Thursday, December 8, 2016

Feeling Less? That might not be a bad thing.

Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 says: Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

Alma 37:6 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.

From time to time, I find myself feeling less. Like maybe I'm not of as much worth as the sister standing next me. Maybe it has do with that time I didn't get invited to hang out with such and such (was it because I don't wear the right brands, drive the right car, have the latest watch on my wrist, or the right purse in hand, lack the right personality, the right hair color, the right face?! aagghh!!), OR maybe it's because my child wasn't invited to so and so's birthday party OR to play on so and so's sport team OR maybe it's because someone ignored me when I tried talking with them OR someone didn't text me back OR didn't wish me a happy birthday OR maybe it's because someone didn't 'like' my photo on social media or even follow me along on social media or any other number of reasons.  Whew. The list is exhausting and I could go on and on. And it gets rather comical if I reeeeally think about it.

It can happen when I stack my perceived insufficiencies against another's blessings.

The world is so quick to tell us our worth- how many followers do you have? How big is your house, your bank account, your closet?  How small is your waist?  

Sometimes, I get mixed up and I start judging my worth with the world's standards. I'm left feeling value-less. 

And then I remember this found in Isaiah 55: 

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The Lord judges our worth a little differently. His ways are not the world's ways. 

For example, Sister Bonnie Oscarson spoke at a BYU Devotional about the Prophet Joseph Smith. She said, 'He was born in a small cabin in the woods of Vermont to a family of limited means—there was nothing noteworthy about this little baby boy born December 23, 1805. Who could have guessed that after his death it would be written, “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it”? (D&C 135:3).

Think about the birth of our Savior and his humble beginnings in mortality. Bishop Gérald Caussé said this, "He, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, was born in a simple stable and laid in a manger “because there was no room … in the inn” (Luke 2:7). During His early childhood, Jesus did not always enjoy the comforts of a permanent home, such as when His family fled to Egypt to escape the cruelty of a tyrant (see Matthew 2:13–14).

We don’t know the details of His family’s sojourn in Egypt, but likely He and His parents lived the strenuous life of refugees—a life comparable to that of the many migrants in our time who have fled theaters of war and civil conflict in Africa and the Middle East.

Even during His adult life, Jesus indicated that He did not have a regular home. One day a man approached Him and said, “Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.” The Savior answered, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:57, 58)."

Regarding the announcement of our Savior's birth, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said this: "We are all familiar with the first announcement after the birth of Jesus. There is great significance in the fact that this heavenly announcement was to a group who, we are told, were the most humble in the social order of that time.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:8–11, 13–14).

2 Nephi warns us of putting our trust in the arm of flesh: 

4:34  O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

28:31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

When I start feeling less, I realize maybe I'm spending a little too much time worrying about things of this world. I need my scriptures. They are the balm to my soul. Whether those experiences that make me feel less are just my perceptions, all made up in my imagination, or unintentional interactions or not, HE comforts me. Soothes me. Reassures me I have worth, even if others- even if I- can't always see it. I need scripture study daily to combat the 'fiery darts' that Satan is throwing at me every day. It is the only way I can see clearly.

I think of Isaiah 53: 

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

He knows exactly what it is like to be rejected, left out, ignored. There is no pain we have or will experience that He hasn't already.  

When I realize all that, then I remember that I can quietly go and minister to the one. The Lord has showed us this pattern time and time again. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Maybe I'm a 'small thing'. And that is ok. There are others out there who need me and what only I can offer. I don't need to have any other wordly anything to share the Savior's love. I can be the smile to the disheartened, the friend to the lonely, the one who invites and includes, the one who sits in the empty chair, the one who texts first, calls first, reaches out, forgives. I can show love to my fellow man and help them remember He who loved them first.

Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God  Doctrine and Covenants 18:10

If you want to read some other amazing General Conference talks that go along with this, check these out by Elder Boyd K. Packer

Links to the talks I referenced:

Being humble does not mean being weak. It means being teachable. It does not require us to be trampled upon. It means acknowledging where our strengths and abilities come from. 
We are not here on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much of a difference we can make in the lives of others.
-President Gordon B. Hinckley- from his book Way to Be
Download Here

Mother Teresa is attributed as saying, 'When we judge others, we leave no room to love them.'
When I realize I am of worth to be a friend, to be included, I often realize the one preventing some friendships from forming was me. It had nothing to do with what I perceived as judgement of me being less. This video below is beautiful.

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