There are so many thoughts rolling around in my head these days. Work is busy like always, Jared is busy finishing up his Associates degree in the next few weeks. Benjamin is as active as an almost three year old can be and loves to run and jump and climb as much as ever. Elizabeth is almost a year old and could walk if she trusted herself but she does stairs pretty darn well. We are moving in August which I’m torn on in several ways. Excited to try something new, nervous about making new friends, grateful I can take my job with me to Utah and watching the days go by and trying not to process too much about how I feel about leaving close friends and family behind for two years.
But the number one thing at the top of my mind lately is relationships and how we treat each other. The age old adage of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” rings out at the top of my mind. It has been plaguing me as I have wanted to lash out and hurt someone intentionally as they have hurt me. Yet when I think of things I could do I know I’m not following my Savior’s example and doing what He would have me do.
A young woman from church recently posted the below quote online that I love and I am very familiar with: “Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” (The Joy of Womanhood Margaret D. Nadauld)
With these two quotes rolling around in my head I realize I need to forgive the offense I have taken and be a woman who is kind and tender. It is certainly not easy but I know it’s the right thing to do. Today at church the two adult speakers both said or shared something that stuck out to me along this topic. Brother Randy Durham shared how we have two ears that are inputs, two eyes which are inputs and two nostrils which are again inputs, yet we only have one mouth with is an output from our brain (yes I know it has its inputs too but that’s irrelevant to this point). This brother’s comment after pointing these items out about the human head was that as such we should listen and observe twice as much and speak half as much. We need to be aware and cautious of the words coming out of our mouth. And Sister Wendy Carroll also shared similar thoughts about being mindful of the words coming out of our mouths and sometimes even more so the tone in which we say them.
Words are powerful. They can give hope, love, comfort, safety, inspiration and guidance. But they can also break hearts, give offense and be used to harm and hurt others. I’ve been slowly learning this lesson over the past year (and I am sure longer). Once words have left your mouth you can’t take them back. Especially words that you didn’t mean for someone else to hear, others can and will unfortunately share your words and they make it back to certain parties whom you never wanted to hear it. What has this lesson taught me? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
There is something interesting about women. You get a few of them together and they are bound to gossip about other women (and men). Why is this? Why do we tear one another down? We all have faults. A story from the scriptures comes to mind when the Savior has a woman brought before Him who was caught in adultery. What does He do? What does He say? How does He judge her? “Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (St. John 8:6-11)
Jesus has set the ultimate example. We are to love one another and we are to not judge one another. I strongly believe that we were given our mouths to uplift one another and love one another. Does it make it easy? No! I am just as guilty but I am trying. I am so grateful for my Savior’s example of love and forgiveness. I cannot express my gratitude enough for His atonement that helps me to forgive others and be forgiven of my shortcomings.