To Will The Good of Another - Sunday, October 13, 2019
It’s natural to be concerned about our own needs, our own well-being. Virtually every living thing has self-defense and self-preservation instincts. But then, we aren’t meant to be like other living things, and we are guided by something much higher than instincts.
This is why our souls resonate with eternal principles, with truths that lift us above worldly concerns. Perhaps the most universally inspiring of these is love, which Saint Thomas Aquinas said “moves us to will the good of another.”1 How different that is from the spirit of self-interest. And how essential it is—for without this kind of love, other people with different views or different goals can seem like a nuisance, even an enemy. Before long, society is ruled by contempt, antagonism, and discord. Sadly, it’s not hard to see evidence of this in our world today.
At a recent university graduation, author and social scientist Arthur C. Brooks suggested a remedy. “If we are going to beat the problem of contempt,” he said, “we are going to need something more radical than civility—something that speaks to our heart’s true desire. We need love.”2
Think what could happen in our communities, our workplaces, our homes and families, if there were no contempt. Is it possible to disagree—even to strongly disagree—without crossing the line into contempt? Is it possible to genuinely care about—even to love—those with whom we disagree? Is it possible to set aside, for a moment, our own good and “will the good of another”?
It must be possible—and it is! At those times when we feel burdened by the hostility around us, we can remember that compassion is always more helpful than contempt, that civility is always more effective than rudeness, and that love is always more powerful than hate.
Love, unlike its opposites, always builds and blesses. By spending more of our time and energy, more of our heart, on seeking the good of another, we can spread light and love. This is the way—the only way—to overcome selfishness and bitterness and create the world we all hope for.
1 Summa Theologica: Second Part of the Second Part, trans. Anthony Uyl (2018), 256.
2 “More Love, Less Contempt” (Brigham Young University commencement address, Apr. 25, 2019), 3, speeches.byu.edu.
October 13, 2019
Broadcast Number 4,700
The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
German hymn tune; arr. Mack Wilberg
All Things Bright and Beautiful
Gilbert M. Martin
Climb to the Top of the Highest Mountain
Antiphon, from Five Mystical Songs
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Love One Another
Luacine Clark Fox; arr. Mack Wilberg
How Firm a Foundation
Attributed to J. Ellis; arr. Mack Wilberg