Sunday, November 7, 2010


I was impressed and moved by the lessons I learned today. How often I have attended my church meetings only to leave feeling exhausted from wrestling with kids and feeling drained rather than filled. Not sure what was different about today. I still spent an hour wrestling with the kids. I attended the same classes and meetings as before. My attitude was different today and I'm grateful for that.

Our lesson today in Relief Society was definitely inspired. I loved the talk that was chosen to focus on, "The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword" given by Elder Marvin J. Ashton back in 1992. It is still very relevant to our day as it was 18 years ago. Maybe even more applicable with the constant changes in our society and the turmoil that is building. And I can't help but ask, "How much of this turmoil would cease if we were a more charitable, Christlike society?"

"Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again. It makes the thought of being a basher repulsive.
Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.
None of us need one more person bashing or pointing out where we have failed or fallen short. Most of us are already well aware of the areas in which we are weak. What each of us does need is family, friends, employers, and brothers and sisters who support us, who have the patience to teach us, who believe in us, and who believe we’re trying to do the best we can, in spite of our weaknesses. What ever happened to giving each other the benefit of the doubt? What ever happened to hoping that another person would succeed or achieve? What ever happened to rooting for each other?"

Because we are human and are not faultless, we categorize each other, we judge, we place ourselves above others. Buy why? Why are we not rooting for each other, wanting success for one another, like Elder Ashton says. And how do we shove off the natural man to become more Christlike? More loving? More charitable?

"During an informal fireside address held with a group of adult Latter-day Saints, the leader directing the discussion invited participation by asking the question: 'How can you tell if someone is converted to Jesus Christ?' For forty-five minutes those in attendance made numerous suggestions in response to this question, and the leader carefully wrote down each answer on a large blackboard. All of the comments were thoughtful and appropriate. But after a time, this great teacher erased everything he had written. Then, acknowledging that all of the comments had been worthwhile and appreciated, he taught a vital principle: 'The best and most clear indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is the way we treat other people.'
Would you consider this idea for a moment—that the way we treat the members of our families, our friends, those with whom we work each day is as important as are some of the more noticeable gospel principles we sometimes emphasize."

Another quote is brought to mind. It is my most favorite quote. My sister shared it with me a long time ago and it is something I have never forgotten. I cannot remember the exact circumstance I was in at the time but these words uplifted me and made me realize I am more. I am someone. I am important. I can be a light to others.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Who are we not to be? Who are we holding ourselves back from becoming? And why does it scare us to be powerful and share our light with others?

Have you ever thought about that? So I pose that to you. What have you done to overcome your fear of fulfilling your true potential and becoming "powerful beyond measure"?

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