Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Don't Wear Masks

This month's New Era has a great article by Elder Quentin L. Cook entitled, "Don't Wear Masks." The following are some highlights:
It is common today to hide one’s identity when writing hateful, vitriolic, bigoted communications anonymously online.
This is very true. I refer to it as people lacking the courage of their convictions. If they really believed that what they were saying was true, then why don't they have the courage to attach their name to it?
What we are seeing in society is that when people wear the mask of anonymity, they are more likely to engage in this kind of conduct, which is so destructive of civil discourse. 
I had other things to say about that at the beginning of the blog.
One of your greatest protections against making bad choices is to not put on any mask of anonymity. If you ever find yourself wanting to do so, please know it is a serious sign of danger and one of the adversary’s tools to get you to do something you should not do.
I often wonder about the motivations of those who post anonymously. Why exactly are they trying to hide? What do they have to hide?
It is interesting that people who are involved with [bad behavior] often assume a false identity and hides their participation. They mask their conduct, which they know is reprehensible and destructive to everyone they care about.
Of course, with some people the mask is what they wear every day and they take it off in private.

I have a colleague, who works at another university. A friend of mine used to praise him for his open-mindedness and fairness. Another friend spoke well of him. I had always found him very congenial. About a month or so ago, however, the mask dropped off and I got to see a side of him that I had not seen before. Gone was the congeniality, the tolerance, and the open-mindedness. Instead I got to see a small-minded bigot who was so upset that he could not read straight. It is very sad. What I had known was the mask, the face beneath was ugly.
The righteous need not wear masks to hide their identity.
 In most cases, the righteous need not wear masks of any sort.