By coming humbly and fully repentant to sacrament meeting and worthily partaking of the sacrament, we may feel those arms [of safety] again and again.
I’m preparing to share this lesson with my Home Teaching families today and thought it was really interesting how the Lord works. Yesterday and today haven’t been the best days for me spiritually, even though I did have the opportunity to go to Church and renew my covenants.
I was tempted yesterday and today as I "flipped through the channels on TV". I feel this is a form of idleness, where I’m regressing instead of progressing. Just "entertaining the idea" of what I saw on TV feels like I’m slipping down a cliff towards a big fall. This article I was preparing to share gave this story as an example:
A family had been taking pictures on a lookout point of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. They heard screams and ran to find that a two-year-old girl had fallen through a railing to a ledge about 35 feet (11 m) below. The little one tried to climb back up, but her movements caused her to slip even farther until she was 5 feet (1.5 m) from a dangerous 200-foot (61-m) drop.
A 19-year-old young man named Ian saw where she was and, using his emergency-response training, knew how to handle the situation. These are his words: “‘Immediately, it all came at me, and I just knew what I had to do. I set down my camera and went up the trail a little ways where it wasn’t as steep, climbed over the rail, scrambled down a bunch of rocks and through brush, and found her.’ Holding her in his arms for an hour, Ian waited until emergency teams could drop down with ropes” to rescue them (“Save Her!” New Era, Sept. 2007, 6). The phrase “holding her in his arms” caught my attention because the scriptures talk about arms—arms of love, arms of mercy, and arms of safety (see 2 Nephi 1:15 ; Mosiah 16:12 ; Alma 5:33 ; D&C 6:20 ; 29:1 ).
This article is a great example of what I want to talk about today too – Selfishness. Things have not been as good as I’d like them to be: I feel I’m playing with fire, curiously looking down paths that are only dangerous, and not committing myself enough to the will of Heavenly Father. Why? Selfishness! An attitude of pleasing myself before pleasing my Heavenly Father.
I shared some of this last night in my weekly meeting – selfishness is the root cause of my problems. "What’s in it for me" is the attitude of Satan. As he presented himself to be our savior, that’s all he had in mind – "I want the glory and honor."
I recently found this article by President James E. Faust titled "What’s In It For Me? " The article couldn’t be better for what I’m going through right now. One of the ways I recognized this problem of selfishness happened recently…
I was thinking about the week or so that things were going really, really well with Becky and me. I must have been "feeding myself spiritually" a lot because I was doing things that even I didn’t know I could do: washing dishes, vacumming without being asked, getting up to take care of the kids, taking the kids to do things so Becky could rest, etc. I didn’t really think about "What’s in it for me?" until later, when things weren’t going so well.
I realized, as I thought about this sequence of events, that a big indicator of my spiritual progression/regression is in WHY I do what I do . If I’m headed "up the hill" or "climbing the spiritual ladder", I do things with no thought of reciprication. If I do things with the thought, "So what’s my ROI going to be on this?" I’m probably not looking in the right direction.
Here are some key points from the article:
In the Grand Council in Heaven, when the great plan of salvation for God’s children was presented, Jesus responded, “Here am I, send me,” 1 and “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.” 2 And thus He became our Savior. In contrast, Satan, who had been highly regarded as “a son of the morning,” 3 countered that he would come and “redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost.” 4 Satan had two conditions: the first was the denial of agency, and the second, that he would have the honor. In other words, something had to be in it for him. And thus he became the father of lies and selfishness.
Satan did things on conditions of "Return on his Investment". He didn’t want to give us the right to choose and he wanted all the glory.
The thing about addiction is that it does just that: it steals away agency – I become entrapped about in the arms of Satan.
Yesterday in the meeting Greg mentioned how praying continually will help overcome the problems we all have. "Every time you see someone," he suggested, "pray for them." Pray to understand where they are coming from; pray to love them as God loves them; pray to forgive them and respect them for who they are.
I can see how praying for others on a consistent basis can be a form of unselfishness. Unselfishness is another word for CHARITY. I also read this article by President Uchtdorf title The Infinite Power of Hope . The best things I got from his article was an understanding of the power of Hope and Charity in true conversion and overcoming challenges in my life.
I hope to read stuff like this every day – gives me a much better perspective.