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Dear Gramps,

Does the New Testament story of Christ clearing the temple fit as scriptural justification for dealing with bad situations through violent acts? It appears that Christ was doing what we might call “losing his temper” in that episode. The people doing business in the temple made no physical threat to the Savior, yet he reacted with violence to protect his home. What does this say about both physical and verbal violence in our homes?

Anonymous, from Nebraska

Dear Anonymous,

The Savior was the only perfect man who ever lived. Probably there is no one other than He who has never “lost his temper.” The fact that he chased the money changers from the temple does not mean that He was not in perfect control of Himself, nor that His actions were not perfectly justified and in agreement with His Father in Heaven.

We could never justify any violence on our part or abuse of another from anything that the Savior ever did. He is the law giver. Laws for the conduct of man were made by Him, and He has thoroughly instructed us in how we should behave. He is above our judgement. He is not subject to our criteria of righteousness; we are subject to His. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men (D&C 64:10).


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