A stronger comment
I was listening to These things I know by Boyd K. Packer this evening. You might remember the talk, like I did, for the poem that be recited having written bits of it at 68, 78, and 88 years old. You might even remember the story about the finches in his backyard and the snakes that suddenly showed up one week.
Among his comments there was an interesting quote:
Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the “tolerance trap” so that we are not swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result of the violation of God’s law of chastity.
I thought it all the more interesting for the subtle but direct warning that it holds: just because it is legal does not make it moral. It is a interesting point and can apply to many things: marriage fidelity, abortions, and homosexuality are big ones that are debated currently. We need to be accepting and tolerant, but that does not make such things truly okay.
Quoting again from his comments:
Alma taught that "the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance." In order to understand this, we must separate the sin from the sinner.
For example, when they brought before the Savior a woman taken in adultery, obviously guilty, He dismissed the case with five words: "Go, and sin no more." That is the spirit of His ministry.
In all of this, I have to say that my thoughts are drawn back to some comments made this last week in Sunday School. We were discussing the Word of Wisdom and, between comments about do's, don'ts, and over reachings being settled with "all things in moderation", someone brought the focus back to the fourth verse of that section and specifically to how it was given "[i]n consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men". In their comments were the ideas that this was not given an exhaustive list but some points to consider where conspiring people with lead even the elect away from the true course. From the list we are to watch, learn, judge, and move forward according to our conscience.
Doing good is not always doing what is right and, sadly, doing what is right doesn't always feel good at the time. It is a matter of what kind of person we want to be.