Sunday, September 30, 2012

All the Things I've Heard People Say!

If my wife has any faults, I just don't know what they are. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

When I was first made bishop, she was in the nursery during those two-out-of-three hours at church - not a bad place to be especially if you're the bishop's wife. One of the other sisters who was there, and a good friend whose husband is practically my cousin, said to her, "I can't believe all the things I've heard people say since your husband became bishop!"

"About Grant?" my wife asked.

"No. About you."

My wife's response is for the ages. With a laughing smile she said, "Well, they're probably all true!"

It is almost impossible to avoid giving offense even as we should be constantly trying not to, but the taking of offense is always our own choice and that can be a very difficult struggle as well.

My wife has been preparing a Relief Society lesson. (Wait. This is 5th Sunday! Maybe I get to hear it. But then we had that Temple dedication and it's Fast Sunday - which I forgot - as we have General Conference next week. I rarely know what's going on. No, she just informed me it's the Presidency lesson and the Bishopric is putting off 5th Sunday Discussion.) Anyway, she is riffing off President Uchtdorf's talk from last Conference about not being so judgmental. Her copy of the Conference Ensign is here with a lot of highlighting. I'll share some of them:
"When we feel hurt, angry or envious, it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment."
"Christ's Atonement is infinite and eternal. Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others."
"Haven't we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy--to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?"
"Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? . . . should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven?"
"In a world of accusations and unfriendliness, it is easy to gather and cast stones. But before we do so, let us remember the words of the One who is our Master and model: 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.'"
She also bought little bags of "Accent Stones" or decorative rocks at the Dollar Store. If I ever wanted a collection of decorative rocks, I'd just ask my grandsons. But it's a nice touch. And we all know you can't leave RS without a handout. I just hope the sisters get the message and don't start throwing them in Sunday School - I found out late last night I have to sub. At least I'm not bishop - or the bishop's wife.


  1. I find that there are times to be offended, but it is important to make that decision for the right reasons. If someone is truly being offensive, especially on a consistent basis, we aren't doing them a favor by ignoring it. The only way to be offended without it breaking the commandments is to make it a choice, and to then show an outpouring of love afterward. (I usually can't do it without being kind of snarky, but I do try.)

    You might find the comments on this post interesting. It is a time I chose to be offended, and not let stupidity stand unanswered. I am curious what you think. Was it justified? (I can take it if you think I wasn't.)

  2. Julia-
    Funny. I read that post before that whole comment thread started.

    IMHO you were perfectly justified. Unfortunately, that isn't always enough. That comment thread is a perfect example of why I started my own blog over which I exercise total selfish control. Read it and engage civilly, or don't read it - and I'll block the rude people under my own terms (I really haven't had to block more than a small handful.) I have been in enough of those exchanges to realize they serve little purpose other than to promote contention, pride, and emotional harangues, no matter how charitable and logical one tries (or pretends) to be.

    And I have to admit, my brain simply does not comprehend Libertarian thought and philosophy. (To me it is a mass of confusion!) I wish they would just chalk me up as a lost soul and move on.

    I used to be a moderate Republican, so I kind of understand that and where that group of my friends are coming from. I do not understand the far right-wing now in charge of the Republican Party (including poor Mitt's soul). The whole Beckian/Skousenite/tea-party thing is close enough to Libertarianism to fall into the same mass of confusion. My brain is simply not able to understand it - or maybe it's my personality, (emotion? spirit?) that simply can't accept it. And those guys dominate the Utah State Legislature!!

    I also used to be a racist to some extent. So I get that too (no matter how much they may deny it.)

    So, I don't know what more to say. I am bouncing ideas around in my head about another post on these themes and my experience teaching Gospel Doctrine today on 3 Nephi 1-10 this morning. We'll see if I get to it.


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