The Rest of the Story
By Garland Land of Blue Springs, MO, USA
Listen together to one another, without judgment or predisposition…Reason together in love, and the Spirit of truth will prevail. -Doctrine and Covenants 162:4c
Several years ago I was interviewed on a local television news show. The interview lasted about 15 minutes, and I was able to get across the main points I wanted to mention. The story ran on the 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. news and lasted one and a half minutes. My segment was cut to 30 seconds. The balance I had hoped for in the story was lost.
Cutting a complex story to a short time period is something we have become used to in our society. We see 30-second political ads sponsored by unnamed donors, whose only purpose is to create a negative reaction toward a candidate. Running a balanced ad that points out the flaws and the accomplishments of a candidate is unheard of.
Forming impressions based on limited information is, of course, not new. When we hear of Thomas in the Bible we automatically think of Doubting Thomas. We forget that the other disciples had similar doubts about Jesus’ resurrection. But that one simple verse in the scriptures has implanted in our minds who Thomas was.
When I first became pastor, people would relay to me experiences they had had with someone else in the congregation. Sometimes a single experience had defined for them who the person was, even though it had happened many years ago. They didn’t seem to recognize other counterbalancing experiences. I must admit their experience was implanted in my mind before I had opportunity to form my own opinion.
I wish the writers of the scriptures had told us the rest of the Thomas story. I wish we could get a balanced account of the political candidates. I realize my wishes will not come to pass, but I hope each of us will tell and listen to the “rest of the story” about each other.
Spirit, now live in me.
Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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