29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
30 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 11:29-30)
One of the first doctrines that the Savior taught when He appeared to the Nephites and Lamanites was that they should not be contentious. “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil,” He told them. And what had they been arguing about? Baptism: the very gate to enter His discipleship. After explaining how baptisms were to be performed, He instructed his listeners:
And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been (3 Nephi 11:28).
Even though we might disagree with others, we can and should always be kind. As President Thomas S. Monson urged earlier this year:
Let us examine our lives and determine to follow the Savior’s example by being kind, loving, and charitable. And as we do so, we will be in a better position to call down the powers of heaven for ourselves, for our families, and for our fellow travelers in this sometimes difficult journey back to our heavenly home (“Kindness, Charity, and Love,” General Conference, April 2017).
Today, I will be kind to the people around me, particularly when I disagree with them. I will remember that the spirit of contention is not of God and that it will drive away the Spirit of the Lord. Especially when I disagree with someone about a topic of great importance, I will remember that contention will not result in a successful outcome and that kindness toward others is an integral part of my discipleship.