I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a sweeping generalization. Here it goes and if I’m wrong you can stop reading. I give you permission. My bold claim is that nobody likes to be wrong. I will go one further and say as much as we don’t like to be wrong on the flip side we love to be right. With an opening statement like that who is going to argue? Because if you argue about this doesn’t it just prove my point?
But I digress.
The other day though I had an epiphany. Is there really a right and wrong? To clarify, I am referring to right and wrong among those on the strait and narrow path. This is not a piece justifying breaking any commandment especially not the top ten. Murder is most definitely wrong in every sense of the word.
I turned to the scriptures and looked up the word WRONG in the Topical Guide. It said “See also False; Injustice; Lying.” When I looked at the scripture references they tended to be synonymous with injustice. I became excited because I thought I was right.
There was one verse in Alma 7:20 that disproved my point but in my quest for being right about being wrong I did what any fact checker would do. I ignored it. Just kidding all you reliable fact checkers out there.
I felt like I was on to a major breakthrough. Not to toot my own horn but I could see accolades coming my way for being such a deep thinker. Why had no one realized this?
But then I got a good night’s sleep. It’s amazing how much light the sun sheds on everything – including thoughts. Another verse came to mind. People can behave in such a way as “contrary to the plan of happiness.” Once I looked up the scripture, I found I remembered it slightly differently than what it actually says. “…they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness” (Alma 41:11).
In short, though it uses different words like ‘contrary to the nature of happiness’ and ‘evil’ there is a definite right and wrong.
That being noted, I have fine-tuned my original epiphany just a bit.
Years ago when I was a young woman I attended Young Women Camp. We were led on a hike and were coming to a bend in the trail. The leaders gathered us together to give us safety precautions. We were about to go over a bridge and they had some rules for us to follow. They wanted us to walk single file with our hands on the shoulder of the person in front of us. There would be no running and we needed to use extreme caution. It was about at that time in the instructions that I regretted coming to camp. In my over reactive brain I pictured a rope bridge looming over raging water and I was certain death was going to come calling for me. It didn’t help that I heard one of my ward leader’s mumble “every person for herself.” I wanted to back out. I wanted to go home. But I couldn’t. We pressed forward and turned the corner.
There in front of us was a dam. A dam that was big enough vehicles could drive across. There would be no death that day. All the safety rules were forgotten as we forgot about the single file formation and walked with our friends across the dam.
Maybe, that is what the strait and narrow path looks like. Instead of a single file which would produce a right and wrong way to journey down the path, it is probably a little wider. While there is a definite right and wrong path to follow the right path has room for more choices than a black and white thinker such as myself can imagine.
The thing about this whole thought process is I already had it a few years ago. One of my top ten scriptures taught me this principle during a previous enlightened moment. Jacob 2:21 “And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever.”
It is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Apparently. Obviously, I like being right and I hate being wrong. But as we journey down this path there is probably room for us to link arms and walk side by side. The same step but different footsteps. And that is okay. Right?