Keeping Anger in Check

President Thomas S. Monson has served as the 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since February 3, 2008.

I’m not usually an angry person.  But sometimes a lack of sleep weakens my will for patience and forbearance. This usually results in some auditory condemnation of my fellow 1-93/ 1-95 commuters whom I perhaps judge too quickly. I sometimes have to remind myself to not get so worked up. Here’s a great talk from our current prophet Thomas S. Monson addressed to the men in our church on controlling the emotion of anger – school thy feelings.

In his remarks, President Monson references a hymn written by Charles W. Penrose, a Mormon church leader from the early 20th century.

School thy feelings, O my brother;
Train thy warm, impulsive soul.
Do not its emotions smother,
But let wisdom’s voice control.
School thy feelings; there is power
In the cool, collected mind.
Passion shatters reason’s tower,
Makes the clearest vision blind.

When I remember to keep my anger in check, I feel more inward peace and love toward others. Have you found specific things that help you with this emotion? What difference has it made in your life?

3 thoughts on “Keeping Anger in Check

  1. Teppo

    Good question. For me, one helpful strategy is to try to come up with a plausible reason for other people’s actions. Say I’m cut off on the highway.Maybe that person was in a hurry to a really important meeting and they were afraid that they would get fired if they were late. Now the chances are that this is not the case. But imagining that they may very well have a good reason makes me less likely to be mad at them.

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  2. Tim

    My wife Ashley is probably the best at helping to shut down my anger. I’m kinda weird since I only really get mad about politics and driving, and she is really good at helping me to see others’ viewpoints about those things. Because of her example, I’ve learned to be more analytical and to think through the actions of others as Teppo mentioned.

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  3. Eric

    Good insights – I find it easier to control anger when driving by keeping my negative thoughts to myself, that is, not speaking them (although that’s not always easy to do). The New Testament calls the tongue an “unruly member”, and also a small thing, like the helm of a ship or the bridle in a horse’s mouth, that can control the whole. I think that’s true. It seems to me that speaking negative thoughts has a way of validating those thoughts. Perhaps it is that once we’ve taken action on negative thoughts (even if that action is merely speaking them, and even if nobody else hears them), our minds will tend to justify those actions, usually in a way that further de-personalizes the other driver.

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