This week's General Conference focus sermon is Loving Others and Living With Differences by Dallin H. Oaks. All quotes are taken from this talk unless otherwise noted. I wanted to simply copy the whole thing and be done. This man is so wise and a devoted apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Many times I've learned at his feet. Even so I don't internalize the principles well enough. In his talk, he talks about the greatest challenge of this crazy time in history.
"Why is it so difficult to have Christlike love for one another? It is difficult because we must live among those who do not share our beliefs and values and covenant obligations...The gospel has many teachings about keeping the commandments while living among people with different beliefs and practices. The teachings about contention are central...The Savior...forbade contention by anyone...The Savior taught that contention is a tool of the devil...Even those who keep the commandments must not stir up the hearts of men to contend with anger...Even as we seek to be meek and to avoid contention, we must not compromise or dilute our commitment to the truths we understand. We must not surrender our positions or our values. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the covenants we have made inevitably cast us as combatants in the eternal contest between truth and error. There is no middle ground in that contest...Like the Savior, His followers are sometimes confronted by sinful behavior, and today when they hold out for right and wrong as they understand it, they are sometimes called “bigots” or “fanatics.” Many worldly values and practices pose such challenges...In so many relationships and circumstances in life, we must live with differences. Where vital, our side of these differences should not be denied or abandoned, but as followers of Christ we should live peacefully with others who do not share our values or accept the teachings upon which they are based. The Father’s plan of salvation...places us in a mortal circumstance where we are to keep His commandments. That includes loving our neighbors of different cultures and beliefs as He has loved us...As difficult as it is to live in the turmoil surrounding us, our Savior’s command to love one another as He loves us is probably our greatest challenge."
I can love people with whom I don't agree. I have a certain relative with a lifestyle in opposition to my beliefs. However, I continue to love him and others involved with him. How can I do otherwise, since I'm commanded not to judge. Nevertheless, I accept them as loved ones but don't condone their behavior. Because I have my own sins in need of repentance and my own problems in need of fixing, I leave their issues between them and God. No, I'm not holier than thou but simply want to give them respect and room to work out their own salvation without my symphony playing in the background.