I attended a funeral once where one of the relatives suddenly began telling everybody what he thought of them. He was a big boy and there obviously was no fat on him. The rest of that family was scattering to get out of his range of viciousness. He was building up to a major explosion. I surged forward to distract him. Because I had to stop short of blocking his way he could not see them when he turned my way and couldn’t face me while he raged at them. Every time he turned towards them I raised my left arm just enough to get his attention again.
He wasn’t angry with me, thank goodness. I kept asking him what the problem was. “They are …”
I can’t hear for beans, and that was a blessing at times like that. His family was getting away from him and every time he started boiling over at them again I would put my right hand behind my ear. “Say that again,” or “Are you trying to say ..”
Exactly what else I said to him I don’t know, but I do know it was gospel through and through. He and I began communicating in the upper echelons of comprehension, face to face and eye to eye. Rather quickly the spite and fight ceased; He blustered a bit, then left. The situation was defused.
Over the last four decades, I have seen similar defusing powers employed by many of our saints in diverse circumstances. Once I accompanied the Bishop and one of his counselors to settle a rage in the home. We were suddenly confronted with a 30-06 in the hands of an almost constantly unhinged personality. In minutes that Bishop had talked him into pointing the weapon elsewhere and abruptly putting it away.
I believe it is the Holy Ghost giving the saints utterance to the words that must be said so that communication can begin to happen. Jesus was the perfect example of defusing violent situations; as he did with the woman caught in adultery.
Many times the Book of Mormon shows whole nations going on rampages.
Mormon 4: 5 But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.
That doesn’t sound fair, does it?
But would I rather see that chore thrust upon the righteous among us? That is a full-time job, walking about to find some force more wicked than they in order to slay them! So, Who else is going to punish the wicked? Our friendly Bishop? No, sir.
Mormon was talking about a people that had volunteered to abandon the gospel and indulge in a little wickedness. And, what do we see them doing? Ranting and raving! “Why we would tear them to pieces if they showed up against us.”
This scripture is spot on. It is by the wicked that the wicked are punished.
Then Mormon clinches that decree more surely in place when he adds that it is the wicked among us that stir us up in anger against an enemy. And I know this is true by my own might and time.
For I have both seen and heard idle rants and rages that can stir up the hearts of people to do battle. If these wild declarations are not checked or controverted by cool facts from an imminent authority then the ardors of the people will not be cooled by common sense and the flames and fumes could soon leap out of control.
First thing you know, people actually begin to believe that they are invulnerable. Then, the people begin to clamor for combat, the ultimate form of rage. It is infinitely reassuring to hear one of our apostles tackle situations where control is lost.