Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What An Idiot!!! What a Jerk!!!

I have noticed that it is very common for good people to speak in a tone of superiority of the idiocy of others. I know I do it too - it is very easy to do.  I was impressed by President Lorenzo Snows words in our Relief Society lesson on Sunday - chapter 16 - "That We May Become One".

"We talk considerably in regard to the principle of loving our neighbors as well as we love ourselves; we talk about it and we sometimes think about it, but how much do we really enter into the spirit of these things, and see that the difficulty lies within ourselves?  We must understand that we have got to act upon certain principles by which we can bind ourselves together as a people, to bind our feelings together that we may become one, and this never can be accomplished unless certain things are done, and things that require an exertion on our part."

We know that part of the conditions that will exist in the millennium is that Zion will be established.  And being of one heart is part of the definition of Zion.  It's not just going to happen in an instant - we have to work to make it happen.

President Snow asked - "How would you go to work to bind yourselves together?  How would a man go to work to unite himself with his neighbor?  If two men were associated together who had never been acquainted, how would they go to work to secure each other's friendship, attachment and affection one towards another?"

This is the answer he gave " . . . Let your minds be expanded to comprehend and look after the interest of your friends that are around you, and where it is in your power to secure benefits to your friends do so, and in so doing you will find that those things which you need will come into your hands quicker than if you labor entirely to secure them to yourselves independent of regarding the interests of your friends. . . "

And he went on ". . . We have got to know that it is our business to learn to secure the peace and happiness of those that are around us, and never take a course to trample upon the feelings and rights of our neighbors. Let a man go and trample upon the rights of a brother and how long would it take him to destroy that feeling of confidence that had heretofore existed between them?  And when once destroyed how long will it take to establish that feeling which once existed between them?  It will take a great while.  This is what we have to place our eye upon; I feel it so; in all our thinking, in all our movements and in our secret meditations we want to let our minds reflect upon the interests of all around; and to consider that they have rights and privileges as well as ourselves;  . . ."

"Now you take a man that is continually looking after the interests of the people around him, and let him feel to bless anything and all things that belong to his brethren, and he will in this way establish happiness in himself and around him.  Let a man take the opposite course and instead of blessing and laboring for the benefit of others, find fault and pull down, will he make the same improvement?  Assuredly he will not.

"When a man is not willing to sacrifice for the benefit of his brethren, and when he knows that he trespasses upon the feelings of his brethren, . . . that man is not right before the Lord, and where is the love of that individual for his brother?"

". . . I tell you it is in our folly and weakness that we will not bear with our brethren, but if they trespass upon our rights we immediately retaliate, and if they tread upon our toes we immediately jump upon theirs. . . .  When I see a brother that has been trespassed against, and then he turns around and jumps upon the offender, then I say how far is that brother from the path of duty, and I say to him you must learn to govern yourself or you never will be saved in the kingdom of God."

It would be good to think about this and work on it especially in our families - with our spouses and our siblings, in our Ward family and just as important - in our interactions with the guy in the car who just did a thoughtless thing or anyone else we come in contact with on a daily basis.  

The will of the flesh or the the will of his Holy Spirit? - We are free to choose!

I read this scripture today and it struck me so I decided to share it.

"And the Lord said unto Cain : Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted.  And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. . . ."

The scripture goes on to tell of the consequences that will come to Cain if he chooses to follow Satan and then explains very simply the reason for the sad consequences -  "for he rejected the greater counsel which was had from God." (Moses 5:23-25)

It just emphasizes to me that all that comes to us in the final analysis is a result of our choices.  We choose our own fate.  We "are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all men. or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil." (2 Nephi 2:27)  The power and the choice lies within us and we can't blame anyone else or any circumstance.

We can choose to follow "the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate" or we can choose to "look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life according to the will of his Holy Spirit." ( 2 Nephi 2:28-29)  Which will we choose - the will of the flesh or the will of his Holy Spirit.