Today was a very spiritually and emotionally charged day for me. I am grateful for the Sabbath day and that I am able to re-concentrate my efforts and recharge my spiritual batteries.
Since general conference is next week (to learn more, click here), today was fast Sunday. In my weakness as a human being, I tend to find some testimony meetings…tedious. I let the silly things people say or the stories they tell frustrate me and I miss the message that they are trying to share.
Specifically, today there was a young lady who just frustrated me. She was being rather dramatic and telling stories and taking a long time and I just wanted her to stop. I was so busy being upset at how silly she was being that I didn’t listen to what she was actually talking about and I missed her message. I dismissed her completely. (we will come back to her in a bit)
A friend of mine then got up to bear testimony. He is a good guy, but has struggled with living the commandments and is soon to suffer some disciplinary action as a result. This was probably the last he will be able to share his testimony for a while. As he got up, he spoke about how grateful he was for our testimonies and he mentioned that he is thankful for a ward that supports him. He needs that support.
Since I am aware of his situation, his words made a bit more sense to me. He was saying that now, more than ever, he needs to be loved and uplifted so that he can move through this difficult part of his life.
He specifically thanked some people for their testimonies, including the one girl who was frustrating me. I was shocked at first. I thought “But she was being silly and dramatic!” But as I then thought back, I realized that I hadn’t truly listened. I ignored her message as I dismissed her words. How prideful of me! What a shame! I missed out on good,quality spiritual learning because I was so busy thinking about how her testimony was all wrong and how mine was clearly better and she didn’t know what she was doing.
I do this type thing a lot I realized. We all do. There is no need for it. No place for it. As my friend pointed out, we all need each other. I am so grateful for his testimony, which reminded me that no matter where we are in our spiritual progression, we can all learn from each other. President Monson shared this teaching on the matter:
“My brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”
We are indeed “the Lord’s hands.” We need to let each other BE the Lord’s hands. I am grateful for the reminder I had to let go of my pride and accept help, no matter who it is from. That young lady helped several people with her message. She was doing her best to be the Lord’s hands and my friend was indeed serving me in the same way. And I am sure that right now he feels inadequate and unworthy. It doesn’t matter. He still helped me learn an important lesson. We are all imperfect and the Lord works through us anyway.
I hope that we can all remember that we need each other. Accept and love one another. Everyone, no matter their struggle, can help lift us. This is the messge of Love that Jesus Christ left for us. He turned none away. I hope to learn to do the same.