Tackling Opposition with Illumination

Many experiences in my life were notable, not by the place I went, or the activities I participated in, but because of the people I was with and the feelings that I had that left me inspired me to forget myself and go out and help others. This past weekend at our men’s retreat, it was a boost in caring, a breath of fresh air, and a lift to my spirit.  We were taught and we learned.  It was a connection in brotherhood that I believe all who participated came away feeling more hopeful, more alive, more engaged in their own lives for the benefit of their own family.

At home I felt more involved in my children’s needs, and took more time to listen with them, pray with them, and play with them.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could report that this change was effortlessly maintained, and all was rosy and bright in the world at our home?  However, that feeling was quickly combated with fierce opposition.

Soon I found myself feeling annoyed, impatient, tired, and finding myself on Facebook more than I had intended.  Once I recognized the shift in the climate in our home, I had to ask myself: What happened!?

A talk from Jeffrey R Holland came to mind.  Looking over my life, I can say that I shouldn’t be surprised.  After amazing moments of “illumination” there is always darkness and chaos trying to sneak in to snuff out the light we have found.  So my message to you today is in effort to continue in the light, and endure in the race.

Write down the “illumination” you feel so that it will take a stronger hold in your mind.  Share those thoughts with someone you care for that will appreciate the precious meaning of personal insights that come from God.  Richard G Scott said: “Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation.”(LDS General Conference, April 2012) Take the marvelous light you have received and share it with others, through writing, social media, and one-on-one.

Mediocrity is Ok

I have often been the ranting lunatic about how people are living in mediocrity and they are ok with it. Well today I learned a time that it is ok to be in mediocrity.In Brad Wilcox's talk from 2009 BYU Education Week "After All We Can Do" he says the meaning of the word mediocrity comes from the Latin mediocris which means 'half way up the mountain.' So why would I ever be ok with only half way up the mountain? Because it is part of the the trail to the top. We won't reach the top if we never have a climb. And if the mountain didn't require effort to summit, there wouldn't be much satisfaction in the journey or the destination. We would do ourselves and others much good if we saw not just our current place on the trail, but where we were headed, and how we enjoy the journey. If mediocrity is our goal, then I'll jump back on my soapbox, but if we are sincerely trying and climbing up the mountain, though we only be halfway up, mediocrity is ok, for now.

Reprove with Sharpness

I wonder if we hit the nail on the head too much.   If you've ever used a hammer you know that if you pound the nail into the wood too far, you can damage the wood. Ideally, if you use sharp precise force on the nail you can hit it once or twice and get it into the wood all the way to fulfill the purpose of hammering the nail.  Unfortunately, if you hammer and pound too much, eventually you're going to damage the wood or the nail or both.  On top of that you’ll likely end up mad at the hammer and possibly do more damage to the wood, or possibly your finger.


So it is also with reproving in spiritual matters when we sin or make a mistakes God doesn't pound us into the ground over and over.  He reproves with sharpness (D&C 121:43) at the right time so why do we continue to beat ourselves up that's not what God wants to do.  Beating ourselves up isn’t humility, it’s self-humiliation, and it only makes things worse.  Humility is taking 100% responsibility for our actions, acknowledging our faults, and recognizing that we need help in overcoming them. Choose humility.  Choose to be accountable for your thoughts, intentions, words, actions, and reactions.Reprove with Sharpness