Christ, speaking to a group of Lehi’s descendants in the Americas around 34 B.C., teaches that anger and contention are tools of the devil.
“…And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been. 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.” (3 Nephi 11:28-30)
-Is it possible to contend with one’s enemies (which is sometimes necessary as taught in Alma 43:46-47) without involving anger?
-How focused are these teachings on the social environment that should exist in Christ’s church as opposed to a more general application.
The Book of Mormon gives insight into how Satan works to destroy civilizations and societies.
“…The people [did] imagine up in their hearts [many] things which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good…” (Helaman 16:22)
-How much of what people believe is based on rumors?
-Do the main players in the news media of the United States align themselves with the truth? Or, are they more focused on ratings and political expedients?
-Have many aligned their hearts with things that are untrue, foolish, and vain?
-How much unnecessary contention is occurring because hearts are connected to rumors and falsehoods.
Alma, a Nephite prophet, teaches his people that they should love their neighbors as themselves.
“…Alma did teach his people, that every man should love his neighbor as himself, that there should be no contention among them.” (Mosiah 23:14)
-How difficult is it to love your neighbor as yourself? Can you do so without God’s help?