Note: I was trying to put this post up last week while we were in Hawaii on vacation, but on Friday morning, we were awaken at 3:00 in the morning with the news of the great earthquake in Japan. This affected us in two ways. First, being a block from the ocean on the Kona side of the Big Island, we were in the Tsunami zone. The trouble was, no one came to evacuate us from the complex we were staying in and the Civil Defense sirens didn’t sound. We were glued to the TV and watching the reports of 1 to 3 foot swells hitting the beaches. Seemed like no big deal. We were on the 3rd floor so we were not in any danger. We did have our whale-watching trip canceled and the Luau we were to attend was canceled because the place holding it sustained major damage. There was some considerable damage to the businesses along the beach front and a large 3 story house was washed out into the bay and another house moved totally off its foundation.
But, more important was the fact that the son of the other couple with us is serving in the Japan Sendai Mission. Needless to say, this was a source of considerable concern to all of us, especially his parents. However, we all independently felt that he was OK. Playing the waiting game to find out his status was long. Calls to the Church Missionary Department yielded absolutely no information. It was assumed they would not say anything about individual Missionaries until they knew about all the Missionaries. Soon after, the other 4 Missions reported their missionaries were accounted for. But the Sendai Mission had not because most communications were down. But, on a missionary moms email list, we were finding out independent of the Church Missionary Department the numbers of Sendai Missionaries accounted for. 20%, then, 50% and then 80% and so on. Some folks are very well connected in Japan and elsewhere and were getting reports about individual Missionaries as well. Parents began to report hearing from their Sons and Daughters.
Well, finally, at about 7PM Hawaii, our friends received an email from the their son. Not only was he safe, but was many miles away from the trouble areas. They were able to speak to him by phone shortly after. And then we learned that all the Missionaries were safe. That was a great relief to all of us. So, now on to the blog post.
In our Priesthood meeting the last week of February, we discussed President Dieter Uchtdorf’s talk from the last General Conference entitled “Pride and the Priesthood.” The talk was patterned or expanded upon President Ezra Taft Benson’s famous 1989 Talk “Beware of Pride.”
I thought President Uchtdorf’s talk was an excellent reminder of the problem with pride. But one important part struck me that afternoon.
It was a scripture quote that he used, found in Proverbs 13:10:
“Only by pride cometh contention.”
While we’ve recently seen a number of articles in various publications touting Mormon blogs, be it mommy blogs, or Church-oriented blogs, much of the conversations on blogs is quite contentious. One only need review many of the postings here on Wheat and Tares to see that.
Those of us who are permabloggers here know exactly which topics will generate the most comments and I will admit to using that knowledge to determine what to write about from time to time. The comments tend to be quite contentious as each side claims superior intelligence, reasoning, command of the facts, God being on THEIR side, etc.
I suppose if we all agreed it might be quite boring to read through 100 comments of “I agree with you.” But, especially where the Church is concerned, one might think we were all on the same side.
Not true. Because someone took the trouble to classify Mormons in the same manner as the USDA classifies meat, many of us speak from different sides of the aisle, so to speak. So, while we might share a common religious organization, we might not share much else.
So, what of this contention? Is it prideful to be contention as Proverbs states? Or, is it just normal human nature? Would agreement make for a boring world?
I would not be asking for totally agreement. But nice would be nice. And that I think is possible.