Edifying Others

(Helping *others* to be edified rather than ourselves ...)


D&C 84: 106 "And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also."

This essay is on how to edify others in all meekness.

This essay assumes two things.

First, you feel oppressed by someone in the LDS hierarchy as the result of doctrinal or role conflicts.

Second, you believe in the LDS gospel and scriptures. [If you don't, you are taking your conflict much too seriously and may find that you believe more than you think or think more than you believe.]

The Process

There are numerous stories of people who have prevailed over members of the hierarchy, whether or not any oppression was going on. Whether it is a primary children's group that wants a general authority to take time out and shake all of their hands or Mary Fielding Smith determined to cross the plains, the methods are fairly straightforward and clear and revolve around prayer.

Unceasing, united, singleminded, enduring and patient prayer is what it takes.

Christ made a point that unceasing activity can prevail even on God -- God not only rewards unceasing prayer, He recommends it. Never give up. Luke 18:1-8 (note Luke 18:9-14 also). If you want to prevail in a religious or spiritual confrontation, the first step is to commit yourself and your allies to unceasing prayer.

Next, from the life of Alma, united action and prayer should be the response to affliction and oppression. When Alma listened to Abinadi, went to the Waters of Mormon, and began to preach and baptize, and then fled into the wilderness, I doubt that he expected oppressors to come on him. His response was for the people to be unified in their unceasing prayer.

The same response is what he relied upon when his son, Alma the Younger, began to abuse position and influence. The people united in unceasing prayer and God responded.

In order to be unceasing and united, you and those who support you need to know what you want and be singleminded about it. James 1:4 promises results, but James 1:5 warns what happens if you are not singleminded. A single focus aids unity and can preserve your ability to be unceasing.

Finally, be enduring (Hebrews 11) and patient (in your patience you keep your souls). That gives you a simple five points to work with.

Using those five points fast, pray individually morning, noon and night, and in groups on a regular basis.


Of course there are some risks.

1. You could be wrong, be under no illusions, decide not to change, and destroy yourself by calling down the power of God. That is the story of Korihor.

2. You could be wrong, refuse to admit you are wrong, decide not to change, and be caught by the father (not the mother) of lies. Many people chose to suffer from self delusion rather than repent. That is the story of Corianton.

3. You could be wrong, refuse to admit you were wrong, and just give way to ennui. That is the lukewarm water approach most commonly seen (cf Rev. 3:16).

4. You could be both a little wrong and a little right (most people are) and find that the results are not what you expected or wanted. Joseph Smith had that happen when he finally took up the temperance issue with God. The brethren were not expecting the word of wisdom (in fact, they all anticipated the opposite, a revelation that would put "those people" in their place).

5. You could be right and still not get what you expected. That is the end of Jonah's story when God did not destroy Nineveh after all. (note also D&C 1:14).

In all Meekness

The biggest problem is that we are counseled to act in meekness, by persuasive and loving means (D&C 121:43ff), leaving sharpness to the direction and hand of God and the Spirit.

Of course that does not lend itself well to pride or self aggrandizement in prevailing against those we feel oppress us (note D&C 121: 35ff in that regard), but if you just want to assuage your pride, there are better venues.

D&C 64:8 "My disciples, in days of old,
sought occasion against one an-
other and forgave not one another
in their hearts; and for this evil
they were afflicted and sorely
chastened ..."

Expect the same. But if your motives are pure, and you endure in prayer with God, expect results.

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