Blessed are the Peacemakers

An excerpt from a discourse by Elder Russell M. Nelson.

Scripture sheds light on both the cause of and the cure for the sickness of human hatred: “The natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ.”

Peace can prevail only when that natural inclination to fight is superseded by self-determination to live on a loftier level. Coming unto Jesus Christ as the “Prince of Peace” is the pathway to peace on earth and goodwill among men. He made a promise to us: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

Jesus taught people how to live with one another. He declared the two great commandments: first, to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” and the second, to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Then He added, “Love your enemies, [and] bless them that curse you.”

He taught the Golden Rule: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” This principle is found in nearly every major religion. Others such as Confucius and Aristotle have also taught it. After all, the gospel did not begin with the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem. It is everlasting. It was proclaimed in the beginning to Adam and Eve. Portions of the gospel have been preserved in many cultures. Even heathen mythologies have been enriched by fragments of truth from earlier dispensations.

Wherever it is found and however it is expressed, the Golden Rule encompasses the moral code of the kingdom of God. It forbids interference by one with the rights of another. It is equally binding upon nations, associations, and individuals. With compassion and forbearance, it replaces the retaliatory reactions of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” If we were to stay on that old and unproductive path, we would be but blind and toothless.

This concept of treating others as one would like to be treated is easy to understand. And it acknowledges the precious nature of each of God’s sons and daughters. Scripture asks parents to teach children not to “fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin.” Instead, we “teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.”

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