A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Ye Shall Not Resist Evil

The Book of Mormon shows us the pattern in the creation of Zion.

And it came to pass that the thirty and fourth year passed away, and also the thirty and fifth, and behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. 4 Nephi 1:1-3

#1 They did truly repent, were baptized, and received the Holy Ghost.
#2 They were converted unto the Lord.
#3 There were no contentions and disputations.
#4 They did deal justly one with another.
#5 They had all things common.
#6 They were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.

There is order in the development of people. There is essential preparation needed before God will call us Zion. In our excitement and zealousness, we are tempted to take short cuts and skip a few steps. If we were to skip to step five without successfully moving through steps one, two, three, and four, it would be disastrous. If people tried to have all things common without the necessary preparation, it would fail.

Communism also seeks to have all things common:

In political and social sciences, communism is a social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state. 

Many questions come to mind about the sequence of development needed in God's people: Why do men need a proper baptism before they can be converted to the Lord? How does conversion unto the Lord prepare us to let go of our contentions and disputations? What does it mean to deal justly one with another? Can we deal justly with each other while we are still contending and disputing? Why do men need to deal justly with each other before they have all things common?

Having no contentions is mentioned in four different verses in 4 Nephi. After living without contentions and disputations, did the people discover deeper levels of having no contention among them?

And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. 4 Nephi 1:2

And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land; but there were mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus. 4 Nephi 1:13

And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. 4 Nephi 1:15

And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.4 Nephi 1:18

I watched my children discuss color, light, and reflection of light this morning. My daughter who is an artist was explaining the following concept to a younger sibling:

An object that appears a certain color reflects the light frequency that corresponds to that color, and it absorbs all the other frequencies in the visible light spectrum. An orange absorbs all of the frequencies but orange. A banana absorbs all of the frequencies except for yellow.

I noticed it really bothered him that she would say something appears to be orange because it absorbs everything except orange. In his mind that just couldn't be right. It was obvious to him that if something was orange, it had orange in it, not every color except orange.

As I walked down to the garden, I thought about what I had just observed. It was curious to me the amount of energy he put in to resisting a concept that was new to him.

I started thinking about resistance. How does it make me feel when I'm resisting something? Is there ever a need to resist? Can I still have a difference in thought or opinion without putting up a resistance? Resistance seems to be a breeding ground for contention.

I found three scriptures that speak about resisting evil. This is what Jesus said:

    But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:3

    But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also; 3 Nephi 12:39

This is what Pahoran said:

    Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God. Alma 61:14

Which counsel should we follow? Does the Lord understand something that Pahoran doesn't? Is it necessary to resist evil? Zion will be a place of refuge for those who would rather flee than take up his sword against their neighbor.

And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion. And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety. And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another. And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand. And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy. (D&C 45:66-71)

I've asked myself many questions: When contention arises in my home, do I join the contention by seeking to control and subdue it? When someone accuses me, do I feel a need to defend myself? When someone is angry, irritable, and upset, am I offended? How do I handle injustices? Can I eliminate war by warring against evil? Do I resist evil?  


  1. Based on on 4 Nephi 1:3, I would add a #6 to your list at the top of the article: They had all partaken of the Heavenly Gift. In my reading of Ether 12, partaking of the Heavenly Gift means to see Christ in the flesh (or at a minimum to see beyond the veil).
    Ether 12:7-9, 12, 19
    7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

    8 But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

    9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

    12 For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.

    19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.

    1. Yes, I think that is a great addition. I'm going to update the post. Thanks

  2. The people had "All things common", not "all things in common". Continually focusing on tangible things rather than the intangible attitudes that make a people truly one is wrong. When we look at the Doctrine and Covenants it talks about people having what they need and what they desire. 4 Nephi explains that the problems began when the people started focusing on how they were better that their fellow citizens, and began to distinguish themselves by focusing on educational opportunities, nice clothes, and other assets. Essentially, looking at the outside appearance as men do rather than looking at what we are inside as God does.

  3. Great post!! I want the results without creating the foundation. Line upon line and precept upon precept we learn how to become a Zion people. In my family, I've often started with wanting to establish a rule of "no contention," but that just leads to me needing to control everyone and have more rules, etc. This idea of not resisting evil and focusing on one step at a time is totally counter-intuitive, but also feels very freeing!


Thank you for posting