right now—refusing to hear each other out and jumping to terrible conclusions about people based on something as superficial as a vote. What is the reason behind that vote? I don’t know. I’ve done a lot of investigating, I know there are many different reasons and I can’t make an assumption. And maybe some of your reasons I can understand. If we just fight and scream and throw knives at each other, we will never know.
Anyway, be nice to each other, please. And go vote. The end.