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How To Process Anger
June 28, 2017

How The Constitution Of The Priesthood Can Help You Process Anger

Book of Mormon Marriage And Family Study

1 Nephi 20: 9

“Nevertheless, for my names sake will I defer my anger.”

How do you deal anger in your marriage and family?

The Lord teaches us in the Book of Mormon that contention is of the Devil. However, we can talk about problems, frustrations and concerns without becoming contentious. It seems to me that weekly couple and family councils are the best way to lovingly discuss problems. If we are humble and embrace the truth that in this life we are supposed to be weak, then talking about problems and weaknesses will not be painful. Instead, it will become a normal and natural process of life that feels edifying and encouraging and not discouraging.

We all have different ways we process anger. Typically, most people seem to respond in two ways and both of them do harm.

  • Stuff it.
  • Vent it.

When should you stiff it? Stuff things that aren’t important. I think it was Marjory Hinckley (President Hinckley’s wife) who said the secret to a long and happy marriage is to overlook the small things.

For example, constantly harping on your family for vain things creates a toxic environment.

The home should be a safe and holy place. We are under enough pressure to be perfect outside of the home at school and the workplace. We don’t need that in the home. Instead, we should feel comfortable enough to be imperfect.

Ponder deeply this verse;

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.” Ether 12:27

The Lord is the perfect example, and there is no darkness in Him. Therefore, He is the safest person to approach in sin and weakness. Satan on the other hand wants us to feel unworthy to approach Christ because of our sins. He doesn’t make you feel small, weak or worthless because of your weaknesses. He does the opposite. He strengthens you and gives you hope and motivation to improve. Growing and improving is empowering not depressing. When the Lord shows us our weaknesses we feel empowered.

Expressing Anger

We should never vent our anger!

Many people don’t have the tools to discuss problems and concerns in a loving way. Instead, too many yell or throw adult tantrums or command what others should, ought and must do. Being ordered around doesn’t feel good to anyone. Parents should not do this to their children.

The Constitution Of The Priesthood teaches us how to deal with problems in a loving way.

D&C 121: 34-46

They Do Not Learn This One Lesson

The one lesson is that Jesus Christ is the most important, and everything depends on Him. Therefore, He must come before our spouse and family.

There is only one thing that matters! If couples and families made Christ number one there would be much less fights (or zero) and the fights over superficial things would be very rare.

Additionally, if we learned this one lesson that Jesus Christ is the most important, then our marriages would be stronger because we would bring each other into a relationship with Christ. We would seek after Christ together and therefore feel closer. For example, men would not emotionally neglect their wives by watching sports or TV all the time. Instead, he would spend more time talking and nurturing the marriage. By putting Christ first he would invest more in the marriage and family.

Reproving Betimes With Sharpness When Moved Upon By The Holy Ghost

Certainly reproving does not mean belittling or berating. It doesn’t mean raking over the coals, or jumping all over the person. Nor does it mean criticizing hatefully.

Parents have the stewardship to teach their children what they are doing wrong. But how they do it is everything.

I think the footnotes to sharpness is instructive in Helaman 3: 29

“Yea, we see that whosever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked.”

The Word Of God Is Quick And Powerful

I think reproof should be framed around teaching the word of God because it is quick and powerful. Therefore, we should not chastise our children unless we can make it a learning experience using scripture. However, this could be abused. For example, a parent could knowingly twist scripture in an effort to control their children, which would be harmful.

We don’t chastise for no reason.

If you live in the Salt Lake City valley, I invite you to join us at church on Sunday's at 1 p.m. We are a mid-singles ward; however, if you have a family please don't let that stop you. Please, join us for for our first meeting which is Sacrament meeting, and make sure you ask someone to introduce you to our ward mission leader. Our address is 7155 South 540 East, Midvale Utah, 84047.

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