Applying the scriptures: ‘We can be more neighborly’

A cycle of righteousness to iniquity was common among the Nephites. One prime example is found in Alma 4:5-6, when this cycle occurred within one year. This iniquity and their persecution of "those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure" led to their being a "great stumbling-block to those who did not belong to the church; and thus the church began to fail in its progress." (Alma 4:8,10.)

In fact, it became so bad that "the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people." (Verse 11.)

Members today can avoid placing a "stumbling-block" in the paths of others by following gospel principles. President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled during the April 2000 general conference: "Let us as Latter-day Saints reach out to others not of our faith. Let us never act in a spirit of arrogance or with a holier-than-thou attitude.

"Rather, may we show love and respect and helpfulness toward them. We are greatly misunderstood, and I fear that much of it is our own making. We can be more tolerant, more neighborly, more friendly, more of an example than we have been in the past. Let us teach our children to treat others with friendship, respect, love and admiration.

"That will yield a far better result than will an attitude of egotism and arrogance."