Latter-day Saint Life

Elder Oaks: Members Should Avoid "Ugliness, Personal Meanness," and Prejudice—Even Online


In an address given to graduates at the commencement exercises at Brigham Young University-Hawaii on Feb. 25, Elder Dallin H. Oaks advised members to "push back against worldly values." One of the ways Elder Oaks mentioned to push back against the world and move forward in faith was to refrain from "contentious communications" even while using technology.  

Following the Lord’s way is not easy, Elder Oaks taught. He shared a few effective ways a person is able to go forward with faith and push back against the world.

One way, he said, is through observing the Sabbath day in an appropriate, positive way. “Properly observed, the Sabbath will help us and our families develop the spiritual strength we need to stand firm against temptation and to stay unspotted from the world.”

Another way to push back against the world, he said, "is to stand clear from the current atmosphere of hate and to refrain from participating in the contentious communications that are so common today.”

Modern technology fosters conflicts by expanding the audience and speed of dissemination making it possible for careless charges, false representations, and “ugly innuendos” to be instantly flashed around the world. This widens and intensifies the distance between different parties and positions.

“I am not referring to difference in policies, which need to be debated publicly, but to the current ugliness and personal meanness of the communications,” he said. “Don’t be part of such communications. As followers of Christ we know that all of the inhabitants of this earth are children of God. Use that knowledge to push back against the worldly prejudices that preach hate or hostility toward other nations, ethnic groups or even political parties. … Followers of Christ should be examples of civility.”

Lead image from the Deseret News
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