Readers’ Forum

205

Wall is start of a damaging administration

President Spencer W. Kimball once remarked on the idolatry of building walls for protection. He made the case that in times of great turmoil, citizens believe they can partake in wickedness, but through the cunning creations of men be relieved from peril. This is a distorted mindset because it allows sinful people to stay comfortable and look to man to be a protector from danger. However, man cannot protect or save a nation. Only God is capable of such. It is modern idolatry to “be merry” in sin, while erecting large walls or fortresses to look to for protection.

In Donald Trump’s America, we are doing exactly what President Kimball warned against. Our president’s actions, words and history are enough to make the case that the American people have given up on leadership with morals. Our nation has turned its back on the refugees, scapegoated minorities, demonized the poor and taken for granted the beautiful Earth endowed to us by our creator.

So our president believes constructing a wall can bring forth stability; yet he and many of his supporters have not and will refuse to reflect on the damage they have done and own up to their own sin. Due to this, the wall won’t help. Even if we disregard the fact that more illegal immigrants are leaving the nation than entering, or disregard the clear observation of walls being ineffective in history or disregard that the wall is a racist symbol, we cannot disregard that President Trump’s administration will bring damage. A wicked leader cannot bring forward prosperity.

Kwaku El

Cypress, Texas

BYU College Democrats

Response: Mormons judging Mormons

While I really liked the article about Mormon cultural snap judgments, there was a nuance missing.

Unfortunately in our day, judgment is often used synonymously with condemnation — if you judge, you automatically condemn.

However, righteous judgment is a good thing. Our Savior taught us to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Righteous judgment is vitally important when living in a world where sin is so common. (For a great explanation see “Judge Not and Judging” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.)

The nuance comes in after a righteous judgment. Thus, the biggest issue here is not Mormons judging Mormons, it is Mormons using judgments to inappropriately correct and/or condemn other Mormons.

Is it not true that he has tattoos, she is a recovering addict, he has a beard, etc.? These facts are not the problem. The problem is what we are doing with this information.

Mormons are using these labels to make ourselves feel morally superior to other Mormons because, to slightly flip what President Uchtdorf said, “You sin differently than me.”

Put another way, the problem is not judgment. The problem is that we are using judgments as weapons to make ourselves feel “better than” someone else. This is what President Uchtdorf asked us to stop doing.

President Uchtdorf went on to counsel us to, “Replace judgmental (condemning) thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.” Righteous judgment should lead us to “an increase of love” (D&C 121: 43) toward fellow (Latter-day) Saints — not to condemnation.

Deena King

Denton, Texas

BYU class of 1981 and 2006

Should religion classes be academic?

As a university founded by a prophet of God, BYU deems religion as a significant component in student development. Students are required to enroll in religion classes in order to graduate. Some may think religion classes should be spiritual rather than academic. However, religion classes at BYU help elevate students’ religious study experience.

We learn in Doctrine and Covenants section 29 that all things are spiritual and in Proverbs 2, “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” If all knowledge is the same, we should not divide subjects into secular or spiritual but treat them equally. Our proficiency in a foreign language is no more important than our education of the Book of Mormon and vice versa, as we are instructed by the Lord to obtain the knowledge “of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth.”

Hei Wun Lau Iris

Hong Kong

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