Changing the hearts of the people

As I read through various articles and blogs on how various groups are biased or government it trying to take away peoples rights or how the world is going downhill fast, I’m reminded that there is a great need for us all to get back to basics.  The first part of that is simple – learn more about your own beliefs, strengthen those beliefs, and (most importantly) live them. 

The next part does not appear to be so simple – changing the hearts of the people.  It may be frustrating to think that our leaders (political and spiritual) are a reflection of the people they lead, especially when you disagree with what they are doing, but you might have to deal with the fact that what you believe is in the minority.  Ranting and raving about how unfair it is or how evil those leaders are will do no good.  That’s a fast track to being marginalized and pushed aside (Fox News is an example).

In Christian teachings, we’ve been given a pattern for this (2 Timothy 2:24-26):

  24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
  25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
  26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
In LDS scripture, we have additional insights (Doctrine & Covenants 121:41-43):
  41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
  42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
  43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

If you want to change the world, work to change those around you.  Teach, not tell.  Dictating to others what they should believe makes you no better than those leaders you believe are dictating to you what you should believe.  If you want to change the world, start by showing more love to those around you, especially those you disagree with.  Faults are much more likely to change when they are pointed out by a friend rather than an enemy.  If you want to change the world, start with being in the right place, then invite others to join you.  Your example is far more compelling than any blog, article, or treatise.

The world cannot be improved by having more laws, edicts, press releases, or documentaries.  It can only be improved by changing the hearts of the people.

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