Dealing with the Spirit of Contention

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 2000

Dear Annette,

Have you ever had someone call and tell you that they have taken offense at something one of your other friends have done or said, and you yourself know that no offense was meant? My friend called another friend of mine, and left a message on her recorder, just as she was leaving town for 10 days, that she was changing the date for visiting teaching this month.

My friend was furious but does not want me to say anything to her partner about it. I realize my counselor should have asked if this was OK, but she couldn't reach her partner before she left town and I wasn't aware that it would cause a problem. I was aware that she wanted to change the visiting teaching day but that is only because I had talked to her just before she left town.

Any words of wisdom for me? I had a good talk with my upset friend last night. I feel that she is okay. How do I talk to her partner without letting her know about how her companion feelings and make sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen again.




Eradicating the Problem

Next time get the two sisters together, face-to-face. The scriptures state...

When you are in the way with one another to go to the one that you are having problems with and take care of it immediately before things get out of hand and the relationship is irreparable.

Often people get upset over the slightest of things because they are allowing the spirit of contention from Satan to lead her around by the nose ring! We all need to be reminded often that this spirit is ever present trying to ruin relationships and the work of the Lord. We cannot allow it in our homes or in our relationships.

"Beware the Spirit of Contention"

In D&C 10:23-24 &26-27 it tells us ...

23- "And thus he (Satan) has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment.

24- Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work.

26- And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare.

27- And thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men."

3 Nephi 11:29 states that...

29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

The only way to get over the spirit of contention is to recognize it for what it is and do what the Lord tells us to do in Ephesians 4:31-32 and D&C 82:1. It says...

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

D&C 82:1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you."

If we choose not to do so, then we are in grave danger according to D&C 64:9. It says..." Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin."

Your friend is still harboring ill feelings and should talk to her companion to get things aired out! This incident will impair their ability to work with each other if it is not take care of. A face-to-face is still needed. Go to the Lord and He will tell you how to work it out, so it will turn out right! Perhaps just discussing the items above with your friend may help her to go her companion and discuss the problem.

There will always be misunderstandings, but we must have the courage to take them to the person we are having problems with so that they do not continue and ultimately destroy our inner peace and our relationship with others. We cannot please everyone all the time, but coming to an understanding does help make things go a lot smoother.

If I have not covered the subject adequately or you have more questions please write me again.

Best wishes,

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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