“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him.
Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”
-3 Nephi 14: 11,12
I was reading these passages the other day and thought “How interesting and appropriate that in both Jesus’s sermon on the mount in the New Testament, and his sermon at the temple in the Book of Mormon, he connects these ideas by proximity:
“Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” followed by the golden rule—”all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” This proximity of ideas implies that we, most often are, God’s answer to another’s asking, seeking, and knocking. And through us being God’s answer to another’s prayerful petitions, our own asking, seeking, and knocking is often answered. This idea has been confirmed again and again to me, often through very challenging experiences.
If we truly believed this—that what we seek and are asking God for is found in those around us, including, as Jesus taught, our enemy, those we are prone to judge, and those we must forgive—how might we treat each other differently? How might our relationships, our culture, our politics, and our country look?
And whose door should we be knocking on? We believe or hope we are knocking on God’s door as we pray, but are we? Where is God to be found?
The Christ tells us that he stands at the door and knocks, waiting for us to let him in. Isn’t that the door of the marginalized? Isn’t that the door of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the prisoner, the stranger, the Samaritan, the enemy, the “other?” He taught this same idea in a different way to those seeking to enter the kingdom of heaven: “If ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
These “others,” these “strangers,” these “enemies,” wouldn’t Jesus say they include Republicans and Democrats? Even include the far left and far right to our way of thinking? Even socialists and supremacists? Hasn’t the man of sorrows asked us to not just tolerate our enemy, but to love them? And aren’t all these others, including our enemies, often God knocking at our door, offering us the answers we seek? Offering us the kingdom of heaven here on earth?