“Whatever I say three times is true.” Thus Lewis Carroll. And where Carroll went yesterday can we avoid going today?
I’m afraid not. As much as we’d like to, I think that the human condition carries with a tendency to believe what is often repeated and widely believed. Vice is a monster of such frightful mien . . ., etc. At root, this tendency to believe people may even explain the appeal of democracy, who knows? I know that I’ve been in arguments where I had all the facts and the reason but my opponent was so stubborn that I began to lose all conviction. This is especially the case when the topic of discussion is some gospel principle. I, and most anyone, has a hard time believing when that belief is constantly being contradicted.
The normal solution is to find some reason for rejecting the people and the arguments out-of-hand. Unfortunately, a Latter-day Saint can’t rightly do this. We are to love all people and understand them, and, through the Spirit, we have the means at hand to do it. A person, once loved and understood, can hardly be rejected out of hand.
What then? Well, if we feel ourselves weak we can always avoid opposition. Better yet, we can try Moroni’s solution: “And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.”
We meet together, pray, and read our scriptures to open ourselves to new revelation and to the testimony of the spirit, true. But I think we also do it to cover over that crack in our character through which our convictions leak when we think ourselves in a minority or even alone. Very few of us can say with the confidence of Wendell Phillips, “One on God’s side is a majority.”