Contention must be avoided at all costs. The entire media industry exists off of creating and distributing stories that stir people up into contention for the sole purpose of selling advertising or getting gain.
They are like Zeezrom and the lawyers that survived off of the chaos they helped create.
“Now, it was for the sole purpose to get gain, because they received their wages according to their employ, therefore, they did stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them; therefore they did stir up the people against Alma and Amulek.”Alma 11:30
People who do this are evil, and we must cease to contribute to it. Jesus taught, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5: 9) Guess who’s children those who cause contention are?
“Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”3 Nephi 11:30
The Book of Momon teaches us what happens to societies that embrace, perpetuate, and celebrate contention.
“And it came to pass that the Amalekites, because of their loss, were exceedingly angry. And when they saw that they could not seek revenge from the Nephites, they began to stir up the people in anger against their brethren, the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi; therefore they began again to destroy them.”Alma 27:2
“And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come.”Helaman 16:22
“And it came to pass that the people repented not of their iniquity; and the people of Coriantumr were stirred up to anger against the people of Shiz; and the people of Shiz were stirred up to anger against the people of Coriantumr; wherefore, the people of Shiz did give battle unto the people of Coriantumr.”Ether 15:6
“And it came to pass that the people assembled themselves together throughout all the land, every man according to his mind, whether it were for or against Amlici, in separate bodies, having much dispute and wonderful contentions one with another. And thus they did assemble themselves together to cast in their voices concerning the matter; and they were laid before the judges. And it came to pass that the voice of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people.
Now this did cause much joy in the hearts of those who were against him; but Amlici did stir up those who were in his favor to anger against those who were not in his favor. And it came to pass that they gathered themselves together, and did consecrate Amlici to be their king. Now when Amlici was made king over them he commanded them that they should take up arms against their brethren; and this he did that he might subject them to him.”Alma 2:5-10
These contentions inevitably lead to the downfall of society. When people lose respect for each other, they lose respect for the laws and subvert them with secret murders and combinations. Crimes are committed as part of a secret combination or conspiracy and then blamed on the innocent to push the people into direct conflict.
These are called “false flag” attacks, and history is ripe with them. Search “Reichstag Fire,” “Mukden Incident,” “Operation Northwoods,” to name a few, and look no further than the recent Jussie Smollett case where he faked a “hate crime” against himself purely for selfish attention. People who perpetrate these evil acts cause murders, death, destruction, and chaos.
“…Now this was the thing that Amalickiah desired, that he might accomplish his designs in dethroning the king. Now it was the custom among the Lamanites, if their chief leader was killed, to appoint the second leader to be their chief leader. And it came to pass that Amalickiah caused that one of his servants should administer poison by degrees to Lehonti, that he died. Now, when Lehonti was dead, the Lamanites appointed Amalickiah to be their leader and their chief commander. […]
And it came to pass that the king put forth his hand to raise them, as was the custom with the Lamanites, as a token of peace, which custom they had taken from the Nephites. And it came to pass that when he had raised the first from the ground, behold he stabbed the king to the heart; and he fell to the earth. Now the servants of the king fled; and the servants of Amalickiah raised a cry, saying: Behold, the servants of the king have stabbed him to the heart, and he has fallen and they have fled; behold, come and see.”Alma 47:16-19,23-26
“But behold, Paanchi, and that part of the people that were desirous that he should be their governor, was exceedingly wroth; therefore, he was about to flatter away those people to rise up in rebellion against their brethren. And it came to pass as he was about to do this, behold, he was taken, and was tried according to the voice of the people, and condemned unto death; for he had raised up in rebellion and sought to destroy the liberty of the people.
Now when those people who were desirous that he should be their governor saw that he was condemned unto death, therefore they were angry, and behold, they sent forth one Kishkumen, even to the judgment-seat of Pahoran, and murdered Pahoran as he sat upon the judgment-seat. And he was pursued by the servants of Pahoran; but behold, so speedy was the flight of Kishkumen that no man could overtake him.
And he went unto those that sent him, and they all entered into a covenant, yea, swearing by their everlasting Maker, that they would tell no man that Kishkumen had murdered Pahoran. Therefore, Kishkumen was not known among the people of Nephi, for he was in disguise at the time that he murdered Pahoran. And Kishkumen and his band, who had covenanted with him, did mingle themselves among the people, in a manner that they all could not be found;”Helaman 1:7-12
“Yea, behold it is now even at your doors; yea, go ye in unto the judgment-seat, and search; and behold, your judge is murdered, and he lieth in his blood; and he hath been murdered by his brother, who seeketh to sit in the judgment-seat. And behold, they both belong to your secret band, whose author is Gadianton and the evil one who seeketh to destroy the souls of men.”Helaman 8:27-28
“Now it came to pass that they were taken and brought up before the judge, to be judged of the crime which they had done, according to the law which had been given by the people. Now it came to pass that those judges had many friends and kindreds; and the remainder, yea, even almost all the lawyers and the high priests, did gather themselves together, and unite with the kindreds of those judges who were to be tried according to the law. And they did enter into a covenant one with another, yea, even into that covenant which was given by them of old, which covenant was given and administered by the devil, to combine against all righteousness.
Therefore they did combine against the people of the Lord, and enter into a covenant to destroy them, and to deliver those who were guilty of murder from the grasp of justice, which was about to be administered according to the law. And they did set at defiance the law and the rights of their country; and they did covenant one with another to destroy the governor, and to establish a king over the land, that the land should no more be at liberty but should be subject unto kings.”3 Nephi 6:26-30
“Now behold, I will show unto you that they did not establish a king over the land; but in this same year, yea, the thirtieth year, they did destroy upon the judgment-seat, yea, did murder the chief judge of the land. And the people were divided one against another; and they did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family and his kindred and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land.”3 Nephi 7:1-2
If we participate in this contention we are not growing closer to God; we are becoming them. The roadmap from peace to destruction has been illustrated for us in the Book of Mormon; we know how this ends.
“And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites. And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.
And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God. And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction.”Helaman 6:37-40