Walmart Story: 3 year old: Woman shrieks at her 3 year old. How dare you talk like that. Do that again and you'll spend the rest of the day in your room.
Get out of my room! And don’t come back!” shouts a teenager to her younger sister.
“I hate you, and I don’t want to play with you!” one little boy says to another.
A parent hisses through gritted teeth, “I’ve had enough of your talking back!”
Expressions of anger and resentment like these occur all too frequently in some families. In fact, they occur so often that some parents have resigned themselves to thinking that contention is just part of rearing children.
How serious is this?
2 Nephi 26:32
32 And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things; for whoso doeth them shall perish.
Why would contention be added to a list of things like murder, stealing and whoredoms?
disagreement, dispute, disputation, argument, discord, conflict, friction, strife,
David and Diane had been married for two years. Their relationship had regressed, and criticism filled their conversations. Neither seemed to be able to find pleasure or happiness in their marriage. They felt their burdens were increased because they were both working long hours and trying to complete their schooling. Their expectations about their marriage were not even remotely being fulfilled. David felt Dian was not spiritual enough and was failing in her duty to support his prietshood decisions. Diane felt her contribution to the family equaled his and that he was constantly judging her unfairly. After a hurtful night of arguing. Diane moved back to her parent's home, convinced that she had made a terrible choice of a husband , an irreversible mistake.
For three weeks they did not see or hear from each other. At first David thought Diane would come back, but she had become re immersed in the love of her former home and was enjoying the familiarity and security. Meanwhile David kept reliving in his mind all the wrong things Diane had done and how justified his actions were. Each night he prayed to the Lord to helped Diane to change, to become a better person more like the person he thought he married.
One night, while writing in his journal, re reviewed some of the entries of the preceding months. He became acutely aware of how much criticism of Diane filled those pages. He became acutely aware of how much criticism of Diane filled those pages. He suddenly released that his belittling, criticism and lack of concern for her welfare was a direct contradiction to the spirituality he professed. No wonder she could not support his so-called priesthood decision. He knelt in prayer, this time with a broken hear and a contrite spirit, and prayed for forgiveness. He prayed not that the Lord would change Diane, but that the Lord would change him and help him to become the husband Diane thought she had married. This contrition, when humbly offered to Diane, rekindled her willingness to try again. His sincere efforts softened her heart and brought about a new admiration and regard for him.
Where does anger begin?
Anger begins by thinking negative thoughts about another person.
Russell M Nelson "My concern is that contention is becoming accepted as a way of life. From what we see and hear in the media, the classroom and the workplace, all are now infected to some degree with contention. How easy it is, yet how wrong it is, to allow habits of contention to pervade matters of spiritual significance, because contention is forbidden by divine decree.
Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.
Christ: he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me.
Brigham Young: "Now I charge you again, and I charge myself not to get angry. Never let anger arise in your hearts. No, Brigham, never let anger arise in your heart, never, never! Although you may be called upon th chastise and to speak to the people sharply, do not let anger arise in you, no, never."
What can we do to combat this canker of contention? What steps may each of us take to supplant the spirit of contention with a spirit of personal peace?
To begin, show compassionate concern for others. Control the tongue, the pen, and the word processor.
Susan Callister, Elder Tad Callister’s sister
As a teenager, "I went to London with my parents where Dad served as President of the British Mission. In London I first attended a British girls' school that was located quite a distance across town from the mission home. To get to school I had to take the underground and then had quite a distance to walk to school. I missed my American friends and school. Knowing this, two or three times a week, my Father would ride the underground and make that long walk to meet me so I wouldn't have to walk home alone. I recall hurrying out of school each day to see if by any chance Dad was standing at the gate, and then if he was, we would walk down the road to the bakery, stop there, cross the green and ride the underground home together. Other days when Dad was traveling or gone. I would often arrive home to find a cookie or treat left on my pillow.
I think my Father must hold the world's record here, for in all my life my Father never once spoke a cross or impatient word to me."
I life we have a choice to make.
We can view our spouse as selfish or as a humanitarian.
We can view our spouse as miserly or as saving for the future.
We can view them as old and worn out or as 32 and beautiful.
We can view our husband as lazy and shiftless or hard working
We can put unrealistic demands on them or we can be gentle and forgiving.
In the following situations you can get angry or look at the person with compassion….
your son takes up smoking?
your daughter brings home a creep
your child marries someone you don't like
your child leaves the church
your spouse loses their job due to negligence.
Russell M Nelson
The ultimate step lies beyond....control of expression. Personal peace is reached when one, in humble submissiveness, truly loves God.
Heed carefully his scripture: "There was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people"
Thus love of God should be our aim...
The healing begins with pa personal vow "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me." This commandment will then spread to family
and friends and will bring peace to neighbors and nations.
Shun contention. Seek godliness. Be enlightened by eternal truth. Be like minded with the Lord in love and united with Him in faith. Then shall "the peace of God which passeth all understanding."
I was so mad. Living with college roommates always had its difficulties, but Wendy seemed to be one of the most challenging roommates ever. No matter how hard I tried, I found myself irritated and angry more and more often. This particular morning, though, I’d finally had it.
I stewed as I got ready for classes, and my attitude continued to deteriorate. I began to compile a mental list of all of Wendy’s shortcomings, getting more and more upset with each one I thought of.
I ate breakfast alone, since all my other roommates had already left for class. Then I gathered everything I would need for the day into my book bag. I grabbed my scriptures and threw them in the bag, and they landed with an awkward thump. I realized that my anger was affecting me in a way I didn’t like. I remembered the scripture from 3 Nephi 11:29: “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.”
I realized that my attitude of contention was driving the Spirit away. I didn’t want to feel this way anymore. I wanted to be happy and worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I knelt at the side of my bed and prayed for forgiveness. But I also prayed for help. What could I do to get these feelings of anger toward my roommate to go away?
The answer came: Serve her.
That was the last thing I wanted to do, but I followed the prompting. I stood up and looked around the room. What could I do to serve Wendy right now? I noticed she had not made her bed that morning, and so I decided I would do it for her. Would she even notice? I immediately realized it didn’t matter. I wanted the feeling of contention in my heart to go away, not earn Wendy’s gratitude. This change of perspective helped me realize that even if we both needed a change of heart, I only had control over my own. Suddenly I was eager to serve her.
I tucked in the blankets and smoothed out the bedspread and fluffed the pillow, just as if I were making my own bed. I did the best job I could. Then, when I was done, I fished a bag of candy out of my book bag. I’d been looking forward to eating it, but as I placed it on Wendy’s pillow, I felt a weight lift from me. I felt the Spirit return and the anger in my heart start to dissipate.
Wendy and I were never best friends, but that was OK. I learned that day that I didn’t have to let anger and contention keep me from feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life. I could choose to let go of unkind feelings and choose to be happy, even if my circumstances were not ideal.
It is true that there is a rare time and place for the expression of righteous anger—the Lord himself has expressed indignation and anger when the circumstances warranted such reactions. Righteous anger is a controlled response to an unrighteous situation, however, not the kind of emotional outbursts most of us are all too familiar with.
Response from Hillary Clark the next day:
They listen! My kids really do listen in sacrament meeting! Last night I reminded Fisher (8 years old) that one of his jobs is to remember to make his bed every day. He hadn’t made his bed all day and I was a little frustrated since this is a daily conversation that we have. Well this time he didn’t say his usual response of “I don’t want to make my bed if I’m just going to get back in it.” Instead he said, “well since this is causing contention, mom, why don’t you just make it for me when I forget and that way you can serve me.”
What a great talk you gave Kent Gardiner!! For those of you not there you really missed out on some fabulous talks!!