LDS Writer Blogfest: The Merciful Obtain Mercy

The Easter Break last week has me all askew in more ways than one, including blogging. But I'm back today just in time for the LDS Writer Blogfest hosted by Kayeleen Hamblin at Kayeleen's Creation Corner. I took part in this blogfest last year and really enjoyed it so here I am again!

I think a lot of people might pick this talk, The Merciful Obtain Mercy by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He's just such an awesome speaker- the kind who comes up to the stand and my ears immediately perk up. Already I forgot a lot of what he said, but there are two words he said that I think we will all remember:

Stop it!

He's speaking of the human tendency to judge others, to hold onto grudges or bitterness, to sever relationships because someone has offended or hurt us in some way. This is what he says,

When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple.

I have to admit, I'm pretty good about not judging and not getting offended. I don't hold grudges. When someone bugs or annoys me or does something to hurt me, it lasts for awhile and then I shrug it off. I think, I thought, this was one area that I actually excel in.

So why did I pick this talk? There were a few things that stood out to me, areas in which I do not excel.

President Uchtdorf talks at one point about forgiveness. We have to forgive all men. Looking into my past, I don't think there's one person or one action I haven't forgiven. I know as much as anyone how imperfect people can be, how often we don't mean to do, say, or hurt someone. We all make mistakes. It's actually not hard for me to forgive others. But then he adds something:

May I add a footnote here? When the Lord requires that we forgive all men, that includes forgiving ourselves. Sometimes, of all the people in the world, the one who is the hardest to forgive—as well as perhaps the one who is most in need of our forgiveness—is the person looking back at us in the mirror.

That is the one person whom I have trouble forgiving: Myself. While I don't fault others for their mistakes, I can't forget mine. I can't stop feeling awful for some of the things, both big and small, that I've done that hurt others, or hurt myself.

I think it's interesting how I couldn't care less now about the boys who dumped me in the past. Even though it hurt at the time (sometimes majorly), now it's like, so what? But those boys I dumped? I still feel awful. Even though I was young/stupid/immature/idiotic/you-name-it, those are the ones I can't get over. This is a prime example that I have trouble forgiving myself. Definitely something I need to work on.

The other thing that stood out to me from this talk was just a sort of an overall thought. As Pres. Uchtdorf was talking about replacing judgemental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and his children, I was thinking, I'm good- I hardly ever have those kinds of thoughts. But then I came to a pretty big BUT: BUT- do I have all that much love?

Pres. Uchtdorf says this, The more we allow the love of God to govern our minds and emotions—the more we allow our love for our Heavenly Father to swell within our hearts—the easier it is to love others with the pure love of Christ. As we open our hearts to the glowing dawn of the love of God, the darkness and cold of animosity and envy will eventually fade.

I've been struggling with this ever since. It almost seems easy, like if you don't judge, then you automatically love, right?

I don't know if that is right, at least when it comes to myself. While I don't have animosity or harbor any negative feelings towards others, I don't feel like I've got a swelling in my heart towards other people either. While I've always praised myself for not judging or getting offended or staying angry, on the flip side, I've never been much of a giver. I'm not good at reaching out, I'm not good at service. Heck, I'm not even good at hugs. Do people really feel the love from me? Um, probably not.

This talk really helped me to look past the basic principle he was teaching- forgiveness- to the thing I personally need to work on- love. And the other thing I learned? It's just as important to forgive myself as it is to forgive others.

If you'd like to read Pres. Uchtdorf's talk in full, you can find it here.

Check out the other participants in the blogfest:

***Sorry, I'm experiencing technical difficulties... I had the link list on here and then when I went to update it, it's not working, check out the link above for Kayeleen's Creation Corner, she's got the link list on her post***