"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
I have been thinking long and hard about the war of ideologies we are in. On both sides, people are fighting so hard to prove themselves right, especially on the internet. We talk about principles and doctrines, but we rarely talk about individuals.
In his talk, "The Worth of Souls is Great!" Elder Paul H. Dunn makes an important point, in a time before internet really existed. In talking about a schoolhouse, he said:
"...Along with the wonderful new discoveries in education, the emphasis must still be placed upon the individual and upon his needs and relationships with others....I understand from what the Lord has revealed to us through the prophets that people are his greatest concern. We are his children. We are somebody, as Elder Ashton so wonderfully stated this morning. We are his children, and he continually reveals himself through the prophets so that one day we can be like him.
Programs, then, wonderfully inspired programs, like the Sabbath, exist to help people. If we are not careful, it is very easy to put the mechanics of the program ahead of the person."
This is perfectly timely for me. The internet is full of people who denigrate religion and conservative politics. It is trendy and easy to be "progressive." Often, in the pursuit of progress, the very people who claim to be open-minded become just as bigoted as the worst conservative. To me, they are no different.
Being open-minded requires patience, an ability to ask questions, a quiet confidence in personal beliefs that can avoid reacting defensively when attacked.
But the biggest tragedy, to me, is when believing members of the Church, those who feel like they are disciples of Christ, focus so much on preaching principles they forget about ministering to the one. I don't know how successful I am, but when I blog, I try to always remember the people who might read what I write.
Christ taught by ministering to individuals. He urged principles, but without ever forgetting the individual value of souls. If we wish to truly follow Him, can we do less?