Friday, April 18, 2008

It Mattereth Not

I subscribe to a daily web service called "LDS Gems". Each day, a new thought... or mini devotional, if you will... is sent to me. I archive them. Today's thought was really good. I recently had a conversation with someone where I said that nobody can make another person feel guilty or offended. That person chooses to feel that way. If someone feels offended, it is no one else's fault; it's a self-induced emotion. This is such a wonderful message because it really reinforces that we are free and in control of our own thoughts and feelings. We cannot control what others do, but we can control our reactions. We can choose to be offended and hurt, or we can choose to brush off those comments and walk with our heads held high, safe and secure in the knowledge of who we are.

I am reminded of a scripture that I learned many years ago and I think it is appropriate in this context:
2 Nephi 2:27
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
Here is today's daily gem as it was sent in the email:

Daily Gems
It Mattereth Not

"During a perilous period of war, an exchange of letters occurred between Moroni, the captain of the Nephite armies, and Pahoran, the chief judge and governor of the land. Moroni, whose army was suffering because of inadequate support from the government, wrote to Pahoran 'by the way of condemnation' (Alma 60:2) and harshly accused him of thoughtlessness, slothfulness, and neglect. Pahoran might easily have resented Moroni and his message, but he chose not to take offense. Pahoran responded compassionately and described a rebellion against the government about which Moroni was not aware. And then he responded, 'Behold, I say unto you, Moroni, that I do not joy in your great afflictions, yea, it grieves my soul. . . . And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart' (Alma 61:2, 9).

"One of the greatest indicators of our own spiritual maturity is revealed in how we respond to the weaknesses, the inexperience, and the potentially offensive actions of others. A thing, an event, or an expression may be offensive, but you and I can choose not to be offended--and to say with Pahoran, 'it mattereth not.'"

(David A. Bednar, "And Nothing Shall Offend Them," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 91)

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