Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three-horns Never Play with Long-necks...

Lately, I've been reading the book "Life's Lessons Learned" by Dallin H.Oaks.

I just read one or two brief chapters right before bed each night and mark my favorite passages with blue post-it notes.

I need more post-it notes.

Here is something from the chapter called "Sins vs. Mistakes" that I felt was important to share given the political circumstances that we members of the church will face in the coming year.
Speaking at BYU in 1994 about "Sins vs. Mistakes," Elder Oaks says,

"Both sins and mistakes can hurt us and both require attention, but the scriptures direct a different treatment [for each]." 

"Chewing on a live electrical cord or diving headfirst into water of uncertain depth are mistakes that should be made known so that they can be avoided.  

"Violations of the commandments of God are sins that require chastening and repentance...we should not require repentance for mistakes, but we are commanded to preach the necessity of repentance for sins..."

"The distinction between sins and mistakes is important to our actions in the realm of politics and public policy debates.  We have seen some very bitter finger-pointing among Latter-day Saints who disagree with one another on the policies a government should follow, the political parties they should support, or the persons they should elect as public servants.  Such disagreements are inevitable in representative government.  But it is not inevitable that they should result in the personal denunciations and bitter feelings described in the press or encountered in personal conversations."

"We put political disagreements in the appropriate context when we remember that even if our political adversaries are making the wrong choice (as we suppose), that is generally a matter of error (mistake) rather than transgression (sin).  (Of course, there are some public policies so intertwined with moral issues that there may be only one morally right position, but that is rare)...

Now this is me talking:  To become a more "Zion-like people," we need to be respectful of one another, even during an election year.  


  1. The time right before an election is always filled with unnecessary contention. I believe it should be a time to re-evaluate what is really important to you and to your family and to vote accordingly. The people you disagree with or disagree with you have a right to their own opinions. It is especially important to remember that we are all children of God. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. I agree that we should be respectful; however I have long sought the answer to the question "How are we ever to be a Zion people, of one heart and one mind, if we don't agree on things of importance?" The color of the dress I wear to church on Sunday doesn't matter, now or in the eternities. Who this nation elects as president has far reaching consequences. As there are many in the church who disagree with whom to elect, how do we know who is deceived and who is following the correct inspiration.

  3. @Rozy Lass

    I don't really dwell on what other people do...what matters most to me is that I am following divine inspiration in my own life.

  4. I got this book for Christmas, so I'm excited to read it.  I'm reading Elder Bednar's book right now and it is fabulous!

  5. I LOVE THIS BOOK!! I read it really quickly and I need to re-read it again and again because I know I will pick up more things. Also, I have listened to Bytheway's "Farm Lessons" talk a million times. I just LOVE it! Thanks for prompting me to get it!

  6. So insightful. Especially knowing that Elder Oaks has plenty of political experience and, I'm sure, strong opinions of his own. :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. There is a book called "Weakness is not Sin", but an LDS author, with the same idea. I have it and have read about 1/2 of it.

  8. Karmen Sadler DiazFriday, January 13, 2012

    Can I get an AMEN!! :)...adding this book to my must read list!