A good friend of mine says that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the people you love, and the people you don’t know.
If that is true on an individual level, it is also true, tragically, on a large scale. Why do many Christians fear Muslims? Why do many Republicans and Democrats treat one another with contempt?
Because they lack knowledge.
In the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, we read about a servant of the Lord who will have “the spirit of wisdom and understanding.” As a result, “he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears” (2 Nephi 21:1-3). He will see people for who they are, not for who they seem to be.
He will be a forceful advocate for the poor and for the meek, and a critic of those who are abusive and contentious.
This servant’s ministry will lead to peace on earth, symbolized poetically by pairs of animals—natural enemies—living together in harmony:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
and the calf and the young lion and fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed;
their young ones shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den.
(2 Nephi 21:6-8)
What will be the cause of this miraculous reconciliation? Knowledge.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (2 Nephi 21:9).
Today, I will seek to expand peace in the world by seeking to expand knowledge. I will remember that we treat other people more kindly when we understand them better. I will seek for the Spirit of the Lord to increase my awareness, so that I can see other people as God sees them, not according to the limitations of my own perception.