Saturday, January 22, 2011

Taking Actions Instead of Offenses

One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is Alma 62: 41.  “But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.”  This scripture teaches me that we can’t always control what we encounter, such as the adversities we face, but we can control how we respond to these things.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, “Our responses inevitably shape our souls and ultimately determine our status in eternity.  Because opposition is divinely decreed for the purpose of helping us to grow, we have the assurance of God that in the long view of eternity it will not be allowed to overcome us if we persevere in faith.  We will prevail.  Like the mortal life of which they are a part, adversities are temporary.  What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them.”
We are moral agents.  We have the power to choose.  One of the choices we can make is how we respond to feelings of insult, mistreatment, neglect, disrespect, disappointment, and an array of other feelings of hurt.  Do we erupt in anger and lash out on the person who caused or delivered the hurt or even someone else we encounter?  Do we sever a relationship, whether new or long-formed?  Do we mirror back the same action thus perpetuating the injury?  Do we slander the person who caused us harm?  Do we become paralyzed and unable to move forward?  Do we hold on to that hurt until it festers into hate and resentment?  Do we discontinue our Church involvement because of our disappointment or hurt?

Or do we confront and release the feelings, allowing the Savior to heal our hearts?

(To read the rest of my talk given in church today, go to my other blog:

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