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Triggered!

I understand that there are legitimate situations where people suffer from post-traumatic stress or any other psychological issues. Then there are people that are perfectly fine but equate the discomfort they feel in the presence of alternative opinions with the pain of legitimate mental anguish. Whenever I see people in the latter category say that they have been “triggered” I think of the following things:

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” (Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride)

and:

“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. […] Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him…” (Acts 7:54,57-58)

and:

And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear. (1 Nephi 16:1)

and:

“Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal. […] Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker.” (2 Nephi 9:39-40)

It is interesting to note how people react to certain ideas and the level of drama that is exhibited by many. I feel like I see a trend today where, for lack of a counterargument, the people that are in error are the ones that exhibit the wildest reactions to ideas that they do not favor. Little children do this quite often, we call it a “tantrum.”

Many seem to prefer being things that are acted upon. (2 Nephi 2:14) They outsource control of their feelings to others and relinquish their agency by seeking virtue in victimhood. I feel like these words address this in part (trigger warning):

“For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. […] Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men…” (2 Nephi 28:20-22,31)

Prosperity doesn’t necessarily mean that things are well and perhaps that is one sense of what we are being warned of here. We don’t want anything to disturb our quaint little view of things. We each organize our little worlds according to what we think is right and if anything comes to disturb that then we see it as the enemy, we are being attacked! The problem, of course, is when your little world is flawed, as they often are, and while we think we are fending off enemies we are stoning the prophets so to speak.

Pride blinds a person to truth and they come to value to comfort at whatever cost. Even to a righteous person, 8 years in the wilderness can take its toll and reaching our own ‘bountifuls’ in life might make us feel like we have finally arrived. We may feel like fighting anything that would seek to disrupt us from that place of peace and security. But there may yet be a ship to build, work to be done, trials to endure, and a wonderous promised land that awaits us.

We cannot value temporal security over eternal progress, one is damnation and the other is exaltation. I have felt at times like certain teachings have disrupted my sense of peace, or what I thought was peace. I have felt internally shaken when I have heard truth preached that made me feel that perhaps I was not as righteous as I thought I was. Why are we so reluctant to give up those things that are holding us back? I have found encouragement in the following wisdom from Nephi:

“I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.” (2 Nephi 9:40)