Friday, August 08, 2008

Thoughts on thoughts

I've been having some thoughts lately.  OK, not really MY thoughts, but I've been thinking about Neal A. Maxwell's thoughts.  Brother Maxwell was one of the 12 apostles of the LDS church until his passing a couple years ago.  He was one of my favorite apostles.  (Yes I have favorites).  I've always loved listening to Elder Maxwell--however you can't just listen, his talks are so rich with wisdom and almost poetic in nature it requires an active and alert mind to actually internalize what he's trying to convey.  Recently I downloaded a handful of his talks and have been listening to them one by one.  They are lovely.  More than lovely, they are rich and filling--the spiritual equivalent of a Sunday pot roast dinner.  Nutritious.  Your heart feels full and ready to spill over with love for everyone and everything around you.  What I really love are some of the topics Elder Maxwell speaks on...my favorite so far?  Meekness. Dull right?  Blah!  Who wants to be meek?  You will.  After listening to Elder Maxwell you'll think that meek is the new black.  Here are some favorite quotes from his talk "Meek and Lowly."    


 

There appears to be “no other way” to learn 

certain things except through the relevant, clin- 

ical experiences. Happily, the commandment 

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for 

Iam meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29) 

carries an accompanying and compensating 

promise from Jesus—“and ye shall find rest 

unto your souls.” This is a very special form of 

rest. It surely includes the rest resulting from 

the shedding of certain needless burdens: 

fatiguing insincerity, exhausting hypocrisy, and 

the strength-sapping quest for recognition, 

praise, and power. Those of us who fall short, 

in one way or another, often do so because we 

carry such unnecessary and heavy baggage. 

Being thus overloaded, we sometimes stumble 

and then feel sorry for ourselves. 

We need not carry such baggage. However, 

when we’re not meek, we resist the informing 

voice of conscience and feedback from family, 

leaders, and friends. Whether from preoccupa- 

tion or pride, the warning signals go unnoticed 

or unheeded. However, if sufficient meekness 

is in us, it will not only help us to jettison 

unneeded burdens, but will also keep us from 

becoming mired in the ooze of self-pity. 

Furthermore, true meekness has a metabolism 

that actually requires very little praise or recog- 

nition—of which there is usually such a short- 

age anyway. Most of the time, the sponge of 

selfishness quickly soaks up everything in 

sight, including praise intended for others.




Meekness also protects us from the fatigue 

of being easily offended. There are so many 

just waiting to be offended. They are so alerted 

to the possibility that they will not be treated 

fairly, they almost invite the verification of 

their expectation! 




Meekness could have rescued proud and 

fearful Judas even after he had left the Last 

Supper. He could have slipped back in later, 

quietly and humbly, rejoining his apostolic 

colleagues, having belatedly determined not to 

do the dastardly deed. Meekness can rescue us 

from ourselves even when we are deep in error, 

even when others have written us off.




 I love it.  I'm not good at it, but I love it.  Read the talk "Meek and Lowly" here.  

3 comments:

  1. Ah, something I needed to hear today. Thanks, Miggy.

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  2. thank you Miggs...

    Meekness is always something I feel like I have never quite understood. I think many associate meek with weak and it is just not so. I am going to read the rest of that talk on Sunday.

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  3. Man, this is good stuff. Thanks for this!

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