Posted by: Emily Schmutz Garcia | October 28, 2014

“Loving Others & Living With Differences” and “Lord, Is It I?”

In the Pre-Nursery Sunday School class this week our teacher asked us if we wanted to share any insights from General Conference (a big LDS meeting where Prophets, Apostles and General Authorities give excellent counsel to us). Someone mentioned loving Elder Oaks’ talk about loving others and living in the world that we live in, with so many differing viewpoints and differences of opinions. Someone also mentioned Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, “Lord, Is It I?” Saturday night on our drive home from our family road trip, my dad played Elder Uchtdorf’s talk for us in the car, so that one was pretty fresh in my mind. I didn’t however remember everything about Elder Oaks talk, so I decided to read that this morning for my scripture study.

What an amazing talk! So to the point and helpful. He talks about the importance of loving others as Jesus loved us, which means loving everyone in spite of differences. He talks about the importance of avoiding contention as well as the appropriate places for teaching truths. “In dedicated spaces, like temples, houses of worship, and our own homes, we should teach the truth and the commandments plainly and thoroughly as we understand them from the plan of salvation revealed in the restored gospel.” Another line from his talk that I love was, “though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable.” He reminds us of the Saviour’s Golden rule: “whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matt 7:12).”

As I was reading this talk, I began to think, “So and So really needs to read this talk. This talk is exactly for them. Oh and this person needs to read this talk too. How better their lives would be if they heeded Elder Oaks’ counsel.” And then I remembered Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, “Lord, Is It I?” . . . Ooops.

 

The jist of Elder Ucthdorf’s talk reminds us that the Saviour’s apostles did not point fingers when he told them that one of them would betray him. They responded, “Lord, is it I?” They weren’t saying, “Oh, that must be Peter because he is so hot headed,” or “Oh that must be Judas because he seems a bit dodgy.” They simply asked, “Lord, is it I?” Elder Uchtdorf reminds us that we need to stop pointing fingers and ask “Lord, is it I?”

Well, as I was mentally pointing fingers this morning, I realized that I needed to ask, “Lord, is it I?” And amazingly enough, a recent conversation came to mind that I had with someone about something that I feel strongly about. It occurred to me that I might not have shown the love in my statements that the Saviour would have. I did not condemn the other person but I also may have switched to offensive mode in my defensive position, which is not something the Saviour would have me do. Perhaps it is I who will have to work on putting Elder Oaks’ talk into practice.

I also recalled some dealings with people who I want to read Elder Oaks’ talk. I have a tendency to lose patience with those who struggle with “living with differences.” My lack of patience for their struggles is also less-than-Christlike. I now have some behaviours to improve in my pursuit to be more Christlike and to follow the prophets and apostles. And that is what I learned this morning.

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