The statement above hit me quite powerfully this last week. It was followed by this insight, which popped into my mind:
1) Humility is an acceptance of truth.
2) Pride is a denial of truth.
If we are proud and look down on others, we are denying the truth that says that they have divine potential. If a man lusts after a woman in his heart, seeing her as an object, he is being proud, for he is denying the truth that she is a daughter of God. If we feel that we are worthless, or that we have sinned and cannot be forgiven, we are being proud, because we are not believing our Heavenly Father we He says that we are of infinite worth to Him.
Satan was proud. He thought that he was better than others and that, consequently, they should do what he wanted them to do. He denied the truth that Heavenly Father's plan really would work for everyone, he denied the truth about others, and he denied the truth about himself.
The Savior, on the other hand, was humble. He knew that He could do nothing of Himself. Even though He was the most talented, intelligent, and powerful individual to ever walk the earth, He was always humble. And, when He suffered in
Gethsemane, He quite literally
came to know the complete and entire truth about all of us.
If somebody gives us a compliment, like "You're so beautiful" or "You're such a great teacher" or "You are a fantastic cook," and we respond with something like "Oh, no, I'm not," believe it or not, that response is not necessarily a humble one. Humility is acknowledging that our talents come from God and are meant to be used for the good of others.
That was my line of thinking this week.
On Saturday we met a man named James working out in his yard and offered to help, despite being in our proselyting clothes. He accepted and let us do some small chore. We had a nice conversation with him for a few minutes and then had to take off to an appointment.
On Sunday, right before church, we get a call from James, asking for directions to our church building. We eagerly told him how to get there and then went inside the chapel as the meeting had started. At the time of the sacrament hymn, they closed the doors, and no sign of James. We sat there nervously.
There is a sister in our ward who had been having an extremely tough Sunday morning. Otherwise obedient children had decided that morning to scream and put up a fuss and take off their church clothes and jump back in bed earlier. Her husband, having a calling, had to take off early and she, presumably alone, had to get the kids to church. She arrived too late to be inside for the sacrament and was sitting in the foyer, tired and at her wits' end.
All of a sudden she saw a rather confused looking man walking down the hallway. "Where is everybody?" he asked. This sister quickly realized that he was not a member and was able to explain to him the sacrament while they waited for the doors to open.
This man was James, who had walked into the building with no one in sight and not a sound to be heard. Unaccustomed as he was to our strange LDS church layouts, he couldn't find a chapel, and determined to walk a lap around the church and leave if he didn't see anyone. Right as he came to the end of his lap, he bumped into this one exhausted mother who was having a rough day.
I call this experience a miracle. It is amazing how Heavenly Father answers multiple prayers and helps multiple people using such simple and wonderful means. He really does remember all of His children:
1) He answered our prayer, which was that James would come to church and have a good experience there;
2) He helped this poor sister's, since she was able to have a powerful spiritual moment when she was desperately tired and discouraged. This sister later went and bore her testimony during the meeting, sharing her experience with the whole ward.
3) He helped James, who was able to start off his experience with the Church by having a very choice encounter with a member
To top it all off, James was hit by an avalanche of member fellowship shortly after the meeting. When Elder Richardson and I got home I had him kneel down on the carpet with me and say a prayer of thanks for it all.
I know that Heavenly Father loves us and watches over us. It is incredible to see, looking back, that Elder Richardson and I's decision to go finding on one particular street ended up helping a mother in need. We enjoyed the miracle, and James did, too, but in the end it was probably the mother that needed it the most. How could we have known?
I could go on and tell a ton more stories about this last week, but this email has gotten rather long and the time is wearing on. I'll just say that good things are happening here in Lakefield and I'm excited to be here for another transfer.
I love being a missionary. Hurrah for