Love in a Time of Intolerance

I don't know if anyone who continues to read my blog has any political leanings, I'm sure that you do. Either way, my original plan with this post had been to vent my feelings of anger, and disappointment  in anyone who voted for the current president and how I couldn't believe that anyone could knowingly do such a thing. However, before I did, I stopped to think about how much negativity had entered my heart in the last few days of non-stop reading articles of the horrible things going on, and friend's endless streams of posts of updates on the situation and expressions of their feelings (If we're Facebook friends, you'll know I did a lot of this over the weekend too). After thinking about it, I decided that instead of writing an anger filled post, I should go find something uplifting to read and share a message of  positivity.

The message I came across was the First Presidency's message for the month on lds.org entitled, "Focus First on Love". When I saw it I instantly knew that's what I needed to read to ease my troubled heart and bring some peace back into my mind. Here's a little excerpt from the message, "We will learn to see beyond labels. We will resist the temptation to accuse or judge others by their sins, shortcomings, flaws, political leanings, religious convictions, nationalities, or skin color. We will see every one we meet as a child of our Heavenly Father—our brother or our sister.

The two great commandments (Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.) are the target. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.3 As we accept this, all other good things will fall into place.

If our primary focus, thoughts, and efforts are centered on increasing our love for Almighty God and extending our hearts to others, we can know that we have found the right target and are aiming at the bull’s-eye—becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ." -President Uchtdorf

Boy oh boy did reading this message put a stop to my negative feelings.  I was so busy pointing the finger at everyone else that I didn't even realize that I should have also been pointing the finger at myself. Where was my love that saw beyond political leanings? Buried under a Trump centered rage, I'll tell you. It's just like President Uchtdorf said, though, "as we accept this, all other good things will fall into place", and as hard as it may seem at times that's exactly what we need to have faith in. 

Now I'm not saying we should all avoid the news because staying informed, especially in times like these, is so very important. I'm just saying that maybe we shouldn't let it overwhelm us. That's a direct quote from my home teacher, haha! They came over right as I had finished reading the First Presidency message, which was the message they ended up sharing, and gave Mitch and I some really great counsel. Seriously, those guys are great men and I have to add a shameless plug for any of you wives, girlfriends, or sisters out there to encourage the men in your lives to go out and do their home-teaching; it really does make a difference. 

Anyway, another thing one of our home-teachers said was to focus on the things we could change and not worry about the things we couldn't change. Can I change who the president is? No. Therefore, I shouldn't worry about it. Can I help/change the situation of refugees at least in some small way? Yes! Here is a wonderful resource on how as Utahns we can contribute locally to refugees. http://www.uw.org/211/volunteer-center/help-refugees-utah.html

So I'll end this post by saying that we should all stay vigilant but also happy and ready to extend love and understanding to everyone!

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