Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Purpose of Being (Single)

Reality intrudes, makes people uncomfortable.

They are secretly pleased to consider themselves alone, unique. It give one a great sense of superiority to think oneself alone. Then we see, the flood of miserable refuse, with the same complaints, and realize, "They have the same complaints!" Thence the unpleasant conclusion that someone is WORSE OFF than me. And self-pity no longer has a semi-rational basis.

I felt this at rehab sessions, where I am rapily recovering from a debilitating stroke. It would be so easy to feel sorry for myself. But for the evidence that there are people much worse off than me. I have continuing weakness in my right leg -- but some of these people have no legs.

Whatever my condition, whatever the problem, I can easily find someone worse.

This doesn't give permission for me to join the ranks of the miserable. Instead, it challenges me to move on. It is difficult, I face serious challenge, and with real handicaps. I'm not what I used to be. But still good for something, and still, I try.

I'm still trying.

I'm still trying.

(Sometime VERY trying!)

I find it particularly relevant to read parts of Elder Wirthlin's conference talk. Whether or not others are sensitive to my troubles, every indication is that the Church is aware of the problems, and someone cares...
True disciples of Jesus Christ have always been concerned for the one. Jesus Christ is our greatest example. He was surrounded by multitudes and spoke to thousands, yet He always had concern for the one. “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost,” He said. “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”
This instruction applies to all who follow Him. We are commanded to seek out those who are lost. We are to be our brother’s keeper. We cannot neglect this commission given by our Savior. We must be concerned for the one.
Today I would like to talk about those who are lost—some because they are different, some because they are weary, and some because they have strayed.

Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don’t belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves slipping away from the flock. They may look, act, think, and speak differently than those around them and that sometimes causes them to assume they don’t fit in. They conclude that they are not needed.

Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.

This variety of creation itself is a testament of how the Lord values all His children. He does not esteem one flesh above another, but He “inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; . . . all are alike unto God.”  (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Concern for the One)
As much as we try, people make mistakes. The ideal expressed by Elder Wirthlin is seldom realized. But we try, together we try.

I will keep trying.

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