Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turning the other cheek


I got some more practice at turning the other cheek today.  Uuugghhh.  It is so hard to do sometimes but I know it is what the Savior expects of us.  I had to go back and read the counsel straight from his mouth.
27 ¶ But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Luke 6:27-31.
I dunno about you but this one has always been one of the harder ones for me.  I have to really work at it. Counting to 10,000 helps.
I also tend to refer to this guy when someone has gotten me hot under the collar.


Elder David Bednar
(He is pretty much genuis.)

"When we believe or say we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected. And certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. However,
it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.
In the grand division of all of God’s creations, there are things to act and things to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:13–14). As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity for independent action and choice. Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however,
you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation.

In many instances, choosing to be offended is a symptom of a much deeper and more serious spiritual malady.
The Savior is the greatest example of how we should respond to potentially offensive events or situations.
“And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men” (1 Nephi 19:9).
Through the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you and I can be blessed to avoid and triumph over offense. “
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).

In some way and at some time, someone in this Church will do or say something that could be considered offensive. Such an event will surely happen to each and every one of us—and it certainly will occur more than once.

Though people may not intend to injure or offend us, they nonetheless can be inconsiderate and tactless.  You and I cannot control the intentions or behavior of other people. However, we do determine how we will act. Please remember that you and I are agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose not to be offended.
(Note from me:  I LOVE this example he gives below:)
During a perilous period of war, an exchange of letters occurred between Moroni, the captain of the Nephite armies, and Pahoran, the chief judge and governor of the land. Moroni, whose army was suffering because of inadequate support from the government, wrote to Pahoran “by the way of condemnation” (Alma 60:2) and harshly accused him of thoughtlessness, slothfulness, and neglect. Pahoran might easily have resented Moroni and his message, but he chose not to take offense. Pahoran responded compassionately and described a rebellion against the government about which Moroni was not aware. And then he responded, “Behold, I say unto you, Moroni, that I do not joy in your great afflictions, yea, it grieves my soul. … And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart” (Alma 61:2, 9).
One of the greatest indicators of our own spiritual maturity is revealed in how we respond to the weaknesses, the inexperience, and the potentially offensive actions of others. A thing, an event, or an expression may be offensive, but you and I can choose not to be offended—and to say with Pahoran, “it mattereth not.”
I think Elder Bednar might have just called me "spiritually mature".  Which  makes me feel much better. 


1 "my two cents...":

Amanda said...

I have always loved that talk by Elder Bednar.....I have thought of it many times in my life.