Archive for the ‘patience’ Tag

Small Things to Confound the Wise

Reading: Alma 37:6

This past weekend I have been struck by the many small things that, working together, are making a big difference in my life.  I am reminded of the scripture Alma 37:6, which says:

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

One such small thing is a commitment to daily prayer and scripture study.  Although I usually spend only 5-15 minutes a day on my personal scripture study, that effort has helped me to learn more about myself and the scriptures and to find answers to bigger problems.

Another small thing is making an effort to be more patient.  Although I already had a great relationship with my husband, as I made little efforts each day to be just a little bit more patient I have grown even closer to my husband.  I also find myself relating much easier to the people around me.

Another small thing is a commitment to heed even closer small promptings of the spirit.  Sometimes those promptings are very small indeed, and sometimes I am not 100% sure they are a prompting, but as I act on those promptings the best I can I find answers to many problems and my days go much more smoothly than before.

Today I am going to brainstorm some ways to help me be more sincere in my prayers, since this is one “small” thing I can definitely improve on. Although I am doing much better at praying every morning and night, I sometimes find it hard to really be sincere and awake as I pray.

What small things are you doing that are making a big difference? Have you ever had an experience where you were surprised by the effect some small thing could have?


A Soft Answer

Reading: Christlike Parenting by Glenn I. Latham, Chapter 4: Revile Not; Proverbs 15:1, Matthew 5:9, Romans 12:17

Yesterday I talked about how being grateful makes it harder to be angry.  Today I wanted to expand on that by sharing with you some of the things I read today in Christlike Parenting by Glenn Latham.

In this chapter Glenn Latham entreats us not to lose our temper with our children, and that when they act out in anger we should continue to remain calm and unruffled.  He cites the scriptural definition of charity:

And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (Moroni 7:45, emphasis added)

A similar injunction can be found in Proverbs 15:1:

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

This year I have been working very hard to be more patient with my husband and toddler.  Many times I have been presented with the choice of using grievous words or a soft answer.  When I am feeling angry it takes self control and determination to choose the soft answer, but when I do everybody is happier, most especially myself.

I don’t know how I could overcome the temptation to use grievous words without gratitude.  I must think about how much I value my relationship with my family in order to be willing to put off the satisfaction that a biting retort would give me.  In order to endure through a tantrum without throwing a tantrum of my own I need to somewhere think about the great blessing that God has given me to have a healthy, mostly happy child, and how my actions will affect her in the long term.

Today I am going to make a special effort to step back when I am tempted to use grievous words, even mild ones, and think of what I have to be grateful for in that situation.  Then I will write about it in my journal. (I know this is just another version of what I did yesterday, but when I did it yesterday I learned some things so it seems worth repeating.)

When you are angry, how do you resist the temptation to “revile” or return hurt for hurt?  Do you notice times where it is easier to deal with anger?  What is different about those times?

Gratitude: A Great Virtue

Reading: “An Attitude of Gratitude,” Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 1992

When I read many talks or articles by the same person I often begin to see patterns or repetitions that reveal more about how that person thinks.  In the talk I read today I found repeated a line from the talk I read yesterday, both of which were given by President Monson, but 15 years apart.  That line is:

If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.

As I pondered this idea, that gratitude is among the greatest virtues, I thought about how happy people who have gratitude seem to be.  I remember a sister in a former ward who was so sweet and often expressed her gratitude.  Although she was mostly deaf she instead chose to focus on the positives around her and her life was greatly blessed by it, as were the lives of her children.

Also, I notice that gratitude seems to be an inoculation against many other serious vices of our time.  Sins like pride, anger, murmuring, gossip, cruelty, and materialism all become practically impossible if we are cultivating heartfelt, righteous gratitude.

As I have often written in my blog posts, patience is definitely something that I struggle with.  Today I will pay particular attention to my blessings at times when I am feeling annoyed and then write about those things in my journal.

Is there anything that you struggle with that might be made easier with an attitude of gratitude?

What Missionaries Do

Reading: “Your Commission to Teach the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Chapter 1: What is My Purpose as a Missionary, Preach My Gospel

The first section of the first chapter of Preach My Gospel tells us what missionaries do.  I gleaned the following points from this short section:

  • Every person-every single person we meet and see every day-is a child of God
  • Many of these people are searching for answers to life’s problems
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ will help them find joy in their lives and relief from the consequences of sin
  • Missionaries are called to teach these people with special authority
  • As your understanding of the Atonement grows your desire to share the gospel will increase
  • Only the gospel will save the world from itself
  • You are called to teach people this message that will help them find happiness and salvation through Jesus Christ

The only difference, I think, between what a full time missionary and what a member missionary would glean from this is that the member missionary does not have the special authority that come with the call to serve a mission.  However, every member has the responsibility to share the gospel.  Then, when that special authority is needed we introduce them to the full-time missionaries.

As I believe I have written before, one of my weaknesses is a lack of patience.  Sometimes when I am going through my day I get irritated by the little things people do, such as driving in a way I think is stupid, or taking too long in a line at the grocery store.  However, if I think of everyone as children of God then I am lead to be more patient with everyone I meet.  And, when I treat others with greater patience I am a better example of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which I think is the first step to becoming a better missionary.

Today as I go about my day I’m going to try to remind myself that everyone is a child of God.  I will especially try to remember this at times when I am feeling frustrated with things people do.

What do you do to be a better member missionary?


Reading: “Patience, A Heavenly Virtue,” President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, September 2002

It just came to my attention that there are several older posts that I never published.  So, there will be several posts appearing today but they are from past day’s studies.

Inspired by yesterday’s pondering of patience, today I read a beautiful piece by President Monson on patience.  Patience, he says, is important for us as we go through times of difficulty.  If we trust in the Savior, then we will be able to endure with patience bad things that happen.

One statement he made that I appreciated was,

If the only perfect man who ever lived—even Jesus of Nazareth—was called upon to endure great suffering, how can we, who are less than perfect, expect to be free of such challenges?

If Christ is our example of a perfect being, and he suffered so much, both in the Atonement and just in his ministry, then can we become perfect without pain?  We must have problems in order for us to become perfect, as Michael Barnes talked about yesterday.

Another thing I realized as I was reading this is that as I learn more about the Savior and his teachings, I have more patience with myself, others, and life events.  When I understand the purpose of life and the Atonement, the things that once seemed so hard and frustrating become mere side notes on the path of life.

Today, yet again, I am on my way out of town to visit family for the weekend.  So, today, I’m taking a more practical application of today’s reading.  Not long ago a woman speaking on time management said that when you are patient you use your time much more effectively because you are more able to deal with things as they are.  So, today, I’m not going to pull my hair out trying to get everything done as fast as I can.  Rather, I am going to be patient and just be happy with whatever I am able to do before we leave.

What helps you to be more patient?  Is there an area where you want to be more patient?