Knowing that we are all children of God gives us a divine vision of the worth of all others and the will and ability to rise above prejudice and racism. As I have lived for many years in different places in this nation, the Lord has taught me that it is possible to obey and seek to improve our nation’s laws and also to love our adversaries and our enemies. While not easy, it is possible with the help of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He gave this command to love, and He promises His help as we seek to obey it.
President Dallin H. Oaks, "Love Your Enemies", General Conference, October 2020
While the word "enemy" connotes a strong opposition or even hatred towards someone, in my mind, I'm not the type of person to have those feelings. Maybe because I've never really had an adversary in my life, I guess, or because I just don't hold grudges.
But.... I find myself going down the path towards those feelings as I see what others are doing to my country. I have to be careful and not harbor any ill feelings as I watch others systematically destroy my freedoms, and way of life. That is hard to do.
But I think that when the Savior said to love others that persecute you and despise you, He wasn't necessarily referring to those that outright hate me and are out to get me personally. He was also talking about those that are on the opposite spectrum with how and what they believe as compared to how and what I believe.
For the most part, people aren't generally evil, but they do get influenced by the evil one. He is the one that is systematically trying to destroy this country.
This reminds me of a story I heard a sister tell on my mission. She told a story about another sister who never had anything bad to say about another person. Because she saw everyone as children of God. Well, some others wanted to trick her into saying something bad about another, so they said... "surely there's nothing good about Satan, so tell me one good thing about him". She thought about it for a bit then said, "he's a hard worker".
I love my country. I love my freedoms. I love the Constitution. And, I take offense when I see others destroying that, or trying to. So, it is difficult for me to love them when they want to do this. But, I have to remember to love them as children of our Heavenly Father. When I harbor ill feelings, all I am doing is disrupting my own peace. That's what Satan wants. And he is working hard at it.
But I don't have to love what others are doing. I still need to stand up for what I feel is right and defend myself, my family, and my faith. Loving your enemies is not the same as giving in to them.