Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taking Offense

I found this quote in the comments section in the Segullah blog (I love Segullah.) Taking and giving offense has been on my mind for the last few weeks, and I loved loved loved this quote. (I know Clayne Robison from my time in the school of music at BYU, and his father, an incredibly sweet man, happened to be in my parents' ward.)

Clayne Robinson, a BYU music professor, wrote: “I tell my children that if I had to choose between a world in which no one ever gave offence and a world in which no one ever took offence, I would certainly choose the latter. A heaven filled with people tiptoeing around so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings sounds like hell to me. I’m not sure anything valuable would get done. But to be surrounded by people who chose never to be offended by mistakes, or miscalculations, or vigorous growing pains, or rough hewn ways, sounds like heaven indeed.”!

I have sometimes given offense to people that I love deeply, never intentionally. It is a hard place to be, knowing that you've caused pain, and wishing desperately not to have done so. The blessing of the Atonement is that it covers these unintentional offenses as well as sin caused with open eyes, and I can only hope that those I've hurt can turn to Christ's gift to us to be healed from this pain, along with all other suffering. And when I'm the one that is suffering from someone's unintentional hurt, I hope I can remember the same thing. We're all here treading the same earth, and I truly believe most of us are trying to do our best. I hope we can all choose to give each other the benefit of the doubt and love each other despite our weaknesses. It's what Heavenly Father asks of us, to love each other as He loves us. Not an easy endeavor...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Living with Others in Peace and Harmony"

That's the title of this week's Relief Society lesson. I hit pay dirt! This lesson teaches itself.

I love that it emphasizes that Joseph Smith taught tolerance, love, and peace. He taught us to show the utmost respect to those of different faiths, to be Christlike in our love for others, and to build each other up rather than tear each other down.

One great quote:

"We will...cultivate peace and friendship with all, mind our own business, and come off with flying colors, respected, because, in respecting others, we respect ourselves."

Fantastic. Don't you wish that quote was memorized and lived by every member of the church?

Here's the lesson, if you're interested.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Pathway of Discipleship

Some of the time while I run, I listen to talks I download from the podcast LDS Voices. While I was in California, I listened to a beautiful and rich talk by Elder Maxwell that he gave at BYU about 10 years ago, The Pathway of Discipleship. Here are the opening paragraphs:

"When striving disciples reflect deeply upon this mortal experience, it becomes clear that we are all immortal individuals whose ever-present challenge is to apply immortal principles to life’s constantly changing situations. With this perspective, we can improve our daily performances because we fix our gaze on eternity and its great realities.

Though we share immortality, our individual traits, talents, trials, opportunities, and circumstances vary widely. Even so, whatever the particular, passing mortal situation, all of the individuals involved are immortals with immense possibilities. C. S. Lewis put this so well when he said: “It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit” (The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses [1980], 19).

It is a profound thought."

I have loved that CS Lewis quote ever since I first ran across it a few years ago. It resonates with me and reminds me of the worth of each of the people I know, and those I don't.

Another beautiful quote:

"Mercifully, when we make mistakes we can recover and learn from them by “faith unto repentance.” We cannot, of course, relive a particular moment in our lives, but we can use it as a spiritual spur to remake ourselves. We need not let yesterday hold tomorrow hostage.

It is for each of us as immortals to make of these moments in daily life that which eternal principles would have us do. We as Church members have a tremendous challenge in being equal to our theology and our opportunity. We fall short. If we stumble, let us arise and continue the climb. The Lord will bless us because we are possessed of truths about “things as they really are, and … things as they really will be” (Jacob 4:13). These truths beckon us, even in our imperfections, to be better. "

I miss Elder Maxwell. His words have inspired me many times.