Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be Kind - Thoughts from Jeffrey R. Holland


"So lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.

 So don’t hyperventilate about something that happened at 9:00 in the morning when the grace of God is trying to reward you at 6:00 in the evening—whatever your labor arrangements have been through the day.

This parable—like all parables—is not really about laborers or wages any more than the others are about sheep and goats. This is a story about God’s goodness, His patience and forgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion. It is a story about grace.

It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it.

His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there.

So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I loved this talk from our most recent conference. I love his wording especially. My dad always tells us that "it doesn't matter where on the staircase you are, it just matters which direction you're facing." What a beautiful concept. Even if I don't understand everything now, as long as I keep trying to endure and have faith, it will come out alright in the end. I love belonging to a church that preaches mercy, justice, and most of all - grace. 

I was fortunate to teach gospel doctrine in my last ward, and for those of you who know me, I love that calling. One of the things that has struck me as vastly important for my own life is the concept of grace + being Christlike.
When we make a mistake,
God does not pull us up in front of a crowd
and mock us for our lack of intelligence
or for that bad choice.

He quietly withdraws His spirit,
and we feel keenly the lack thereof, 
allowing us to recognize our mistakes
and repent.

Then, as we follow the pattern of
we can be forgiven.
This is a small portion of the grace we receive.

In being Christlike,
can we not afford the same luxury to others?
To not mock them or belittle them
in a group or behind their backs?

Can we not also extend
that same God-given grace 
to those around us?

This is my favorite concept. One I work on every day, little by little. I might not understand everything right now, so I'll just keep trying  - and it will come out alright in the end.

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