Last night was a rough night: Becky talked to me about some of her feelings lately due to a decision I made to talk to her about how things had been a bit tougher before with lustful thoughts.
Although I’m glad she was honest with me about how she feels, it was a little hard to swallow, especially since I feel like things are moving in the right direction.
It’s so interesting how that resentment is such an influence…
I’m glad I’m able to make some time this evening to study one of the questions from Step 8.
Reaching Out to Others
“The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs. . . . If you would have God have mercy on you, have mercy on one another” (Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 5:24).
Without Jesus Christ, we are all perishing, imperfect souls. How does it help you to know that in taking step 8 you are one perishing soul preparing to make amends to another perishing soul?
I feel really good about taking Step 8. One thing I hope to do this weekend is re-look at my inventory and make sure it’s up to date. I feel there are people that will be good to talk to, to make amends and close resentments that have been there for some time.
I feel one of the main people I need to forgive is MYSELF. I have a tendency to “look back” as Lot’s wife did. Sometimes, in the moment of resentment, I think back to things that happened when I was in High School or College. Not only is this not healthy, but it’s doing just as Lot’s wife did – not being grateful for what I have and wondering “what if”.
I researched LDS.org for the phrase “make amends” and found a talk by President Monson. It’s called “Now is the Time“. Here’s one quote I really like:
We do not know when we will be required to leave this mortal existence. And so I ask, “What are we doing with today?” If we live only for tomorrow, we’ll have a lot of empty yesterdays today. Have we been guilty of declaring, “I’ve been thinking about making some course corrections in my life. I plan to take the first step—tomorrow”? With such thinking, tomorrow is forever. Such tomorrows rarely come unless we do something about them today.
This is a great reminder. It reminds me of Alma 34:32-34:
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many awitnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not bprocrastinate the day of your crepentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the dnight of edarkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
Wow…I just read this story and remember President Monson telling it:
“My grandmother had an enemy named Mrs. Wilcox. Grandma and Mrs. Wilcox moved, as brides, into next-door houses on the main street of the tiny town in which they were to live out their lives. I don’t know what started the war between them—and I don’t think that by the time I came along, over thirty years later, they themselves remembered what started it. This was no polite sparring match; this was total war. …
“Nothing in town escaped repercussion. The 300-year-old church, which had lived through the Revolution, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War, almost went down when Grandma and Mrs. Wilcox fought the Battle of the Ladies’ Aid. Grandma won that engagement, but it was a hollow victory. Mrs. Wilcox, since she couldn’t be president, resigned in a huff. What’s the fun of running a thing if you can’t force your enemy to eat crow? Mrs. Wilcox won the Battle of the Public Library by getting her niece, Gertrude, appointed librarian instead of Aunt Phyllis. The day Gertrude took over was the day Grandma stopped reading library books. They became ‘filthy germy things’ overnight. The Battle of the High School was a draw. The principal got a better job and left before Mrs. Wilcox succeeded in having him ousted or Grandma in having him given life tenure of office.
“When as children we visited my grandmother, part of the fun was making faces at Mrs. Wilcox’s grandchildren. One banner day we put a snake into the Wilcox rain barrel. My grandmother made token protests, but we sensed tacit sympathy.
“Don’t think for a minute that this was a one-sided campaign. Mrs. Wilcox had grandchildren, too. Grandma didn’t get off scot free. Never a windy washday went by that the clothesline didn’t mysteriously break, with the clothes falling in the dirt.
“I don’t know how Grandma could have borne her troubles so long if it hadn’t been for the household page of her daily Boston newspaper. This household page was a wonderful institution. Besides the usual cooking hints and cleaning advice, it had a department composed of letters from readers to each other. The idea was that if you had a problem—or even only some steam to blow off—you wrote a letter to the paper, signing some fancy name like Arbutus. That was Grandma’s pen name. Then some of the other ladies who had the same problem wrote back and told you what they had done about it, signing themselves One Who Knows or Xanthippe or whatever. Very often, the problem disposed of, you kept on for years writing to each other through the column of the paper, telling each other about your children and your canning and your new dining-room suite. That’s what happened to Grandma. She and a woman called Sea Gull corresponded for a quarter of a century. Sea Gull was Grandma’s true friend.
“When I was about sixteen, Mrs. Wilcox died. In a small town, no matter how much you have hated your next-door neighbor, it is only common decency to run over and see what practical service you can do the bereaved. Grandma, neat in a percale apron to show that she meant what she said about being put to work, crossed the lawn to the Wilcox house, where the Wilcox daughters set her to cleaning the already-immaculate front parlor for the funeral. And there on the parlor table in the place of honor was a huge scrapbook; and in the scrapbook, pasted neatly in parallel columns were Grandma’s letters to Sea Gull over the years and Sea Gull’s letters to her. Though neither woman had known it, Grandma’s worst enemy had been her [very] best friend. That was the only time I remember seeing my grandmother cry. I didn’t know then exactly what she was crying about, but I do now. She was crying for all the wasted years which could never be salvaged.”
What a fitting story for Step 8. Making amends before it’s too late is a key to true happiness, both in this life and in the life to come.
I’m grateful for this study tonight!