Sunday, May 31, 2009

Compassion and Kindness

I am serving as the Relief Society Secretary in my Singles ward right now. We, as the presidency were asked to speak in church today. So here is my talk on Compassion and Kindness.

Many victims, badgered and broken, cry in vain for a touch of kindness and compassion but don’t know where to find it. I think we have all felt this way sometime in our lives. Badgered and broken. I surely have. I know, for me, I have felt this way because at that moment, I think I forget who I am, and why I am here. I forget my purpose. I found these words, from President Faust that I really reminded me of why we are here.

“I salute you young people as chosen, special spirits who have been reserved to come forth in this generation. You have great challenges. I hope you are beginning to achieve in some special way. Perhaps it is your smile, your personality, or your ability to lift others. Perhaps you are discovering you talent as an athlete, scholar, musician, artist, or in a hundred different areas. These accomplishments may cause you to think about who you really are.
Many [people] measure their self-worth solely in terms of their talent and accomplishments instead of who they really are inside. It is not always true that the more you achieve, the happier you will be.
God knows you and what you can become because He has known you from the beginning when you were His spirit sons and daughters. What you become will depend in large measure upon how you follow righteous principles and do good works.
If we really want to feel better about ourselves, we should do deeds of kindness. Kindness shapes our character and makes us more like our Father in Heaven. Great satisfaction can come in helping the poor, the sick, the elderly, or others who have special needs. Look around you; there are all kinds of opportunities.
Being friendly to our neighbors and to people at school and at church is a great way to show the lord that we want to keep the covenant we made at baptism. “ to bear on another’s burdens, that they may be light” (Mosiah 18:8). So many people are shy or lonely and need a kind word or smile. Lifting others is the way of the Master. So who do you think your are? Knowing who you are-- who you really are-- is closely tied to knowing God, for you are His children.”

We are all children of God. We all have that in common and we are to help each other return to Him in exaltation. We are to help those who are badgered and broken, we are to be kind to each other and lift each other up. We need to acquire the gift of compassion.

I have been reading the book “Standing For Something” by Gordon B. Hinckley which has many great stories and quotes in it. I found this one in it that I really liked.
Said paul to the Romans, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.” and then he added these significant words, “and not to please ourselves (Romans 15:1) We have an obligation to assist one another, to build one another. No one of us is perfect; we have all made mistakes. Each of us occasionally needs to be disciplined and instructed. But such feedback ought to be offered in a spirit of correcting, helping, and strengthening. Can we not support each other? Teach one another? And encourage and praise those with whom we come in contact?
Imagine how our own families, let alone the world, would change if we vowed to keep faith with one another, strengthen one another, look for and accentuate the virtues in one another, and speak graciously concerning one another. Imagine the cumulative effect if we treated each other with respect and acceptance, if we willingly provided support. Such interactions practiced on a small scale would surely have a rippling effect throughout our homes and communities and, eventually, society at large.
Gordon B Hinckley

Isn’t this so true? It is amazing how one small act of kindness, one smile, or hug, can make such a big difference in one persons life, which will, eventually spread to others, and eventually the world.
During the meridian of time, when Jesus walked the dusty pathways of the Holy Land, Christ often spoke in parables.

Luke 10:30-37 is where you find the parable of the good Samaritan which I think is one of the best examples of compassion. It reads:
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
“And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
“And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
“And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
“And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”
“Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?”
And he said, he that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, go, and do thou likewise.
How can we be like Christ? How can we follow his counsel “go, and do thou likewise.”? The definition of compassion is: Deep awareness of the suffering of another with the wish to relieve it We have no way of knowing when our privilege to extend a helping hand will unfold before us. The road to Jericho that each of us travels bears no name, and the weary traveler who needs our help may be one unknown. But we can pray and be prepared, and always willing to help lift those in need. To have a deep awareness of the suffering of another, and truly wish to relieve it. We can always ask for opportunities to make a persons day better.
I would like you guys to think about this. Who is my neighbor? Whom do I know right now who could be blessed by my compassion? What can I do to help this person? When can I start? Pray to our heavenly father and ask him who you can help, who is in need of your compassion and kindness, and how you can help them. I know that you will get an answer, and you will be able to help them.

I just want to wrap up with this quote by Gordon B. Hinckley. He says this in his book “Standing for Something”
For many years, there was a sign on the wall of a shoe shop I patronized that read: “I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” the most effective medicine for the sickness of self-pity is to lose ourselves in the service of others. The best antidote I know for worry is work, the best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served. Strong hands and determined wills can improve the world and the condition of its people.

May we remember who we are, and what our purpose is on this earth. There is always someone who can use our help to return to back to our Heavenly Father. May we look our for those in need of our kindness and compassion and just remember that we are all children of God.

I would just like to end with my testimony that I know this church is true. I know it. I am so grateful for it and don’t know where I would be without it. I know that the lord works through other people to help us return to Him. I am so grateful for the knowledge that we have a Heavenly Father that will never leave us alone. To know that I can pray to him whenever and wherever I am, and he will listen. I know when we pray we will always receive an answer. It may not be the answer we wanted, or when we wanted it, but we will receive one. We just need to be ready for it. I know, and am so grateful for the knowledge, that families can be together forever. That I will be able to see my grandma’s and grandpa again. I know that the Atonement is a reality and that Christ suffered for our sins so we could live with him again. He is the ultimate example of compassion. Once again, I know this church is true. And I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Update on me!

Beautiful Shot of the Provo Temple. I never have really thought the Provo Temple was one of the prettiest temples, but now that I live near it and can go there whenever I want, I have come to love it and find more and more beautiful things about it.

Bloomed Yellow Tulip. (Yes, I did take this picture)

White Tulips
Red Tulips

Red Tulip

okay okay, so I know I haven't written on my blog for a really really long time, but look, here I am writing! Yay for me and remembering that I actually had a blog! okay. so what's new with me?
*So I passed all of my classes this semester, thank goodness!
*I still am living away from home with my freakin awesome roomates.
*Brianna and I still share a room and we still can handle eachother.
*I realized how nice it is to actually sleep in until noon
*I am loving the free lazy time where I don't have to worry about which assignment I am procrastinating.
*And I am loving being me!
Well, anyways. Here is a real post. I love being outside when the sun is shining and the grass is just calling my name to lie down on it! Yesterday was Beautiful! I decided to go to the Provo Temple Grounds and just read. I was so beautiful, quiet, and peaceful. I think this may become a sunday tradition. Well, I also took pictures and here are a bunch of them.
I forgot how much I love taking pictures!

Me in the grass

Beautiful view from the hill

The sun shining through the trees

The Beautiful Temple

Another shot of the Temple