Brother Tyler Barton counseled students to avoid contention and invite peace into their homes and communities during a devotional, Tuesday, November 7.
"We really are agents," Tyler Barton, Student Honor Administrator at BYU-Idaho, told BYU-Idaho Radio. "We can certainly exercise some control over what we do and how we react. I mean, the common themes of contention are anger, taking offense to something, being defensive and so when we look at what the Savior said...and we place ourselves in that context, I think we just need to, you know, try to take a deep breath, to remove ourselves from the situation."
The topic of contention, Barton said during his devotional, came as he watched the world around him.
"We live at a time in the history of the world where contention rages and unfortunately, has become the norm," Barton said during his devotional. "It is not accomplished so much with swords and shields or other weapons of war as in the past, but largely happens because we have the ability to communicate instantly with friends, family, strangers, and enemies...For many, contending with others seems like a game and some are not happy unless they can argue some point or belief. Whatever the situation, the contention is prevalent in our day and age."
Barton used scriptural examples found in Fourth Nephi in the Book of Mormon and referenced the Savior's teachings in the New Testament.
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy," Barton said quoting the New Testament. "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
In the end, finding peace comes when people learn to follow the Savior's counsel to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile. Perfection, Barton says, doesn't come overnight, but simply trying to be better is enough.
"If we're on the path and we're heading in the right direction, that's what we need to do," Barton said. "So, get on that path of avoiding contention, or being a peacemaker...and even if our steps are slow, to try to be moving in the right direction."
You can listen to the full interview and Barton's devotional below.