Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Humility of a Horse

I have been studying on humility my entire mission, as it is an attribute I know I lack. Yet, every time I come close to feeling like I understand humility I recognize a new facet to it that I didn't see before and the study continues.

Recently though, I was thinking about attributes of a horse: strong, intelligent, powerful. Yet, the best horse is one that will submit to it's master. What really makes a good horse is humility.

English author John Ruskin once wrote, "the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean, by humility, doubt of his own power. … [But really] great men … have a curious … feeling that … greatness is not in them, but through them. … And they see something Divine … in every other man … , and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful." (To Walk Humbly with Thy God

When discussing the attribute of humility with a friend, she pointed out that "humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking less about yourself." When we degrade ourselves it is more a form of pride than humility.

On further study I also discovered the tie between faith and humility. Faith is knowing that God has a plan for us, while humility is submitting to that plan. Likewise, we can have hope that God's plan will be for our good.

The attribute of humility is an attribute of power. Just as a horse is more powerful as it yields to it's master. Bishop Edgley once said "Humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God—the power of humility. It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope, the power of a heart throbbing with a love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, even the power of redemption."(The Empowerment of Humility)

Humility is power and I invite you to work towards being humble; it's something we each must work at everyday. Then, once you realize you have obtained it, strive again to get it back.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Graph of Progress

Sometimes I get discouraged with the mistakes I make. I know that it's part of learning and that through the Savior's atonement I can overcome it, but I'd just been making so much progress! I've realized though, that with progression comes set backs.

Even Nephi, a prophet, encountered such setbacks. He recognized the joy he felt from the spirit, so much that he says his "soul delighteth in the things of the Lord." (2 Nephi 4:16) But his "heart exclaimeth...because of the temptations and the sins that do so easily beset [him]." (2 Nephi 4:17-18)

A prophet even recognizes that as much as he loves the spirit and the Lord, he sometimes falters and has to work to once again progress and have the spirit with him. He cries out "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul." (2 Nephi 4:28)

So when we make a mistake, we can't give up or get disheartened. The key is to pick ourselves back up, with a new determination to serve God and be worthy of His Spirit. Making our peaks a little higher than our last peak, and then when we falter, not falling as far as we did before. That will be the key to our progression in returning to live with our Father in Heaven.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Memorized Scripture

I've heard before the secret to developing a photographic memory: memorize a scripture a day for a year. I tried it for a while, choosing short verses at random, but was disappointed when nothing was sticking, and decided to call it quits.

Elder Richard G. Scott, in the October 2011 conference, taught that "Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change." (The Power of Scripture)

I've reflected on this statement again and again, and contemplated memorizing scriptures once more. I even memorized one or two here and there. Then recently the discussion of developing a photographic memory came up again. This time the friend I was speaking with shared an example of a man who chose a chapter and worked on full chapters rather than random verses.

I was again filled with the desire to memorize God's word. Today I memorized the 20th verse from 2 Nephi 4. As I've been memorizing this chapter I have indeed found a friend. New insights pop out to me every time I recite the verses. I get excited each day to "forge a new friendship" and receive more inspiration.

With more than half the chapter memorized I look forward to starting in on another. Whether or not I have a photographic memory in a year no longer matters as much as the depth of what I am learning each day. I now have a life long friend in the scriptures.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Never Forgotten

When I was young my family went on a trip to the zoo. I was so excited to see all the animals. I was especially excited when we came to the small habitat for the polar bears. I pressed myself up against the chain link fence and stretched my neck to get a better view of the bears.

The bears weren't doing anything too exciting, just wandering around their small surroundings, and we were all soon ready to pass on to the next exhibit of animals. Everyone began to walk away, and as I turned to follow I realized my jacket zipper was stuck on the fence! I tugged and pulled, but that jacket was determined to stay right where it was.

My family soon disappeared around the corner and I stood there, attached to the fence, and cried. My family had left me and I would never see them again, I just knew it! I continued to tug at my jacket, but the zipper wouldn't yield.

After about 5 minutes, my family came back by the polar bear exhibit, only too see me sobbing uncontrollably, still yanking at my stubborn jacket. My mother came and helped me unlatch myself, and wiped away my tears, assuring me I was not forgotten.

The Lord once asked a penetrating question: "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?" Then teaches us profoundly that "yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."(Isaiah 49:15-16)

Although mothers have busy moments where they may lose sight of a child, the Lord is always there with us. He was with me as I cried, stuck on the fence at the zoo, and that unyielding wall was "before [Him]" too. I know that He is with us. He can not forget us, nor will He ever. Our challenges are engraved on His hands.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

...With Hymns of Praise

I have always loved music, but since I've been on my mission I have had an increase of love for the hymns.

The prophets have said that "The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord...Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end."

Elder Oaks once said, and I agree, that "the singing of hymns is one of the best ways to put ourselves in tune with the Spirit of the Lord."

As my companion and I have been working, any time that we find we don't know what to do, or are distracted, we stop and sing a hymn. I've noticed what a strong impact a simple hymn can be. By singing hymns I have felt the spirit more than I would on an average day. I've been directed when I am confused. I have felt the Lord's love.

I testify that hymns bring the spirit. If you're ever feeling down, confused, or upset, stop and sing a hymn and I know that the Holy Ghost will touch your heart and bring feelings of hope, peace, and guidance. 

Read more about the power of hymns.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

...With Puzzles

I've recently learned to love puzzles! I helped a woman finish one recently and it was fun to sit back and admire how well all the pieces fit together. I looked at all the little pieces that had given me trouble and chuckled to myself. After it was all done it made sense, yet some of those pieces were so challenging and didn't seem to fit anywhere!

The more I thought about those pieces the more I remembered the pieces of my life that don't seem to fit -- challenges that arise and trials I don't know why I went through.

We each can understand once we get to algebra why the basic 2+2 was an important thing to learn, and that concept applies with every lesson we learn. We get through trials and, later in life, realize just how important that particular challenge we had years ago prepared us for where we're at.

In essence we put together those puzzle pieces. But it's hard to see the full perspective with just one little piece. The Lord is able to see the whole image, put together, and knows what pieces to hand us.

We too can gain a glimpse of where and how the puzzle fits together as we turn to the scriptures. The Lord has given us the tools. He's given us the image on the box to look at for guidance. We can also pray and ask for the added guidance. Then someday we'll be able to lean back and say, "aw, so that's how that piece fits in..."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

...With An Easter Message

I want all who look at this blog to know that I know my Savior, Jesus Christ lives! I know He knows and loves me. I know that He suffered for me that I can return to live with my Father in Heaven. Because of Christ's suffering I can find relief everyday. He has felt all my pain and joy. He suffered so that I might not suffer alone. He knows my trials, my weaknesses, my illnesses; He also knows my strengths, my talents, and the things that bring me joy.

I love Jesus Christ and will forever be grateful for His atoning love! What has Jesus Christ done for you?

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