Anger exposes our selfishness

Our loving Heavenly Father placed us (His Pre-mortal Children) here on earth to learn to make wise choices and become more like Him. We are each born with our agency to make good or bad choices.

We can choose to keep our Father’s commandments and live with mostly joy and happiness in our mind and in our heart.

Or we can choose to NOT keep His commandments, which often causes us to feel sad, hopeless and even angry.

These bad choices, and the feelings that come with them, affect us and everyone around us.

Why? Because we are ALL in learning mode. And, since we are all in learning mode, we will all experience the feelings that come from making bad choices.

Looking at anger from a constructive viewpoint, I try to remember that my anger is a signal that I need to correct some of my thoughts (those that induced it), and that it is a reminder of weakness.

Feeling happy helps us want to make good choices. It’s much more enjoyable to sit by a fire and see its flickering light and feel its warmth than it is to make the bad choice of sticking your hand in the fire and being wounded with a bad burn!

There are all kinds of fires in this life. Anger is one of them.

Learning to control our anger is a very worthy goal. Heavenly Father and our Savior will gladly help us learn to control our anger.

To permanently rid ourselves and our families of anger and the spirit of contention, we must develop a spirit of unselfishness. Such a spirit attends sincere effort to think of others before ourselves and to cultivate a gift of charity, which Mormon said is available to all who seek it. “Pray unto the Father,” he said, “with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are the true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ” (Moroni 7:48).

Charity is the long-term answer to the problem of contention. Nurturing this gift takes effort, but our ability to love will mature as we apply the gospel in our lives. All loving parents feel joy when their child sincerely asks for their help. Put a smile on your Heavenly Father’s face. Give Him the joy of asking for His help.

— Wallace Price, Anniston Ward, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Righteous anger vs. sinful anger

Anger can be the manifestation of righteousness or sinfulness, depending on the cause of the anger that is being expressed.

In the case of righteous anger, a person is angry because God’s character, God’s Word or God’s people are being abused or defamed. Jesus Christ exhibited this kind of anger when he cleansed the temple in Jerusalem in John 2:13-22.

We are told by Paul in Ephesians 4:26 to quickly deal with righteous anger without sinning, because if left unaddressed it will become an occasion for Satan to attack us.

In the case of sinful anger, we are to repent of it as soon as it is brought to our attention. This anger usually occurs when we are personally offended or when we are driven by fear. It is never acceptable to harbor this type of anger, and it will always lead to destructive behavior.

Anger exists because we live in a sinful world and we are sinful creatures. Even righteous anger only exists because someone is sinning.

I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to bring in the age of perfect and sinless living in the New Heavens and the New Earth, where there will be no anger!

— Carlton Weathers, Grace Fellowship, Anniston