Some jottings about anger in the scriptures.
- Most anger or wrath in the scriptures is the anger or wrath of God: Deuteronomy 9:20, D&C 64:15, Deuteronomy 4:21, Hebrews 3:11, Psalms 95:11, Psalms 106:40, Ether 2:8, D&C 63:33, 2 Chronicles 34:35, D&C 19:15, Micah 5:15, D&C 61:5, 3 Nephi 9
- When mortals are angry, sometimes they are bad guys, but sometimes they are good guys like Teancum and Captain Moroni (“if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever“). The good guy’s anger is not explicitly approved or disapproved, though its impliedly a good thing as being part of their character
- When a divine being infuses men with anger, it is always Satan that does it (e.g.). Contrast with 3 Nephi 11:30, “this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another”
- The exception is 2 Nephi 8:20/Isaiah 51:20 -
Thy sons have fainted, save these two; they lie at the head of all the streets; as a wild bull in a net, they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God.
- There are some scriptures that speak of wrath simpliciter as an evil thing: Galatians 5:20, Proverbs 27:4, Proverbs 29:8, Proverbs 21:19, JST Ephesians 4:26 (but see Ephesians 4:26), 2 Nephi 4:27, 29, Colossians 3:8
- There are some scriptures that can be said to be positive about anger in a constrained way, or that at least indicate that anger simpliciter is not wrong: Proverbs 25:23, Ephesians 4:26 (but see the JST), Titus 1:7, Ecclesiastes 7:9, D&C 121:43
- Some scriptures that appear to be prooftexts about anger really aren’t: 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 3 Nephi 11:29, Matthew 5:22/3 Nephi 12:22
I don’t have any obvious way of reconciling all this. We are dealing either with a mystery or with something God wants us to wrestle with.
Note: I generated the above by the crude method of electronically searching scripture for the terms wrath, anger, indignation, and rage.