Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nay, Speak No Ill

I've been thinking a lot about charity lately.  It's such a pure attribute that we will most likely not be able to achieve it in this impure, mortal state, but we can always be working towards it.  I can't remember where I heard this quote, but it has always stuck with me.  "Sometimes charity is just saying nothing."  When I heard that quote, the hymn, Nay Speak No Ill, instantly popped into my head.

Then speak no ill, but lenient be
To other’s failings as your own;
If you’re the first a fault to see,
Be not the first to make it known.

Many times, we can show charity by just keeping quiet.  We're not perfect, and neither is anyone else.  When we see some one's fault, we don't have to be the one to make them known.  Let them be, and go on.  Look past the imperfections and accept them as they are.  That is true charity.  Charity is one of the most important attributes we can attain.  Moroni puts it well in Moroni 7:46 when he says, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing." 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mountain Moments

Have you ever been on a mountain top and looked out to see the view?  It's pretty incredible.  The air is fresh, the view is great, the world is so peaceful up there.  Life is full of "mountain" moments, and we always wish that we could stay at the top of the mountain forever.  We all know that we can't.  We eventually have to return to the somewhat repetitive routine of life.  We may even reach a "valley" moment where we have no view at all.  As much as we don't like the "valley" moments, they are a necessary part of life.

What makes the "mountain" moment so great?  What makes us appreciate the "mountain" moments so much?  Yes, it is a great view, and we do feel on top of the world, but it's the contrast of the "valley" moments that gives us the sense of awe in the "mountain" moment.  Lehi, a prophet in the Book of Mormon, talks about how what life would be without any contrasts.  "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things...wherefore [we] would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for [we] knew no misery; doing no good, for [we] knew no sin." (2 Nephi 2:11, 23). 

It's tough to swallow, but we really do need those tough times in life to enjoy the good times.  Each time we go down into the valley, we have an opportunity for a growing experience and once we reach that "mountain" moment, we will realize that it was all worth it.  May we all make those "mountain" moments into memories you'll never forget.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Slow Down

There are very few music artists that I could listen to all day long.  Jack Johnson is one of them.  With his combination of acoustic and blues, it just sings to my soul.  Inaudible Melodies, an album and song by Jack Johnson, is a perfect example of his style.  There is a line in one of his songs that I sort of live by.  I'm a sort of 'go with the flow' kind of guy.  I don't like to rush, but sometimes there are so many things that we have to do in a day, that we are forced to rush.  Here's the start of the chorus of the song Inaudible Melodies:

Slow down everyone you're moving too fast
Frames can't catch you when you're moving like that

Are we moving too fast?  Is life too busy?  We often find ourselves are running here, there and everywhere.  We may think to ourselves, "Where has the time gone?"  Many times, our life is filled with so many activities and events that we don't have time to stop and focus on the things that really matter.  Addressing the same topic, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "We would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most."

There's nothing wrong with stepping back and slowing down.  With all of the different things we have to fit into our schedule, are we remembering to fit in those things that matter most?  Do we make it a point to put the precious things first in life, or is our life constantly cluttered so much that we cover those things up?  We must find the balance.  That is when we can excel.  May we all manage our minutes better to make room for those things that matter most.