Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Anyone for a Quart of Pickle Juice? Some of My Reflections on General Conference

Have you ever learned a new word, and then realized that the word appeared everywhere?  The same principal seems to hold when it comes to spiritual growth and impressions--suddenly, it seems like everything you hear and read deepens your understanding of spiritual truths. 

Some of my past blog entries have touched upon the idea of not judging others, and of being patient with ourselves, but the more I ponder and study, the more completely I grasp the interconnectedness of those ideas, and how having charity, the true love of Christ, encompasses everything else.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held its semi-annual General Conference this past weekend, and a couple of talks did a great job of stating gospel principles that I have been thinking about lately.

I particularly enjoyed listening to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. 



Elder Holland spoke about the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, and the lessons learned from that parable.  He spoke against envy.  I think that envy comes from judgement and comparison.  At the 5:52 mark on the video, he says:  "Obviously, we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know.  What a bright prospect that is:  downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment, to say nothing of the chagrin in the end when we find that God really is just and merciful, giving to all who stand with him 'all that he hath,' as the scripture says."




President Uchtdorf spoke plainly against judging others.  At the 6:40 mark on the video, he says: "This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon.  When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:  Stop it.  It's that simple.  We simply have to stop judging others, and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.  God is our Father.  We are his children.  We are all brothers and sisters.  I don't know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick.  I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw.  It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson.  It read: 'Don't judge me because I sin differently than you.' We must recognize that we are all imperfect, that we are all beggars before God."

Thankful thought:  Thanks for the peace and clarity of mind that comes with remembrance of the fact that we are all brothers and sisters, children of a loving Heavenly Father. 

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