In the LDS monthly magazine, Ensign, there is a regular column entitled, “We Talk of Christ”. Naturally with a title like that you would think that the focus would be on Jesus. This month’s column carries the title, “Loving My Enemies”.
The article is written by a member who lived in an occupied country and relates the struggle he had loving the enemy soldiers. He tells how he finally fasted and prayed for help. And eventually he felt love for the soldiers. Here is the concluding paragraph:
“I now know, like Nephi, that the Lord gives us no commandment save He shall prepare a way for us that we may accomplish the thing which He commands us (see 1 Nephi 3:7). When Christ commanded us to love our enemies, He knew it was possible with His help. He can teach us to love others if we but trust Him and learn from His great example.”
There are a number of things in this article that merit comment, but the thing that really struck me was the perspective that a few passing references to Christ’s command and his example (there were two other references to Christ’s command in the body of the article) merited the title “We Talk of Christ”. That is so different from what you would see in most Christian magazines. If they had a column entitled, “We Talk of Christ” it would be a pretty safe bet that the focus would be, not on his command and our need to be obedient to it, but on his actions. And he would be viewed not so much as an example but as a substitute.
For example, in the case of loving our enemies, mention might be made of Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words, as sinners we were Jesus’ enemies. But, in spite of that, he loved us and died for us. Or maybe his prayer at his crucifixion for the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do would be cited with the message that here Jesus was fulfilling the law for us – that we receive the credit for his perfect love. However it would be done, most such articles would bring the comfort of Jesus’ acting in our behalf and the tremendous comfort that gives us.
Again how different is the Ensign. Even when the title points to Jesus, the focus is on people and what they have to do. The moral of this story is that you have to look beyond the title to see what is really being emphasized.