11.30.2009

what is the goliath in your life?


I was thinking about this talk lately. About The Goliaths in our lives, the hard things that seem like bigger trials than we seem to be able to take on. But we do. And they are not forever. And with Courage, Effort, Humility, Prayer, and Duty we get through them. Usually not as quickly as we would prefer. And not always with the exact results we want. But they will one day be behind us. While we wait for or begin to take on another Goliath.

The Prophet talks about the details leading up to David taking out Goliath with his one stone and slingshot. My own summary can't do it justice. Then it leads into these parts below I like:

Well might we look carefully into our own lives and judge our courage, our faith. Is there a Goliath in your life? Is there one in mine? Does he stand squarely between you and your desired happiness? Your Goliath may not carry a sword or hurl a verbal challenge of insult that all may hear and force you to decision. He may not be ten feet tall, but he likely will appear equally as formidable, and his silent challenge may shame and embarrass.

One man’s Goliath may be the stranglehold of a cigarette or perhaps an unquenchable thirst for alcohol. To another, her Goliath may be an unruly tongue or a selfish streak which causes her to spurn the poor and the downtrodden. Envy, greed, fear, laziness, doubt, vice, pride, lust, selfishness, discouragement—all spell Goliath.

The giant you face will not diminish in size nor in power or strength by your vain hoping, wishing, or waiting for him to do so. Rather, he increases in power as his hold upon you tightens.


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But the battle must be fought. Victory cannot come by default. So it is in the battles of life. Life will never spread itself in an unobstructed view before us. We must anticipate the approaching forks and turnings in the road. We cannot hope to reach our desired journey’s end if we think aimlessly about whether to go east or west. We must make our decisions purposefully. Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty.

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I like to think of David as the righteous lad who had the courage and the faith to face insurmountable odds when all others hesitated, and to redeem the name of Israel by facing the giant in his life.

Like David of old, “our cause is just.” We have been placed upon earth not to fail or fall victim to temptation’s snare, but rather to succeed. Our giant, our Goliath, must be conquered.


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Gotta love the words of the prophet. I find he tends to be a good one to listen to and ponder the words of often.

11.08.2009

rock the casbah




One of the interesting things I have recently noticed about myself (while learning how to be a mother of a special needs boy) is that despite a medical explanation and diagnosis for him, I still find in a public setting that my shortcomings must be obvious to others and viewed as the reason for my son's (at times) challenging behaviors.

Recently an old friend from college shared with me a compliment about what he remembered about me from the time we were friends. The timing of this compliment could not have come on a better week. I told him briefly of my family. About my amazing husband, adorable children and our current journey understanding Zane being on the autism spectrum. He told me about his experiences working with special needs children as an intern. Then he assured me that he imagined I am doing well by my children as, he said, he remembered that I always seemed put my everything into the things I do.

I came away from that message with a bashful blush, but a certain knowledge that he was right. I really do give my family everything I have. Even as I am aware I am not perfect and I have a high standard for myself, I can look back and know that with the experience and knowledge I have had with every step of parenting each of my children, despite my shortcomings, I have definitely, always given it my all. This realization brought me great comfort and tremendous courage to continue doing what I am really good at doing- working hard. And to let go of the worries of where I fall short in more spots than I care to admit.

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Recently a nice woman in Relief Society quoted this part of a great talk from 1976:

We can distinguish more clearly between divine discontent and the devil’s dissonance, between dissatisfaction with self and disdain for self. We need the first and must shun the second, remembering that when conscience calls to us from the next ridge, it is not solely to scold but also to beckon.

The Savior wants us to remember that we give it our all. The adversary wants us to focus on our shortcomings, it pleases him when we beat ourselves up too harshly. The Savior welcomes healthy self inventory checks that inspire positive change within. I'd say there is a big difference between the two that is important to remember when engaging in self-reflection.

Her quote led me to find the talk from 1976, I think it provides great wisdom. Especially this portion:

Some of us who would not chastise a neighbor for his frailties have a field day with our own. Some of us stand before no more harsh a judge than ourselves, a judge who stubbornly refuses to admit much happy evidence and who cares nothing for due process. Fortunately, the Lord loves us more than we love ourselves. A constructive critic truly cares for that which he criticizes, including himself, whereas self-pity is the most condescending form of pity; it soon cannibalizes all other concerns.

11.04.2009

strength thru obedience

I had a pretty crappy last half of the day today. And I started to write about it. But it didn't come out funny. And certainly not uplifting. So I will place this here instead. A quote from Thomas S. Monson. And now I feel better. While letting go of the crappy part of my day.

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A Modern Example

One who had learned well the lesson of obedience, who had found the fountain of truth, was a kind and sincere man of humble means and circumstances. He had joined the Church in Europe and, by diligently saving and sacrificing, had immigrated to North America—to a new land, a strange language, different customs, but the same Church under the leadership of the same Lord, whom he trusted and obeyed. He became the branch president of a little flock of struggling Saints in a somewhat unfriendly city. He followed the program of the Church, although members were few and tasks were many. He set an example for his branch membership that was truly Christlike, and they responded with a love rarely seen.

He earned a living with his hands as a tradesman. His means were limited, but he always paid a full tithing and donated more. He started a missionary fund in his little branch, and for months at a time, he was the only contributor. When there were missionaries in his city, he fed them, and they never left his house without some tangible donation to their work and welfare. Church members from far away who passed through his city and visited his branch always received his hospitality and the warmth of his spirit and went on their way knowing they had met an unusual man, one of the Lord’s obedient servants.

Those who presided over him received his profound respect and his extra-special care. To him they were emissaries of the Lord; he ministered to their physical comforts and was especially solicitous in his prayers—which were frequent—for their welfare. One Sabbath day some leaders visiting his branch participated with him in no fewer than a dozen prayers in various meetings and in visits to members. The leaders left him at the day’s end with a feeling of exhilaration and spiritual uplift which kept them joyous throughout a four-hour drive in wintry weather and which now, after many years, warms the spirit and quickens the heart as that day is remembered.

Men of learning, men of experience sought out this humble, unlettered man of God and counted themselves fortunate if they could spend an hour with him. His appearance was ordinary; his English was halting and somewhat difficult to understand; his home was unpretentious. He didn’t own a car or a television. He wrote no books and preached no polished sermons and did none of the things to which the world usually pays attention. Yet the faithful beat a path to his door. Why? Because they wished to drink at his fountain of truth. They appreciated not so much what he said as what he did, not the substance of the sermons he preached but the strength of the life he led.

To know that a poor man consistently and cheerfully gave at least twice a tenth to the Lord gave one a clearer insight into the true meaning of tithing. To see him minister to the hungered and take in the stranger made one know that he did it as he would do to the Master. To pray with him and partake of his confidence of divine intercession was to experience a new medium of communication.

Well could it be said that he kept the first and great commandment and the second which is like unto it,11 that his bowels were full of charity toward all men, that virtue garnished his thoughts unceasingly and, consequently, his confidence waxed strong in the presence of God.12

This man had the glow of goodness and the radiance of righteousness. His strength came from obedience.

The strength which we earnestly seek today to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world can be ours when, with fortitude and resolute courage, we stand and declare with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”13

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And just pretend there isn't a picture of a man in a tampon costume picture in the post below this one. Might be a spiritual buzz kill.
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