Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday thoughts

As usual, I experienced a small bit of dread about going to the Relief Society general broadcast last night, because it involved leaving my house at night and I hate going by myself. Also as usual, it was fine, I found some people from my ward to sit by, the messages were wonderful, and I was thoroughly glad I had gone. (When will I learn? At least this time it was only a tiny bit of dread and I didn't contemplate skipping out.)

While I enjoyed the whole meeting, I was especially moved by President Monson's talk about judging others. Here are my highlights:

  • He became emotional as he recalled the many women who visited his home as he grew up, and then the 84 widows he visited as their bishop, and how he spoke at each one of their funerals.
  • What do we see when we look at others? Are we looking through windows that need to be cleaned?
  • We make judgments without knowing all the facts, the background, or the heart.
  • Judge not.
  • Many of us judge actions, appearance, or size.
  • He related an incident on the day he was first called to be an apostle. His wife was left with nowhere to sit in the tabernacle and was flustered as she tried to find a seat. A kind member of a general board invited a grateful Sister Monson to sit next to her. They heard another board member sitting behind them murmuring angrily that those seats were reserved, not just for anyone to sit in. How she must have felt when she realized that the woman she was criticizing was the wife of the newest apostle!
  • Appearances can be so deceiving, such a poor measure of a soul.
  • If appearance reflected the workings of the soul, would the countenance of those who complain be as lovely as those who are criticized?
  • He told the story of a disfigured old man who could not find a place to stay the night. One kind woman saw into his heart and invited him to stay in their home whenever he was in town. Later, while walking through a friend's greenhouse, she saw a beautiful flower growing in a rusty old bucket. When she asked about it, her friend said that she had run out of pots, but that she knew that flower was going to be wonderful, and she didn't think it would mind starting out in the old bucket because it would just be for a little while.
  • "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." – Mother Teresa
  • Charity never faileth.
  • Charity is the opposite of judgment.
  • Charity is forgiveness, compassion, mercy; it is love in action.
  • We need to be charitable to those who have succumbed to weakness or error, as well as those who are suffering trials.
  • "To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike."
  • Charity is accepting people as they truly are, despite weaknesses and shortcomings.
  • Charity is resisting the temptations to categorize others.
  • May the Relief Society motto – Charity Never Faileth – permeate your souls and color all your actions.
I could just feel the prophet's love for all people and his desire for all to feel loved and valued. As our Heavenly Father loves each of his children individually, I am sure he too wants us to avoid judging each other, categorizing each other, and being critical. I found myself reviewing the many people I have judged too hastily, then come to know and love them and see how wrong I was initially. Too many to count!

I want to work harder at being compassionate and forgiving and accepting people as they are. I think I will teach this lesson in Family Home Evening because I want my children to hear it as well!


Kelly said...

I am the same way about dreading evening events that afterward I end up loving. I wonder if I'll ever be able to snap out of that?

I was sick over the weekend and missed the broadcast, but enjoyed watching it in bed on my laptop this morning. I also thought President Monson's talk was just remarkably moving!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

It was a grand meeting, wasn't it? It's easy for me to love them because we were encouraged to watch it at home this year. I wore no shoes, a warm sweat shirt and even contemplated making popcorn for it.

I always come away feeling stronger, faster, braver. And happier.

Shauna said...

Thanks for these great notes. I loved listening to President Monson's message. So many people in my Ward referred to his message in our Sunday meetings yesterday.
I re-watched the meeting last night and still loved every minute!

patsy said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I went downtown with my girls to conference... but ended up way over heated & out in the hall. I could here most (i thought) until I read your notes!
I'm going back & watching it again.

Jill said...

I thought this was a great talk and I loved it that he was emotional about his memories.

It's sad that this is a lesson we all seem to have to learn over and over and over again. Somehow the judgments come without even realizing they're judgments!

Claudissima said...

OHHHH i LOVED pres. mOnson's was sooo nice and it was like YEAH there you seems since he became a prophet he has not told sooo many this was nice and refreshing to hear him for a long time, compared to the short messages sometimes they make......

Petey said...

President Monson's talk was my favorite as well. I really did appreciate how he described charity as not just giving of our substance but also of being patient with those who have wronged us and of not being judgmental. I also loved Mother Theresa's quote as well. It is so true!

Susan said...

Jessie and Linda and I all went together. I couldn't help but think of Grandma's constant advice to me about this very topic. She spoke often to me of the error of judging too harshly and quickly and openly.

I'll try harder.

Rebekah said...

I totally and completely spaced this meeting, so it was nice to read the recap.

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