Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Avoid Annoyance

Usually we think of living our religion as staying as far away as possible from sin. But there is more. If we want to live our religion we need to keep our hearts pure and as far away from bad feelings as possible. In speaking to some of the early settlers in Utah, Elder George A. Smith once said, “If you wish to enjoy your religion and the Spirit of the Almighty, you must make your calculations to avoid annoyances, as much as possible” (Journal of Discourses, 3:284).

The thing that prompted this advice was a problem with cattle. It seems that cattle were straying from their owners, wandering into other people’s farms, and destroying crops. Disputes would then ensue. Neighbors were mad at each other and demanding payment for damaged crops. Bad feelings erupted on every side, and, as Elder Smith acknowledged, bad feelings keep us from the companionship of the Spirit.

So what was Elder Smith’s solution? He told the people to build fences. If they fenced their land stray cattle couldn’t get in to destroy crops and then bad feelings wouldn’t get in to destroy hearts.

Stray cattle don’t bother most of us, but we all have things that annoy and disturb our peace. But if we look carefully at our circumstances we can come up with a strategy to help prevent the annoyance and keep our hearts pure. Sometimes it takes a little imagination and work, but there is a solution if we will look for it!

10 comments:

Connie said...

next time you visit I will tell you about the day "stray" cattle roamed our neighborhood...however it was not annoying only very funny? They are many "stray cattle" moments that can really ruin our day IF we LET them. Thanks for the reminder.

Wendi said...

That's a funny sign. And this is good advice. The constant companionship of the Spirit is definitely something worth working for. :)

Karen said...

The first thing I do when I get home from work is check my emails and my blog sites. Sherrie I don't always comment, but I absolutely love your thoughts/lessons. They lift me, cheer me, and just make my day better!!!!! Thank you again for sharing your gift of writing :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Connie, I can't wait to hear your story. You hit on the secret of annoyance--If we Let! Thanks.

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, I loved the sign. I figure if I saw this in a construction zone I'd be laughing so hard I couldn't get annoyed!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Karen, Thank you so much. I know how much the gospel has helped me and just hope a daily little dose of thinking about gospel things helps someone else. Thanks again! You are wonderful!

Knowles Family said...

I loved this post. Reminds me of "Anne of Green Gables" and her cow that got into Rachel Lynde's garden :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Kellie,I love Anne Shirley! And thanks for reminding me about the cow incident. Remembering it gave me a good chuckle!

Megan said...

Thanks for the great reminder Sherrie! I too automatically thought of the Anne Shirley/Rachel Lynde incident! Love it!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Megan, Thanks for the comment. Anne has worked her way into many hearts!