Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is Obama Really the Devil's Associate?

Many conservatives seem to think so, and that really bugs me.  I sometimes even find myself trying to figure out if there are some legitimate reasons to their thinking and that President Obama really is purposely trying undermine the great United States of America and impose his socialist agenda on us.  I was rescued from this thought by a very good man in our ward at church. 

In a recent welfare meeting we were discussing the topic of our upcoming Ward Conference, which is using the Book of Mormon to recognize evil and combat it.  This good man stated that there are plenty of liars in our day that match some of the famous ones from the Book of Mormon (e.g., Korihor, Sherem, Amalickiah, etc.), and then he said something that caught me off guard, though probably not some of the others in the room.  This man clarified that he was not referring to President Obama, and then gave his opinion that he thinks that Pres. Obama really is doing what he thinks is best for America and just doesn't realize that by trying to give everything to everyone he is not allowing us to use our God-given agency to make decisions on our own and reap the consequences of those decisions (whether good or bad) as part of our learning experience here on earth.

Sometimes it's too easy for us to jump on the bandwagon that points to everything that everyone is doing wrong instead of genuinely looking at the person and realizing that they could be genuinely trying to do their best.  I'm reminded of a quote by Robert Millet in the book Men of Valor.  In it he says that we should (primarily in marriage, but this works for other relationships too),
  1. Always assume the best
  2. Don't get offended
If we follow this counsel we will be happier people because we will relinquish the hate that is easily stirred up by the media and other sources.  This doesn't mean that we should avoid recognizing evil, just that we should not be so quick to label people as evil.

Just like the man in my ward, I may not support some of the things that have gone on in D.C., but I don't condemn the people behind the policies being passed.  As long as we make our voices heard by voting and being actively engaged in current events, we can expect the Lord to help influence our leaders.  There's no guarantee that they'll listen, but we can't let that diminish our faith in God.