By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Some Things to Think About

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:2-5)

"Being human, we would expel from our lives, sorrow, distress, physical pain, and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort. But if we closed the doors upon such, we might be evicting our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery. The sufferings of our Savior were part of his education" (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 168).

King Benjamin's sermon about how God supports us from moment to moment as well as immediately blesses us (when we keep His commandments) was not designed to be a popular sermon in self-sufficient times like ours. For us to be called "unprofitable servants" and to be reminded that even our bodies are made of the dust of the earth that also "belongeth to him"—these are hard sayings that bruise our pride. (Mosiah 2:21-25.) Unless—unless, through humility and obedience, we can transform feeling owned into a grand sense of belonging, and being purchased into gratitude for being rescued, and dependency into appreciation for being tutored by an omniscient God, which He does in order that we might become more dependable and have more independence and scope for service in the future. [All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience by Neal A. Maxwell, chapter 2 (I have this book in GospeLink and on tape, so I'm sorry I don't have a page number for you.)]

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Blogger T. F. Stern said...

I'm still hoping to get nominated for the Humble Servant of the Year Award. lol

12:18 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

T.F., how hard can you campaign for that?! :D

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

This last to posts of yours give a lot of food for thought. I know that trials do help us grow if we humble ourselves. And trials can humble us as well. I often think about humility in general. Why should I be required to be as humble as my mental illness requires me at time. Nobody should have to have an afflictions that takes away so much dignity and yet have so much awareness is what I feel like sometimes. And yet, maybe this humility that I have not acquired to the degree that I should is just what I need. Also, I am not sure what level of awareness others have even if they are mentally challenged by developmental delays or mental illness or dementia. I think of those who are so talented and have money and much intelligence and think that their only apparent challenge in humility is to not let all of what they have go to their head and this seems entirely different than the humility required of those with low status or stigmas such as mental illness. I know that I am blessed that so many have treated me with dignity. And yet, I don't like to be beholden to people. Why is it required of me to have to be that grateful? Couldn't I just have ordinary gratitude. Oh, I am so dependent and were it not for kindness and mercy I do not know if I would have survived. God has comforted me and put kind people in my path and that had kept me going and allowed me to forge a life within the constraints of what I do and do not do. Yes, I know people want me to do more and maybe I will. But I am grateful for what I can do and ocd had given me much consciousness of that. I recognize that there are other roads to the same realizations. I also want to add that it is very imporant for me to be aware. I do not ever want to be without my awarenss through dementia, brain inujury, or insanity. I have been out of it in some ways, but I have never completely lost it and for that I am very grateful. It has been humbling indeed.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Barb, those are complicated issues, aren't they? Sometimes I think our situations are what they are to teach us things, but they can also be for giving others the opportunity to learn to be kind and charitable and giving as they help us. I believe that we have to learn to be patient and humble and yet retain our dignity as children of our Heavenly Father. That's not always easy, so we have to trust God and rely on Him to sort it all out. That is what I have been trying to do and sometimes it is confusing! Well, we will just have to keep working at life and do our best to figure it out!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Thanks Mary! I am very grateful for friends and feel that many accept me quirks and all. :)

5:43 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

You're welcome! Friends are great, aren't they?! They do accept us, quirks and all!

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Friends are great! I had a thought recently, "If you live for yourself alone, then you really are alone." Although I am single, I feel connected to so many people. This includes the blogs that I frequent where the authors are great at providing a nice community and commenting on responses if possible.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

That thought of yours is a good reminder of how selfishness (living for ourselves alone) can imprison us in isolation. If we reach out to others, whether it is in person or on the internet, then we get outside of ourselves and think of others. A little aloneness, to ponder and think, is good, but it shouldn't be all that we do. We can gain a lot from others.

7:11 AM  

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