I had a very late night last night.
The Bug woke me up at about 2:00 am, crying, and after I got him settled I just could not go to sleep. (You know those times when it seems that you simply can not turn your brain off? That was my night.) I was awake, mind racing, for hours. One of the things that was going through my head was the fact that my testimony of the Savior has changed and evolved over the years, and I understand things very differently than I did even just a few short years ago.
I have come to realize that things which were once so black and white to me are not black and white at all but, instead, various shades of gray. No one falls into one absolute end of the spectrum or the other in any given instance. No one is completely evil, and no one is completely good.
We all have our individual strengths and weaknesses. You may be diligent in reading your scriptures and paying your tithing, but what about those times when you say things you know you shouldn't, or you cut someone off in traffic,or you look down on someone because they drink or smoke, or you get short with the grocery store clerk because they didn't give you the right amount of change? Personally, I have a problem with patience. It's something I really have to work at. I also tend to procrastinate. On the other hand, I'm really good at giving pep talks when people need them, and I put my all into any project that I undertake.
See? Totally in the grey.
And guess what?
The Savior loves us, in all of our greyness. He doesn't look down on me for being a procrastinator, or for having little patience at times. He wants the best for me. He wants me to do better. But His love is not contingent on those things. Ours shouldn't be either.
He That is Without Sin- Liz Lemon Swindle
We should be befriending those people who are troubled.
We should be helping to lift them up.
Instead of looking down on those people who may think or believe or act in a different way than us, we should be loving them.
This is so important in today's society of partisan politics, shallow commercialization, and our general culture of "If you don't think like I do, you're lame and stupid". It really isn't our place to judge anyone. This is something that we've been taught all our lives, but I think sometimes it's hard to implement it in our day-to-day-outside-of-church lives. By nature, we gravitate toward those who are like ourselves. If we're trying to be more Christ-like, though, this is a tendency we need to work to overcome.
I think I've figured out that one way to do this is by really getting to know who the Savior was and is.
When we get to know Him better, as a real person, our older brother, He becomes someone to emulate. Have you read the scriptures as though you're reading someone's journal? This is something that helps me really pay attention to what I'm reading, and imagine it in my head, rather than reading an entire chapter only to realize that I don't remember anything that I just read (admit it, you've done it).
So, here's my deep thought/question of the day:
What would the world be like if we all REALLY were trying to be like Jesus?
I'm not talking about the simple things like not stealing, or not killing someone. I'm hoping that for most of you, those things are pretty easy. I'm talking about loving that person who just cut you off in traffic. Truly wishing the best for the woman who looked down her nose at you and made you feel two inches tall. Offering a helping hand to someone who is socially "beneath" you, expecting nothing in return, and placing no conditions on your help. As in, "If I give this homeless man a few dollars, he better not go buy a case of beer with it!". As I see it, your involvement with the situation basically ends as soon as you hand over the money. What he does with it does not diminish your good deed, does it?
My goal for this week is to get to know my Savior a little better. I'm going to challenge all two of my readers to do the same, and let me know what you find out!
Here's a story that I remember from Sunday School, that's loosely related to what I've been going on about. I thought it would be a good read.
Do You Know The Savior?
A man died, was resurrected and waiting in a room to be interviewed. Another man was ahead of him. The door opened, the man entered, and the door closed. The man on the outside could hear the conversation on the other side of the door. The interviewer began: "I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ."
"Well, He was born of Mary in Bethlehem; he lived thirty-three years, spending the last three organizing his church, choosing his Apostles, and giving the gospel to direct our lives."
The interviewer stopped him and said: "Yes, yes, that's all true, but I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ."
"Well, he suffered and died so that we could have eternal life. Three days later he was resurrected so that we might return to Heavenly Father."
"Yes, yes, that is true, but I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ." The man, a little perplexed, again began: "Well, he restored the gospel in its fulness to the earth through Joseph Smith, reorganized his church, gave us temples so we could do work to save our dead. He gave us personal ordinances for our salvation and exaltation."
The interviewer again stopped him and said, "All of what you have said to me is true." The man was then invited to leave the room. After he left, the door opened and the second man entered. As he approached the interviewer he fell upon his knees and cried, "My Lord, my God."
Are you presently well enough acquainted with the Savior that you would recognize him if you were to walk into his presence?
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