Friday, April 20, 2012

Just What I Needed...

The beginning of April was General Conference, which we look forward to every 6 months. Not only because we get to gorge ourselves with delicious food non-stop for two days, but because we get to hear the words of the Prophet and be touched by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. This year was great, and I heard a lot of things that I needed to hear. The talk that spoke to me the most, was by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, called: The Merciful Obtain Mercy (Click the title to be taken directly to his talk). The talk was blunt, and what I got from it was, if you are merciful to others, then that is when you will receive mercy. I have had a hard time holding on to bitter feelings, resentment, and anger towards people from my life, and that is what I'm hoping to change.

An excerpt from his talk really hit home for me:

"I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge. Perhaps there are even times when we recognize this spirit in ourselves. 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.

Of course, we know this is wrong. The doctrine is clear. We all depend on the Savior; none of us can be saved without Him. 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. Jesus taught: “Forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not … [stands] condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin”3 and “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”4

Of course, these words seem perfectly reasonable—when applied to someone else. We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. And we certainly don’t like it when people judge us.
But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference 2012, emphasis added)

I was touched by the spirit, and I am still touched when I re-read this talk. When I read this, I feel as if he is speaking directly to me. I don't know how I am going to do it, the anger and bitterness I feel seems to get the best of me every time, but I know that holding on to these feelings is only hurting me, and preventing me from receiving my own mercy and forgiveness. I want with all my heart, to love the people who have hurt me. I want to cheer them on throughout their lives, and wish them all the best. I want to have the hope that someday they will return to the church, and feel the happiness of the gospel that they once had. It's going to be a work in progress, and may take some time, but I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can do it. If I can make a comeback from a 3 year hiatus from the Church, change my life, and be forgiven, then I can do this too. I encourage you to read and re-read this talk, it is full of life saving words that is for everyone.



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