Quotes on Offense

Certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense.  However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me.  Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false.  To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.  — Elder David A. Bednar, “And Nothing Shall Offend Them,” Ensign, November 2006, p. 90

There are so many people in the Church, brothers and sisters, waiting to be offended.  And it doesn’t take long.  If one has a chip on his or her shoulder, you can’t make it through the foyer, so to speak, without getting it knocked off. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “In Him All Things Hold Together,” Speeches, March 31, 1991, p. 106

As disciples of Christ, we stand apart from the world.  There may be times we feel uncomfortable as the fingers of scorn mock and dismiss what is sacred to us.  [*President Boyd K. Packer said, “Largely because of television and the Internet, instead of looking over into that spacious building, we are, in effect, living inside of it” (“Finding Ourselves in Lehi’s Dream,” Ensign, Aug. 2010, 23).]

President Thomas S. Monson warned, “Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith.” [In the same talk, President Thomas S. Monson said, “The great and spacious building in Lehi’s vision represents those in the world who mock God’s word and who ridicule those who embrace it and who love the Savior and live the commandments” (“May You Have Courage,” Ensign, May 2009, 126).] — Elder Neil L. Andersen, “Never Leave Him,” Ensign, November 2010

I promise you, as you choose not to be offended or ashamed, you will feel His love and approval. You will know that you are becoming more like Him.  (See 1 Nephi 19:9.)

Will we understand everything?  Of course not.  We will put some issues on the shelf to be understood at a later time.

Will everything be fair?  It will not.  We will accept some things we cannot fix and forgive others when it hurts.

Will we feel separated on occasion from those around us?  Absolutely.

Will we be astonished at times to see the anger a few feel toward the Lord’s Church and their efforts to steal the struggling faith of the weak?  (See 2 Nephi 28:20.)  Yes.  But this will not deter the growth or destiny of the Church, nor need it impede the spiritual progress of each of us as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. — Elder Neil L. Andersen, “Never Leave Him,” Ensign, November 2010

During a perilous period of war, an exchange of letters occurred between Moroni, the captain of the Nephite armies, and Pahoran, the chief judge and governor of the land. Moroni, whose army was suffering because of inadequate support from the government, wrote to Pahoran “by the way of condemnation” (Alma 60:2) and harshly accused him of thoughtlessness, slothfulness, and neglect.  Pahoran might easily have resented Moroni and his message, but he chose not to take offense.  Pahoran responded compassionately and described a rebellion against the government about which Moroni was not aware.  And then he responded, “Behold, I say unto you, Moroni, that I do not joy in your great afflictions, yea, it grieves my soul. . . . And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart” (Alma 61:2, 9).

One of the greatest indicators of our own spiritual maturity is revealed in how we respond to the weaknesses, the inexperience, and the potentially offensive actions of others.  A thing, an event, or an expression may be offensive, but you and I can choose not to be offended – and to say with Pahoran, “it mattereth not.” — Elder David A. Bednar, “And Nothing Shall Offend Them,” Ensign, November 2006