In our family scriptures, we are reading Moroni chapter 9, easily the most disturbing chapter in the Book of Mormon. Nevertheless, this lesson jumped out at me. This is the prophet Mormon writing a letter to his son Moroni.
"I am laboring with them continually; and when I speak...with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it." (Moroni 9:4)
Does this sound familiar, moms? Wives? Anyone else with a stewardship over other people? I suspect we all find ourselves in that 'neither option works' situation from time to time. If I tell the kids to stop doing something in a nice way, they ignore me. If I put consequences behind it, they get mad and collapse in tears and still don't do it. If I try to hustle the family somewhere, I get grumpy and we're late. If I don't, I'm not as grumpy but we're still late.
What can we do about it?
The answer is in verse six. Labor diligently. Keep trying, because the responsibility is ours whether or not it has any effect. As Mother Theresa said, "It was never about them anyway". Mormon and Moroni had a tough job, called to be the last warning between the people and utter destruction, a warning that few people were likely to accept. As we keep reading I'm going to be looking for ways that they coped with it, but for now I know that it's important to keep laboring.
And the end result? Also in verse six, to conquer the enemy of righteousness and to rest our souls in the Kingdom of God. I don't know about you, but that last part sounds really good about now.