A Journal


Journal Entry:

“…I’ve also had the experience of meeting and counseling with many members. It is amazing the diversity of backgrounds and experience of the brothers and sisters. It is also heart-rending to feel of their pain…I have learned to love all people through this personal experience of sharing. It is easy to judge others on their actions when we have no concept or understanding as to what is behind their behavior or why they act the way they do. Most everyone is carrying scars from relationships gone bad, hurts from life’s experiences, or suffer from feelings of overall worthlessness. Many of these feelings come from what other people have done or said to them throughout their lives. We must try to develop the fortitude to forgive others for their faults and accept them in a true loving manner. This doesn’t mean we reinforce incorrect behavior, but at the least, we need to be sympathetic and understanding of their situations. I try to help all people recognize that they can control their life and if they wish to be happy they need to start with themselves. It is certainly not easy, but no one can change unless they first do some changing from within…I have come to understand why each member acts as they do…it helps me to be forgiving and I try to look at myself and see that I too have problems that need to be worked on.”

Since the day I wrote those words in my journal, my experience has broadened, but my thoughts on the subject are about same. Often we do not know the burden that others carry in their lives. It is easy to draw conclusions about who and what other people are about. Seldom do we see the “total” movie of others lives. Instead we see snippets and draw conclusions. It is so easy to do this because that is all the information we have available. However, once you get the opportunity, as a Bishop often does, to sit down and talk with someone who is willing to open up to you their life, more often than not, you gain a greater appreciation for them and the manner in which they have dealt with adversity. I can honestly say, that after having experienced private time together, I have always felt more love and appreciation for that person and their family. I believe that when we take the time to get to really know others, we find our bond of brotherhood becomes closer, our empathy grows, and our charity is enhanced.

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