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WhitneyApril 6, 2015
Thanks for the article. I think your article is perfectly complimented by the recent Ensign article, It Isn't a Sin to Be Weak (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/04/it-isnt-a-sin-to-be-weak?lang=eng). "As mortals we are born helpless and dependent, with various physical flaws and predispositions. We are raised and surrounded by other weak mortals, and their teachings, examples, and treatment of us are faulty and sometimes damaging. In our weak, mortal state we suffer physical and emotional illness, hunger, and fatigue. We experience human emotions like anger, grief, and fear. We lack wisdom, skill, stamina, and strength. And we are subject to temptations of many kinds. " "Though He was without sin, Jesus Christ joined us fully in the condition of mortal weakness (see 2 Corinthians 13:4). He was born as a helpless infant in a mortal body and raised by imperfect caretakers. He had to learn how to walk, talk, work, and get along with others. He got hungry and tired, felt human emotions, and could get ill, suffer, bleed, and die."
RobertApril 2, 2015
I'm sorry, Frank. I agree with Andrea and with President Hinckley, among others. A rebuke need not be given in or as an expression of anger. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/slow-to-anger?lang=eng&query=anger+is+never+good Just go to lds.org and search on anger. There you can learn what the priesthood has to say about the subject. I believe desires, appetites, and passions (emotions, etc.) are necessary and good when controlled. Our job is to learn how. Consider anger is not listed anywhere as a fruit of the Spirit.
AnnApril 2, 2015
My two cents worth. With all the range of emotions to choose from it is significant that most of us appear to choose to talk about anger. Anger is a secondary emotion, usually resulting from something like fear, embarrassment, mourning, for example. Learning to acknowledge and express these emotions honestly and appropriately would head off a lot of anger. As the author suggested, learning to recognize and acknowledge these emotions--again appropriately--is important and sometimes life saving. Accepting emotional or physical abuse goes much deeper than merely trying to be nice all the time, and certainly needs to be addressed as a separate issue. Fortunately, none of these responses suggests in anyway that it is OK to suffer that kind of behavior. It is also not OK, for fallible mortals to think that every time we are angry it is a good thing to spew venom all over another person. Finding the high road means negotiating some mine fields on the trail. We are likely to make painful mistakes along the way but eventually we will get there.
DavidDApril 1, 2015
As a clarification, I didn't say that women (or anyone else) should be submissive, nor did I say that we should not be "bold in confronting evil." I'm concerned about dismissing unnecessary, bad behavior by labeling it as being "bold."
FrankApril 1, 2015
Yes Robert, I'm sure the Savior was smiling and laughing as he drove the moneychangers out. I apologize for the sarcasm, but while it may be inferred, it's really the only logical and reasonable assumption. And as the article so thoughtfully pointed out there are scriptural accounts of him being angry. So we know the Savior felt righteous anger, and we know he use physical force to drive the changers out and called them out as sinners and defilers. I don't see why we can't reasonably assume there was righteous anger involved. The only problem with inferring that is if we assume anger is bad. Which as this article points out, is not necessarily the case.
observerApril 1, 2015
All of these "yeah, but...." comments reveal something about how deeply rooted the misunderstanding is. I'm sure that when Jesus gave the sermon in Matthew 23: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ... Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" he did it in a nice sweet voice. As for the temple cleansing: "Oh, pardon me. Let me whip you with this scourge and then throw your table over. Okay, there you go. Please leave now." Nevermind the text: "And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."
Mathew ChalkerMarch 31, 2015
Your message applies equally to men. Men are also inept at “feeling our feelings.” Employers turn into taskmasters who expect, even demand that workers spend endless hours to accomplish unrealistic corporate and production goals. Today’s employment demands plus church callings often drains our time and energy away from children, spouse and SELF. We are deaf to the messages that our bodies and our emotions are communicating, because we have been taught to “put our shoulders to the wheel.” Sometimes we think that we must “enduring to the end”—far beyond the breaking point—leaving us frustrated and short tempered at home.
MarisaMarch 31, 2015
Really, David? You must not be aware of the staggering pornography addiction rate within the LDS church and the accompanying narcissistic, addictive behaviors that are allowed--in fact enabled--by women who have taught to be "nice" and not to question priesthood authority. When we deny our true, God-given emotions, we slowly disconnect from ourselves and become detached from the truth that the Spirit would convey. I have witnessed multiple instances of flat-out abuse within my family and extended family, but I was too young and trained in codependency to do anything about it. Being nice in the face of evil is not okay. Women and men should be bold in confronting evil in whatever form it shows up--selfishness, blaming, manipulation, betrayal, and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
MedievaldiggerMarch 31, 2015
I've always had a strong temper, and I spent a good chunk of my adult life trying to rid myself of it...it wasn't until an event in our family's life happened that I had to literally, be the mother bear, and protect my children and our family. I was so thankful for that strong temperament then that enabled me to use that particular strength in a righteous manner,. I think what Julie is trying to say is the full range of emotion is there for a reason. Learn to use it in it's proper time and season. The Spirit will show the way. Pretending to be a two dimensional son or daughter of God helps no one.
L & HMarch 31, 2015
Thank you, Julie, for a timely and appropriate article. Many years ago, my children and several others experienced varying degrees of sexual molestation at the hands of a close relative. The effects of those actions, the varying responses of family members, and the lack of any acknowledgment has had a deep and lasting impact on many. I learned then that anger may be a necessary response to injustice, helping us find the courage to do what is necessary to bring about change and to protect the vulnerable. Anger, however, is a stage to pass through and acknowledge on the way to healing and forgiveness. It is not a healthy or appropriate place to stay. Anger directed toward another individual is destructive to both parties. Indignation, betrayal, and even anger at injustice and evil behavior move us from fear and apathy toward positive changes. With the Savior's help, the strong negative emotions can be turned to sadness, heightened sensitivity, and increased compassion for all. We have to "own" and acknowledge the emotion before we can give it away and let the healing process of the atonement refine our hearts.
LynneMarch 31, 2015
I agree that we should notice how we feel. Anger, etc, etc. etc. are normal feelings and it doesn't hurt to express them...but we can say "I feel angry about ----. One of the greatest purposes of this life is to strive to overcome everything, in us, that is not love. We must love ourselves with all emotions we may feel, but we can learn to come from our spirit self and express the feelings without hurting another person. Self control of the natural man is mandatory in order to overcome everything, in us, that is not love. It should be a fun journey as we strive to overcome....
AndreaMarch 31, 2015
I appreciate this article very much. I don't believe this article is meant to justify behavior at all. It speaks to emotions. Emotions and behavior are two different things. To know the Savior experienced many of the same emotions I do is wonderful. My job is to recognize my emotions and channel them appropriately. Yes, there are times to speak up and there are times to keep quiet.
RobertMarch 31, 2015
Christ exhibiting anger in the money changers incident can only be inferred. While he may have felt anger, there is no place in scripture stating he vented anger on anyone.
DenaMarch 31, 2015
I, for one, appreciate your take on accepting emotion. I think we need to face, to get to know, our emotions, rather than just suppressing them. That doesn't mean that you have to outwardly express that emotion, but I think it's hard to overcome hard feelings unless you at least address the root emotion that is there. Thank you very much for your insights and the spirit of this article, Julie.
NatashaMarch 31, 2015
I appreciate the author's acknowledgement that Christ wasn't an emotional pushover. Women in emotionally abusive relationships are commonly advised to turn the other cheek rather than exhibit righteous indignation. The author rightfully points out that being a doormat is not Christ like and is actually harmful if we suppress our emotions that are trying to tell us we are being mistreated. Thank you!
HeatherMarch 31, 2015
The comments so far have demonstrated wonderfully how damaging the attitude is for women. For instance, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" is what keeps women in emotionally abusive relationships. Healthy boundaries are exceptionally important, and sometimes that means telling someone it's not okay to treat you a certain way, even if it's not "nice" to do so. There are appropriate ways to express all emotions, and they don't necessarily involve hurting another person, as another comment implies. And yet there are so many women who are afraid that if they're not 100% positive 100% of the time, then they're somehow unworthy or having sinful thoughts. When tragedy hits, there's an unspoken expectation to "get over it" quickly. Because if you don't, you must not have faith in the plan of salvation. Women especially need to know it's okay to mourn. It's okay to be upset when someone doesn't treat us well AND to call them on it, forcefully if need be. It's okay to experience sadness with someone (mourn with those that mourn). And so on. Maybe it's not a problem for men. I don't know, I'm not a man. But it's most definitely a problem for women. I confess I get a little upset when people claim a problem must not exist simply because they have not experienced it themselves.
PattiMarch 31, 2015
I thought it was a good article. Said to me that we need to be aware of and not be afraid to express our feelings and that doing so will help us learn to deal with and overcome the negative emotions and attitudes we have.
DavidDMarch 31, 2015
It's hard to imagine that being "too nice" is as great a problem for most members as too often being too angry, thoughtless, hurtful, sarcastic, dismissive, arrogant, unkind, inattentive, argumentative, judgmental, rigid or prideful. Unfortunately, many will read this article and implicitly justify those kinds of behavior under the general concept of "hey, I'm just expressing a full range of emotions."
DerrellMarch 31, 2015
I tend to agree with Thumper, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
DuaneMarch 31, 2015
Thanks for the article. I appreciate it, but wonder about your statements about displays of anger by the Savior. Could our interpretation of the temple cleansing episode be colored by rennaisance paintings? Coincidentally, another column with a different take on anger also appears in the LDSMag digest today, written by J aNette Goates Smith.
RachaelGMarch 31, 2015
Agree that many do not rightly understand the Savior as perfectly loving, but not always nice. If He had always been "nice" the Jews would not have sought His life. There were times that he spoke plainly and harshly against sin and the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees. What He DID always do was speak and act under the direction of the Spirit, and He never allowed emotions to control Him, but even when expressing negative feelings or ideas, He remained in perfect control. I disagree with those who say we must never feel anger or betrayal or a host of other emotions. They are real and part of dealing with imperfect people and choices. Even God feels righteous anger and indignation, but He continues in perfect control of His words and actions, even when the occasion calls for the expression of His negative emotions. As Latter-day Saints, we tender to over-simplify and under-think far too many things, especially in the scriptures. That's just my 2 cents. Thank you for an insightful article.
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