Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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***


  1. I'm right there with you. It so much easier to forgive others, but I think we feel like we should know better. Do better. Be better. *sigh*

    Here's to us learning how to forgive ourselves for being human. ;)

  2. This was such an excellent talk. And very appropriate for me because my first thought was 'Oh - I know SO many people who gossip and need this talk!' Oops - I guess that shows how badly I needed to hear it =)

  3. I loved that talk! Stop it, he couldn't have put it any better. I admit that sometimes I get caught up in the drama of life, but for the most part I stay out of it. I don't look for reasons to be offended and am careful not to offend others. And I'd like to think I'm not a judgemental person.

  4. LOVED this talk! It's so important to remember to forgive ourselves, as well as everyone else.

  5. Great thoughts on the true meaning of Christ-like love. Thank you for your honesty in sharing your thoughts and feelings! Loved your post! It's great to meet other authors through this blogfest! New follower :)

  6. I'm in the same boat as you. I have a super hard time forgiving myself, but others, I can generally look past whatever problems. I love that he talks about having love for others as we come to know God's love. That's something that helps me with my own insecurities and self-esteem issues. I need to love me, too!

    Thanks for your post!

  7. You are so right, forgiving ourselves can be uber difficult :) I actually didn't catch that footnote. Thanks for pointing it out!!

  8. Thanks for this post- I've realized that sometimes when I don't want to be irritated with people (or even downright angry) I find myself pulling back. It's a good thing to try to keep "ugly" feelings in check, but often it has limited how deeply I can feel love for those same people as well. Just something that came to my mind. It's hard to allow ourselves to feel- is it wrong to be irritated with someone? Or angry? Or is the emotion okay, and we can acknowledge it and choose to forgive? It's a tricky thing. Thanks for getting me thinking about this:)

  9. Melanie, thanks for this fantastic post! I knew I had a problem when I heard this talk and I could think of nothing but all the people I know who needed to hear it...yeah, judgmental much, self?? Apparently I have more to work on than I thought. *sigh* Stop it!

    I'm trying to let all the blogfest bloggers know about the Mormon Mommy Writers blog where I contribute- it's a great little community we have going on and we'd love for you to join us if you haven't already (www.mormonmommywriters.blogspot.com). :-)

  10. So true. It can be hard to forgive ourselves. All we can do is keep trying and ask for the Lord's help. Great post!

  11. Lovely post! Truly admire your ideology and way of taking philosophy.