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Friday, November 29, 2013

Yielding To The Gardener

During my senior year of High School, I participated in a competitive program to increase the knowledge and understanding of the participants about civics. It was a wonderful program to which I owe much credit with my desire to increase in understanding and knowledge. But, I assure you that this would not have been the same if it weren't for the teacher. She cared for us, and desired that we become better. I recall, clearly, an instance (which she would probably deny). I wrote an "essay." The majority of the contents of that essay is of minor importance. Sufficeth to say that I made mention of several presidents' actions with which I did not agree (keep in mind that these presidents I mentioned everybody seems to like). It was not because they did it (alright, maybe a little) but by their means, which I stated was not according to my interpretation of the United States Constitution. I thought it was one of my best works. I turned it in fourth period, and I was off to my fifth period class. She had read it during the fifth period, and before it was over, she came up to my fifth period class. She talked with that my fifth period teacher and made mention that I had made known my opinion of those presidents (and the fifth period teacher loved them). Then, my fourth period teacher proceeded to rebuke me, in front of the entire class (which wasn't that many people) with an elevated volume in her speech (not quite yelling). She then gave me the paper back, and an additional 3 pages of other information. She wanted me to rewrite this paper.
When I look back to this rebuke, I can find several important lessons I need be able to apply into my being. After this rebuke, We, later, won State and proceeded to the National level of the competition. During this time, we had grown into a large family, and she was our "pseudo-mama" (as she said it). That rebuke showed me she wanted me to be better, because she cared about my growth. So it is the same with our Heavenly Father. Paul wrote, "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth..." (Heb 12: 6; see also D&C 95: 1) I assure you that this isn't the only scripture pertaining to this topic. In the Book of Mormon we read, "the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people..." (Mosiah 23: 21) The reason we are chastised is to get better through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (AKA: REPENT). I have most of my posts contain something on how we must repent (aka change) to become better disciples of Jesus Christ. (If you haven't read them, I invite you to do so. The most popular ones is that of "I'm Stretching Your Faith.") The Lord reproves us for the same reason. Proverbs 29: 15 tells us, "... reproof [gives] wisdom." Our Father in heaven wants us to grow in wisdom. He wants us to be perfect (Matt 5: 48; see also 3 Nephi 12: 48). As Christ's disciples, we, too, desire our brothers and sisters to be perfect. Things must be said. If they weren't, there would be no growth. Nobody would make it to the state (let alone national) competition if they weren't humble to accept reproof to become better. The same is for us in our eternal progress. If we did not improve, we would be in a lost, fallen, and stagnate state. In other words, "he that hateth reproof shall die" (Proverbs 15: 10). So, My invitation to you is to be wise in the eyes of the Lord, "reproof entereth more into a wise man" (Proverbs 17: 10). Before Thanksgiving is too far over, I want to invite you to look back at your life, and be exceedingly grateful for the times of hardship you have faced. Be glad you've seen and experienced what others haven't. Elder D. Todd Christofferson begins off in this video saying we need to adopt this attitude to meet Heavenly Father's high expectations. I promise, just as the bitterness left Elder Brown's heart, bitterness will leave yours. You will feel more more joy. You will be able to progress in this life, and in the eternities, just as we progressed to State and National levels of that competition.  I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


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