Monday, March 2, 2009

Living In Truth (continued)

As we talked about last post, “truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” That, of course, includes the principles and doctrines of the gospel, but it also means that the verities of this telestial world such as disease, disappointment, fear, pain, and terrorism are truth. For some reason, these negative things are necessary in a telestial world (See 2 Nephi 2:11), and learning to deal with them is essential to our Exaltation.

As I write this I am being tested. I am on an airplane traveling from Salt Lake City to Austin. It is a long flight especially when a child in the seat directly behind you is constantly (not once in awhile, but constantly!) kicking you in the back. Now this is a telestial situation. (I am assuming that in the celestial world there will be no kicking children!) My responsibility right now (if I want to become like my Father in Heaven) is to deal with this telestial truth in a celestial way. That rules out turning around and yelling at the child. Instead I must accept the truth of the situation and find a way to politely and lovingly deal with it. In other words, I must deal with a telestial situation in a celestial way. That is part of the test of life.

However, if I sit here and keep thinking thoughts such as, “She shouldn’t be kicking me.” “Why didn’t her mother teach her manners?” “The airlines should do something about this!” etc. I am not solving the problem; I am only fighting against truth. Anytime we find ourselves thinking about other people’s behavior or a situation in terms of “should have” or “shouldn’t have,” we are fighting truth and are in a state of anger. The word anger originally meant “troubled or vexed.” Later it took on the connotations of rage that it now includes. But even today the word anger includes a wide range of feelings that trouble us. These feelings range from mild irritation to fury, but they all are troubling and vexing. Thus I am using this word anger to mean “an emotion that occurs when something violates our expectation of what should be.” Whenever we fight against truth, we cause ourselves pain and live in a state of anger.

8 comments:

Wendi said...

Again, I am really appreciating this review. And isn't it interesting how you have a whole new example literally kicking you in the back as you're trying to pass along this information. Very interesting. :) I hope you made it to your destination sooner than later! :)

Karen said...

Good stuff! I will be looking for that book. Please let us know when you are finished.

On another subject; Sherrie when does Women's Week at BYU happen? Is it every spring? I want to come this year and maybe attend some of it with Alyssa. If you have any information on it I'd appreciate you passing that along.

I hope your visit to Austin is better than the plane ride :)

SMJ said...

Wendi, Thank you. I did make it to my destination and yes it was a very interesting experience. I started to write the blog entry and realized what was happening and just wrote about it. The Lord works in mysterious ways to teach us!

SMJ said...

Karen, I'm not sure which conference you mean, but this year BYU Women's Conference is April 30th and May 1st. BYU Education Week is Aug. 17th to 21st. You should come to both!

DizzyLizzy said...

Thanks for this. Many of your recent posts have been very enlightening and helpful for me as I have really experienced much in terms of accepting the "truth" of my current circumstances.
Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and knowledge!!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Elizabeth, Thank you for the kind words. I've enjoyed hearing about your adventures on your blog. Hope all is going well for you!

Cathy said...

I must say I am in a bit of suspense wondering what you did. One of my last flights included a similar situation to which I did politely ask the mother to ask her child not to kick the back of my chair, I was happy and I think Mom was fine with it. Am I missing the point here, would it have been nobler to endure? Thanks for the celestial perspectives and insights.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Cathy, No, you shouldn't endure. It sounds like you handled it in a very celestial way. It's when we handle things in a very telestial way that we cause ourselves more grief. You did good!