Tag Archive for: meekness

Confronting ourselves with ourselves

How often are you confrontational with yourself?
A couple of weeks ago, I asked some confrontational questions on the subject of pride and humility in our missionary zone conferences.
It is my experience that itโ€™s human nature to see faults in others, and yet much more difficult to see faults in ๐’๐’–๐’“๐’”๐’†๐’๐’—๐’†๐’”.
Most people run away from confronting themselves because it can hurt.

Call your Mum!

A good place to start, is by calling your mom (mum!) โ€“ she loves you and knows you well enough to really help!
We need to find enough humility to be willing to confront ourselves.
It is extremely important to be willing to admit and confess your sin, weakness, and failure.
I am a witness to the fact that there comes a time in life when confronting ourselves with ourselves is obligatory โ€“ a time when one must concede or confess the error of oneโ€™s way.


Ultimately, it starts to occur, when a prideful heart, yields to humility and meekness, and is โ€œwilling to submit to all thingsโ€ โ€“ see Mosiah 3:19.
Departing from former ways, one begins to understand Psalms 51:10 which reads; โ€œCreate in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.โ€
It is always the penitent, who know the seriousness of their sin, who approach God humbly and say, โ€œI have nothing to offer but a broken and contrite heart.โ€ (Psalm 51:17)
It is then and only then, that the battle with ourselves is on its way to being won.
Henry B. Eyring said; โ€œDaily repentance is the pathway to purity, and purity brings power.โ€
Self-confrontation allows us to see ourselves as we really are, rather than what we want to see.
Even though it can be agonising, it allows us to grow and expand into a fuller, more settled version of ourselves.
Confronting ourselves is not about berating or criticising ourselves.

Asking Questions

Itโ€™s about asking difficult questions and committing to the process of self-reflection and self-inquiry.
โ€œConfront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.โ€ – August Wilson.
Itโ€™s about holding yourself accountable.
Am I becoming the person I want to be?
Am I doing what I said I would do?
If youโ€™re seeking to make progress in your life, learn to confront yourself.
What do I need to confront myself with today?

Forgotten Wedges

I want to share part of a talk given by Spencer W. Kimball in April 1966.
โ€œThere came to my mind an article by Samuel T. Whitman entitled “Forgotten Wedges.”
I had learned to use wedges when I was a lad in Arizona, it being my duty to supply wood for many fires in the big house. May I quote Whitman:

The Iron Wedge

“The ice storm wasn’t generally destructive. True, a few wires came down, and there was a sudden jump in accidents along the highway. Walking out of doors became unpleasant and difficult. It was disagreeable weather, but it was not serious. Normally, the big walnut tree could easily have borne the weight that formed on its spreading limbs. It was the iron wedge in its heart that caused the damage.
“The story of the iron wedge began years ago when the white-haired farmer was a lad on his father’s home- stead. The sawmill had then only recently been moved from the valley, and the settlers were still finding tools and odd pieces of equipment scattered about. . . .
“On this particular day, it was a faller’s wedge; โ€” wide, flat, and heavy, a foot or more long, and splayed from mighty poundings. The path from the south pasture did not pass the wood- shed; and, because he was already late for dinner, the lad laid the wedge . . . between the limbs of the young walnut tree his father had planted near the front gate. He would take the wedge to the shed right after dinner, or sometime when he was going that way.
“He truly meant to, but he never did. It was there between the limbs, a little tight, when he attained his manhood. It was there, now firmly gripped, when he married and took over his father’s farm. It was half grown over on the day the threshing crew ate dinner under the tree. . . . Grown in and healed over, the wedge was still in the tree the winter the ice storm came.
“In the chill silence of that wintry night, with the mist like rain sifting down and freezing where it fell, one of the three major limbs split away from the trunk and crashed to the ground. This so unbalanced the remainder of the top that it, too, split apart and went down. When the storm was over, not a twig of the once proud tree remained.
“Early the next morning, the farmer went out to mourn his loss.
‘Wouldn’t have had that happen for a thousand dollars,’ he said.
‘Prettiest tree in the valley, that was.’
“Then, his eyes caught sight of something in the splintered ruin. ‘The wedge,’ he muttered reproachfully.
‘The wedge I found in the south pasture.’ A glance told him why the tree had fallen. Growing edge-up in the trunk, the wedge had prevented the limb fibers from knitting together as they should.”
๐‘ญ๐’๐’“๐’ˆ๐’๐’•๐’•๐’†๐’ ๐’˜๐’†๐’…๐’ˆ๐’†๐’”!
Hidden weaknesses grown over and invisible, waiting until some winter night to work their ruin.
What better symbolizes the presence and the effect of sin in our lives?
This brings to my memory some verses I heard long years ago entitled:
๐‰๐ข๐ฆ ๐ƒ๐ข๐ž๐ ๐“๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ
Around the corner I have a friend, In this great city which has no end;
Yet, days go by and weeks rush on, And before I know it a year has gone.
And I never see my old friend’s face; For life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well As in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine.
We were younger then
And now we are busy tired men โ€”
Tired with playing the foolish game; Tired with trying to make a name;
Tomorrow, I say, I will call on Jim, Just to show I’m thinking of him.
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes;
And the distance between us grows and grows
Around the corner! Yet miles away โ€” Here’s a telegram, sir โ€” “Jim died today!”
And that’s what we get โ€” and deserve
in the end โ€” Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Finally, Iโ€™d like to quote more lines from Whitman:
“Pride, envy, selfishness, dishonesty, intemperance, doubt, secret passions โ€” almost numberless in variety and degree are the wedges of sin. And alas! almost numberless are the men and women who today are allowing sin to grow in the heart wood of their lives.
“The wedge is there. We know it is there. We put it there ourselves one day, when we were hurried and thoughtless. It shouldn’t be there, of course. It is harming the tree. But we are busy so we leave it there; and in time, it grows over and we forget. The years slip swiftly by. Wintertime comes with its storms and ice. The life we prized so much goes down in the unspeakable loss of spiritual disaster. For years after the wedge had grown over, the tree flourished and gave no sign of its inner weakness. Thus it is with sin.โ€
I commend the Spencer W. Kimball talk to you. Why not look it up?
๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž๐๐ ๐ž(๐ฌ) ๐๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฆ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž?

How do I become a better leader?

Recently I was asked, “How can I be a better leader?”
My thoughts returned to a childhood memory…
As a child I remember having a kaleidoscope. With each simple turn of the kaleidoscope a new beautiful pattern appeared. Hence the name for a group of butterflies, as they flutter around together – a kaleidoscope!
Kaleidoscopes constantly generate changing symmetrical patterns from small pieces of coloured glass.
In a similar way a kaleidoscope can symbolise anything that changes continually. Consider leadership!
“Trying to describe leadership is like having several viewers trying to compare what they see in a kaleidoscope when the mere act of passing the kaleidoscope shakes up its design.” Neal A. Maxwell.
Growing older, I am beginning to see that life can be like a kaleidoscope. We can get shaken up from time to time. By pausing, slowing down, reflecting and looking inside our kaleidoscope of life and holding it to the light – beautiful new patterns emerge.
Sometimes however, we play the busy card and don’t stop long enough to see the beauty appear.
So it is with the kaleidoscope of leadership. Endless patterns, endless models, endless ideas, endless determining factors constantly shifting and shaping our leadership styles.
What matters most are the constant principles that create the most respected leaders – namely; ๐’๐’๐’—๐’†, ๐’Œ๐’Š๐’๐’…๐’๐’†๐’”๐’”, ๐’‘๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’„๐’†, ๐’Ž๐’†๐’†๐’Œ๐’๐’†๐’”๐’”, ๐’‰๐’–๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š, ๐’‰๐’๐’๐’†๐’”๐’•๐’š, ๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’—๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ, ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’Š๐’•๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’•, ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’„๐’•, ๐’”๐’†๐’๐’‡๐’๐’†๐’”๐’”๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’๐’ƒ๐’†๐’…๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’„๐’†.
So you want to become a better leader?
Then I suggest you focus on each of these character traits. In turn each will produce a kaleidoscope of beauty, no one can eclipse.