Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Deep and Unmet Needs

Thanks so much for your words, Michael. It brought back two really special, sacred memories for me--first, when I was endowed, in the initiatory, when I was pronounced clen, I cried for a good three or four minutes because I could feel the spirit confirming to me that it was true--at that moment I was worthy to enter my Father's presence and I could do it with confidence if I kept myself unspotted from then on. What a great feeling!

The second experience was on my mission when my trainer read a scripture to me in the Doctrine and Covenants that said that as we testified, our sins were forgiven. She had a goal to never pass up an opportunity to share her testimony, and to give away a Book of Mormon every day of her mission. Following her example, I made those goals myself and they made my mission so much better!

I wanted to add something else I have learned since I have been home: generally, when people are sinning, THEY KNOW THEY ARE SINNING. The last thing they need is for people they love to bring it to their attention. Sure, it's fine to call people to repentance when that is your calling, but otherwise, you might want to keep those stones in your pocket until you're sure you are without sin.

I always loved how I would come to Grandpa and say something like, "Hey, You probably don't know, but I have been having a problem with ____ and I am doing ___ to work on it," and he would hug me and say something like, "I know, I've known all along and I am so glad you're putting the atonement to work in your life." I LOVE that, and that's what makes Grandpa so loveable and such an example to all of us of the Savior's love.

I think it's sad when people think that others NEED to be told what they are doing wrong. I am my own worst critic and am well-acquainted with my weaknesses. It hurts when I reach out for understanding but instead get reminded of what's wrong with me, especially by someone whom I know has made the same mistakes or worse in the past. It's a much more valuable gift to be able to forgive and to love others in spite of their sins than it is to go around pointing them out. That's the Holy Ghost's job. Our job is to just show each other enough love that each of us can, at some point, feel like we are worth the Savior's time and effort and love--to feel like we can finally follow that light of Christ to the place we were meant to be.

When I feel overwhelmed by the need to correct my kids or to change the weaknesses that are emerging in their personalities, this phrase brings me peace: "They're His children, too." Meaning my kids are really Heavenly Father's kids, and all he wants me to do is show them enough of the Savior's love that the Holy Ghost can someday witness to them and guide them to the truth. The only person that can change their hearts or give them a testimony is Heavenly Fatehr through the Holy Ghost. My job is to provide the environment for the change of heart to happen, and to keep praying that it does! :)

My understanding and love for those who sin repeatedly has grown immensely through reading the words of Spencer W. Kimball. The prayer in my heart lately has been that if I'm not quite ready to have a heart like Christ's, please make me more like President Kimball. Please help me to appreciate the MIRACLE that is Forgiveness. Let me be forgiving so that I may be forgiven. Please when I feel the need to bring someone's sins to their attention, remind me of my own, that I may SHUT MY TRAP. Here is the quote that has helped me the most, from his talk, "Jesus: The Perfect Leader":

Jesus saw sin as wrong, but also was able to see sin as springing from deep
and unmet needs
on the part of the sinner. This permitted him to
condemn the sin without condemning the individual. We can show forth our love
for others even when we are called upon to correct them. We need to be able to
look deeply enough into the lives of others to see the basic causes for their
failures and shortcomings and show an understanding heart.

May we look past the things that bother us to see the "UNMET NEEDS" in others (ugh! even hearing that phrase softens my heart!). Rather than reminding each other of what we've done wrong, let's try to discover and meet those unmet needs and bandage up the wounds that would cause us to break covenants and lose sight of eternal goals.