Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much…

I have been greatly troubled in recent months by so many so insistent on demands for justice.  While it may appear that I could be wandering into political currents of discussion, it is not my intent.  I only wish to express a grave concern about what we are seeing manifest in the public square.

Any true follower of Christ and the laws of God, which are one in the same for the laws are His, believes in justice.  In Gospel Topics we read, “In scriptural terms, justice is the unchanging law that brings consequences for actions.  Because of the law of justice, we receive blessings when we obey God’s commandments. The law of justice also demands that a penalty be paid for every sin we commit.”  The demands of justice are immutable and require satisfaction.  I believe in justice, as in law and order, because they are of God, and I believe all things in Him.

While I believe fervently in the laws of God and His justice, being an individual displaying of so much imperfection as I do, I am not so personally comfortable with being a demander of justice.  Please do not misunderstand, I unapologetically sustain and support the justice of our Almighty Father, I just do not feel worthy with all my imperfection of insisting on the exacting of justice upon those who are imperfect like me.  Everybody makes mistakes, and the demands of justice must indeed be met, but I feel much more comfortable leaving that to a higher more understanding power than myself.

The only perfect man to ever walk the earth said to the Nephites, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (3 Nephi 14:1-2).  Even having been tasked as a judge in Israel I always felt while I always needed to safeguard the Church and the saints, the need for mercy was always on my mind whenever weighing the imperfections of others.  It was always less about justice and more about helping the individual to find real grace through Jesus Christ.

I observe day after day people shouting in the streets, “No justice! No peace!”  It sounds like more than just a demand, but also a threat.  My concern is mounting every day as people demand justice and forget about the wonders of mercy, the grace that is so freely offered us by a loving Savior.

Just this last week in observation and to pay my respects in the recent passing of our United States Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I watched a memorial service held for her in the Statuary Room of the U.S Congress.  In my lifetime I have attended, actively participated in, and conducted many funerals and memorial services, including many of varying faiths and cultures, Christian and non-Christian.  A most common theme in them all has always been some plea or hope for mercy, a desire for a coming redemption, sweet words to console the hearts of those feeling loss in a tender hour.  Rather than words of consolation and prayers risen to a merciful God, instead were more demands for justice.

Now more than ever in this world where shouts for justice and even revenge threaten to stifle the better feelings of mercy and hope for grace in a redeeming Lord, we need to harken to those higher voices.  Remember, revenge is not justice.  Justice is an eternal truth, immutable, and best trusted to our loving Father.  For us grace and mercy, forgiveness and compassion, are better suited for our gifts, for our blessings.  May we all seek justice in godly wisdom and receive grace in Christ our Lord.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.