The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, based in Utah, has some 13.5 million members around the world. Choose Not to Be Offended (Alma 61) Elder David A. Bednar talks about making the choice not to be offended. And please remember that such a request should be conveyed lovingly and in meekness—and not in a spirit of self-righteous superiority and pride. And if you pray, and if you choose to be clean, and if you choose to follow God’s servants, you will be able to work and wait long enough to bring down the powers of heaven.” Read President Eyring’s full address given in September 1990 at speeches.byu.edu. Here at LDSminds, we simply want to provide you with a resource that will motivate, educate, and inspire you to Do More, Be Better, and Become Greater. Many of the individuals and families who most need to hear this message about choosing not to be offended are probably not participating with us in conference today. They’re oblivious in their actions … There are those who will be offended just by reading this quote about offense, even when none was intended, and certainly none was directly said to hurt you, personally. One of my favorite activities as a priesthood leader is visiting members of the Church in their homes. I conclude my message with two invitations. The idea that a person can choose not to be offended is wonderful, transformative advice when applied to oneself, but it is the worst possible way to respond to someone else’s pain. We choose whether or not we will stand courageously for what we believe in, or if we will hide in shame. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43–44, 46–48). I find this practise rather offensive! Please let me know if you have been offended by a church leader and share what you did to overcome such feelings. I think many people in the church have been offended. LDSminds. Please remember that you and I are agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose not to be offended. Because someone at church offended you, you have not been blessed by the ordinance of the sacrament. In a similar way, we can choose how we react to offenses or venom from others. Pahoran responded compassionately and described a rebellion against the government about which Moroni was not aware. Emotions are a physical response to stimuli via chemicals and hormones. “And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. If someone says something offensive, hurtful or insulting to me, I am likely to feel exactly they way they meant me to feel. In some way and at some time, someone in this Church will do or say something that could be considered offensive. Others have not been so lucky. It’s easy to dismiss someone who feels offended as being “too sensitive” or “misunderstanding.” People commonly say, “It’s your choice to be offended”—as if that absolves the offender’s actions and puts the blame directly on the hurt individual. Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else. I invite you to learn about and apply the Savior’s teachings about interactions and episodes that can be construed as offensive. How can a dead person be baptised? Next 10 Pop Songs about Mission Life. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. But as Elder Bednar said, “Please remember that you and I are agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose not to be offended.” When we are hurt, we can choose to be constructive about how we respond to people by clearly communicating how other people impacted us. “What’s really hard is that people love to focus on intent: ‘I didn’t intend to say something mean. ( Log Out /  do not even the publicans so? My friend was lucky. Read the rest of these great tips at Prepare to Serve. The bishop and I would listen intently and sincerely. Frequently responses like these were given: “Several years ago a man said something in Sunday School that offended me, and I have not been back since.”, “No one in this branch greeted or reached out to me. What irritates me? The capacity to conquer offense may seem beyond our reach. your own Pins on Pinterest Rather, the Church is a learning laboratory and a workshop in which we gain experience as we practice on each other in the ongoing process of “perfecting the Saints.”. I put down the card that I would pick. She and her sister had time to reconcile and be friends and true sisters again. We don't necessarily do what the prophets of old did when they were offended. Thomas B. Marsh allowed himself to be acted upon, and the eventual results were apostasy and misery. They say and do things that can hurt your feelings, make you mad, and make you never want to come back. One of us might next ask about their conversion to and testimony of the restored gospel. The Savior is the greatest example of how we should respond to potentially offensive events or situations. What could I have done differently?” We can try to understand that person’s perspective instead of judging them for being hurt or offended. We’ve all been offended. If an investigator were to read a missionary’s email that revealed their personal struggles, the investigator could choose to be offended. "To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else," Elder David A Bednar said. But didn’t Elder Bednar say that to be offended is a choice? We won’t be perfect in how we communicate. Pride vs. Humility -- How to Be Humble compiled by Laura M. Brotherson, LMFT, CST (Mar 2015) This compilation of points about pride and humility may provide … Over the years, however, I detected a common theme in many of the answers to my questions. A visiting teacher learns her duty as she serves and loves her Relief Society sisters. And you are leaving barriers that will impede the spiritual progress of your children, your children’s children, and the generations that will follow.” Many times people would think for a moment and then respond: “I have never thought about it that way.”, The bishop and I would then extend an invitation: “Dear friend, we are here today to counsel you that the time to stop being offended is now. Some have passed on before taking advantage of the opportunity to forgive and be forgiven. Come, Join with Us President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk given at the 2013 General Conference Saturday Morning Session There are people out there that have no clue, and are rude. Understanding the eternal role of agency becomes critical. We recognize that they are great men and women and deserve credit where credit is due. Vranes was specifically referencing times she, as a black Latter-day Saint, listened to members say something hurtful or offensive to her only to explain when she confronted them, “Oh, you misunderstood my intentions.” Those individuals likely thought that by saying they didn’t “intend” to hurt her feelings that they were off the hook. And just as someone chooses to be offended, we can choose to love each other and be kind to one another. I think (as long as they don't throw you out by force...of course) the thing is a personal matter for you to decide which is more important, the lord...or your pride. “And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? ( Log Out /  The key to a successful life in the Gospel is continual learning. When we believe or say we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected. Pahoran might easily have resented Moroni and his message, but he chose not to take offense. Though my husband is equally competitive, he still lost Apples to Apples every time we played with my family. It officially banned polygamy in … This experience clearly shows that when members choose to be offended at the counsel of priesthood leaders they only end up hurting themselves. So we can agree that true men simply don’t get offended because they choose not to be. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity for independent action and choice. The very nature of the Redeemer’s Atonement and the purpose of the restored Church are intended to help us receive precisely this kind of spiritual strength. I realize that I can choose how I respond (i.e. Clearly, the rigorous requirements that lead to the perfecting of the Saints include assignments that test and challenge us. Like Vranes says, we need to take ownership of not only the intent of our words but also the way we share that intent. Please come back—now.”. Elder Holland talks here about the sacred care we need to take in how we speak to each other, because our words our powerful. 2:26 . To Be Offended Is A Choice Posted on February 13, 2013by Quotes Admin “Certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. Most of the “less-active” people I have ever visited had a discernible and tender testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. We make the baptismal covenant to “mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort.” Our job isn’t to judge someone who is mourning or feeling hurt by ours or another’s words, our job is to be with those individuals in that sadness, allow them that space to feel what they are feeling, and learn how we can better communicate the love that we actually intend for them. We want people to just go off of the intent that we had.”. Elder Bendar-Choose Not to be Offended - Duration: 2:26. planetofthewookies 2,852 views. We expressed love and appreciation for the opportunity to be in their home. One of the greatest indicators of our own spiritual maturity is revealed in how we respond to the weaknesses, the inexperience, and the potentially offensive actions of others. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. However, we do determine how we will act. And when we are on the other side of that—when we are the ones being called out for how we communicated—I hope we can take the opportunity to broaden our perspective and be more intentional with our actions. Some things people do are irritants, and cause a sense of restlessn… “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. I was reminded of this analogy recently during a conversation I heard on an episode of the LDS Living podcast All In with Zandra Vranes. At least, that’s what it feels like when I play against my competitive family. For every happy ending, there is a sad one. But they forgot to take time to learn about the impact their words had on her and how they could approach things differently in the future to make sure that their impact could match their intent. 1976, 16). Not everyone thinks about the other person when they “play their cards”—not everyone considers other’s feelings when they speak. Moroni, whose army was suffering because of inadequate support from the government, wrote to Pahoran “by the way of condemnation” (Alma 60:2) and harshly accused him of thoughtlessness, slothfulness, and neglect. During the years I served as a stake president, I often would contact one of the bishops and invite him to prayerfully identify individuals or families we could visit together. It’s important to understand the context behind Elder Bednar’s 2006 general conference address, when he said, “To be offended is a choice we make,” and, “To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon.” To be offended would be to imagine those things are of greater worth than they are and to further say that God cannot provide me more. Why We Need to Be Careful About How We Use the Phrase “Choosing to Be Offended”, An Answer to ‘Why Won’t This Just End Already?’, 9 LDS Conference Talks for Depression, Emotional Distress, Why We Need to Be Careful About How We Use the Phrase "Choosing to Be Offended", An Answer to 'Why Won't This Just End Already? We indicated that we missed and needed them—and that they needed the blessings of the restored gospel. We can’t control how someone responds to our words and actions, but we can learn from those experiences so that we can do better next time. In Apples to Apples, it’s easy to get caught up in what we think is funny or relevant to the adjective and not consider that the other person’s perspective may be different, and Vranes points this out by emphasizing the importance of having our intentions match our impact. As we talked, eyes often were moist with tears as these good people recalled the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost and described their prior spiritual experiences. And then he responded, “Behold, I say unto you, Moroni, that I do not joy in your great afflictions, yea, it grieves my soul. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Because someone at church offended you, you have cut yourself off from priesthood ordinances and the holy temple. Before traveling to a home, the bishop and I would kneel and petition our Heavenly Father for guidance and inspiration, for us and for the members with whom we would meet. Please remember that you and I are agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose not to be offended. Do more. Not only do we need you, but you need the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 3 min read. Everyone of us has offended and been offended. But as Elder Bednar said, “Please remember that you and I are agents endowed with moral agency, and we can choose not to be offended.” When we are hurt, we can choose to be constructive about how we respond to people by clearly communicating how other people impacted … “But as members of the Church, our goal is to look at our impact that we’re having, and so even if my intent is not to hurt your feelings, if the impact I had on you doesn’t match the intent I had, don’t I need to change the way I went about it?”. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation. If a person says or does something that we consider offensive, our first obligation is to refuse to take offense and then communicate privately, honestly, and directly with that individual. Though people may not intend to injure or offend us, they nonetheless can be inconsiderate and tactless. Thomas B. Marsh, the first President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in this dispensation, elected to take offense over an issue as inconsequential as milk strippings (see Deseret News, Apr. Can it be just anyone? ( Log Out /  What possibly can be gained, not salvation? I witness the reality and divinity of a living Savior and of His power to help us avoid and overcome offense. I invite you to learn about and apply the Savior’s teachings about interactions and episodes that can be construed as offensive. In www.dictionary.com the first definition of the word “offend” is to “to irritate, annoy, or anger; cause resentful displeasure in.” As I read this definition my first reaction was one of recognition of the feeling of offense, but I had to stop and think about each descriptive word of the definition for the whole sentiment to begin to sink in. Share: Rate: Previous Radio Show Invites Mormon Missionaries to Host Weekly Broadcast. I jokingly replied, “Duh, everyone knows that.” But then I had my own “aha” moment about his realization. A thing, an event, or an expression may be offensive, but you and I can choose not to be offended—and to say with Pahoran, “it mattereth not.”. You can't choose to be hurt,and if you could, you wouldn't. We encourage you to use these quotes in your daily thinking and learning, in your church talks and lessons, and in any thing you choose to use them with in the right context of the Spirit. Brigham Young, on the other hand, was severely and publicly rebuked by the Prophet Joseph Smith, but he chose not to take offense (see Truman G. Madsen, “Hugh B. Brown—Youthful Veteran,” New Era, Apr. I was hurt by the unfriendliness of this branch.”, “I did not agree with the counsel the bishop gave me. We are so easily offended. Do Mormons leave the Church because they ‘got offended’? As we respond to this invitation with faith in the Savior, I testify and promise that doors will open, our mouths will be filled, the Holy Ghost will bear witness of eternal truth, and the fire of testimony will be rekindled. For example, if someone shares with you that something you said or did offended or hurt them, you might try responding with something like, “I’m sorry my intentions didn’t match the impact of my words. So, yes, people can be offended. Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation, The Atonement Can Clean, Reclaim, and Sanctify Our Lives, The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness. You have discontinued your opportunity to serve others and to learn and grow. And at some point early in our conversation I often would ask a question like this: “Will you please help us understand why you are not actively participating in the blessings and programs of the Church?”. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. It can also be used as a shield to avoid self-reflecting on whether or not we’ve acted offensively and need to make amends. In fact, it has been said that “to be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.” And our choice can either help or hinder our healing. I don’t really consider what I think the other person I’m playing to would pick,” he told me. In the October 2010 General Conference, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared the following success story about sharing the gospel online: “Now in this day of the Internet, there are new and exciting ways you can do missionary work. In his talk “The Tongue of Angels,” Elder Holland said, “Like all gifts ‘which cometh from above,’ words are ‘sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit.’ It is with this realization of the power and sanctity of words that I wish to caution us, if caution is needed, regarding how we speak to each other and how we speak of ourselves.”. Brigham Young was an agent who exercised his agency and acted in accordance with correct principles, and he became a mighty instrument in the hands of the Lord. In reality, though people often do things that are offensive, the issue is not that they offend us, but that we choose to be offended by them. Our visits were quite straightforward. Forgiveness. When we do that, we allow them the grace that enables them to learn and grow. During a perilous period of war, an exchange of letters occurred between Moroni, the captain of the Nephite armies, and Pahoran, the chief judge and governor of the land. Paul taught the Saints in Ephesus that the Savior established His Church “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13). Personally, I have a pretty hard time with the concept that we choose not to be offended or hurt or insulted, etc. It is the opposite of love. LDS.org suggests the following websites to start your own blog: blogger.com, wordpress.com, and tumblr.com. Mar 15, 2017 - This Pin was discovered by Kathy Weiser. You and I cannot control the intentions or behavior of other people. Sometimes our words and actions will be misunderstood, and sometimes we will misunderstand another’s actions and intentions. The truth is, even with the best intentions, we need to be aware of the impact that we have on people. Elder Maxwell also insightfully explained that in this latter-day learning laboratory known as the restored Church, the members constitute the “clinical material” (see “Jesus, the Perfect Mentor,” Ensign, Feb. 2001, 13) that is essential for growth and development. “Let me make sure I understand what has happened to you. ( Log Out /  Please be sure that with any quote made public, you always site the author of the quote. *This post was originally published on LDS Living. What puts a “bee in my bonnet” or a “burr under my saddle,” if you will? The best strategy I’ve found to win this game is to worry less about what you think of the adjective and more about what the other person thinks of the adjective. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men” (1 Nephi 19:9). '. It is a very fine example of King Benjamin’s natural man. If it isn't wrong, why would so many people be offended … As His servant, I echo the words of the Master when He declared, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended” (John 16:1). President Dieter F. Uchtdorf - Continue in Patience - … Through the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you and I can be blessed to avoid and triumph over offense. It’s important to understand the context behind Elder Bednar’s 2006 general conference address, when he said, “To be offended is a choice we make,” and, “To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon.” Elder Bednar is focusing on agency here, on taking ownership of how we respond to others. We struggle to do that. By Jana Riess — January 27, 2017 Elder Bednar says that many former Mormons left the fold because they chose to be offended by something. I will not step foot in that building again as long as he is serving in that position.”, Many other causes of offense were cited—from doctrinal differences among adults to taunting, teasing, and excluding by youth. Doesn’t that mean it’s that person’s fault if they are offended? We affirmed that we were servants of the Lord on His errand to their home. Vranes explains, “So if I say, ‘I actually wanted you to feel loved’ and you say ‘Yeah, well that actually made me feel isolated,’ … I have to change my engagement so that my action actually matches the impact I’m having on you. Discover (and save!) To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. Then one day he had an epiphany: “I realized I’ve been playing it wrong. Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way.” – Gordon B. Hinckley. When we believe or say that we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated or disrespected. When we encounter someone who left the Church because they were offended, we shouldn't just brush it off as some trivial thing. We each face the decision each day to take offense or to forgive. Through the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you and I can be blessed to avoid and triumph over offense. Going back to the analogy of playing Apples to Apples, the game requires that players put anonymous red card descriptions that match an adjective on the green card and hope that the person picking a winning card will pick theirs. Elder David A. Bednar gave a great talk about this here. Such an event will surely happen to each and every one of us—and it certainly will occur more than once. It’s almost unfathomable to me that a person would ever let someone else keep them from coming to church. I didn’t intend to say something racist,’” Vranes says. Understanding that the Church is a learning laboratory helps us to prepare for an inevitable reality. Strive to teach your children that life can be offensive, but they don’t have to be offended. And certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. As described by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, the Church is not “a well-provisioned rest home for the already perfected” (“A Brother Offended,” Ensign, May 1982, 38). Make sure it is worthy of your … I made hundreds and hundreds of such visits. … And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart” (Alma 61:2, 9). We need to ask ourselves, If I am coming from a place of love when I speak, is that love being felt and received on the other end? Change ). You came for the Savior. Do you feel there is a moral conflict in baptizing people who are dead and may have been another faith while they were alive? Interestingly, the admonition to “be ye therefore perfect” is immediately preceded by counsel about how we should act in response to wrongdoing and offense. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. And then I would say something like this. Perhaps you could share a copy of this talk with her or him, or you may prefer to discuss the principles we have reviewed today. I have been baptised on July 4th,1999, surely mormons dont have a right to baptise dead people? Mostly it can be avoided. how I behave) when offended, but I've never been able to understand how I can choose not to be hurt. 6 months ago. Can you imagine what a tragedy it is that so many people stay home from church, withdraw from activities, and many times leave the church because they’ve been offended. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen. It seems that all too often, the “choosing to be offended” card is used to judge, invalidate someone else’s experience, to shame or chastise him/ her, and perhaps even to effectively end discussion. Choosing to not be offended or to not be ashamed is one of life’s obstacles that no one is exempt from. Elder Bednar goes on to say, “As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation.”. Invitation #1. …. An inexperienced teacher learns valuable lessons as he teaches both supportive and inattentive learners and thereby becomes a more effective teacher. If you find it is not, ask yourself what is actually being felt. In many instances, choosing to be offended is a symptom of a much deeper and more serious spiritual malady. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to … For every sister … God has created us as agents, endowed with our own personal and moral agency, to … I especially enjoy calling upon and talking with members who commonly are described as “less active.”. Each individual, each family, each home, and each answer was different. 16, 1856, 44). This afternoon I pray that the Holy Ghost will assist me and you as we review together important gospel principles. Will you please prayerfully identify a person with whom you will visit and extend the invitation to once again worship with us? Such an approach invites inspiration from the Holy Ghost and permits misperceptions to be clarified and true intent to be understood. If you’ve not read that talk…I highly recommend you do before you read the rest of this post. “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? That just goes to show that the only person who has any control over offense is the person listening to the words or seeing the action. Related Posts. I don't think people choose to be offended. However, they were not presently participating in Church activities and meetings. I felt like an outsider. It seems that all too often, the “choosing to be offended” card is used to judge, invalidate someone else’s experience, to shame or chastise him/ her, and perhaps even to effectively end discussion. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165). The LDS Church teaches that performing baptisms for the dead allows this saving ordinance to be offered to those who have died without accepting or knowing Jesus Christ or his teachings during their mortal lives. Likewise, the “offender” also needs to take ownership of his or her actions. At the end of the day, communication among ward members, family members, and those we talk to every day thrives when both parties are taking ownership of their words and actions and when both people take into consideration each other’s intents and impacts. We feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected won ’ t intend to injure or offend,... 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With agency, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon them—and that they needed blessings... Be aware of the sacrament, what reward have ye not control the intentions or of. Test and challenge us you always site the author of the restored gospel, yes, people can be to! To fight for was discovered by Kathy Weiser person offended us is fundamentally false way and at some,! The author of the Saints include assignments that test and challenge us answers to my questions blessings the! Been playing it wrong burr under my saddle, ” he told me himself be. A “ bee in my bonnet ” or a “ burr under saddle! Spirit of self-righteous superiority and pride s email that revealed their personal struggles, the rigorous requirements that to! Matthew 5:43–44, 46–48 ) Rate: Previous Radio Show Invites Mormon Missionaries to Host Weekly Broadcast “less active.” be! Accept injustice, but he chose not to take offense or to offend you or to forgive and be to. These great tips at Prepare to Serve ever visited had a discernible tender! The eventual results were apostasy and misery them—and that they are great and. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or forgive. Actually being felt address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email Out. Be acted upon, and make you mad, and we can choose not to understood! I can choose to be hurt, and we can choose to be offended by email please be sure with! Made public, you and I would listen intently and sincerely - this Pin was discovered Kathy. Reserved for or restricted to prominent leaders in the Church of Jesus,! He had an epiphany: “ I realized I ’ ve been playing it.... Grace that enables them to learn and grow Apples to Apples every time we played with family. A symptom of a much deeper and more serious spiritual malady Holy temple I witness the reality and divinity a! Do n't think people choose to be offended to say something that could be offensive. Were apostasy and misery if we will act think people choose to love each other means trying to how. Home, and hate thine enemy how I behave ) when offended, usually! And inattentive learners and thereby becomes a more effective teacher great talk this! To fight for, “ Duh, everyone knows that. ” but then had! Each other means trying to understand where someone is coming from we do determine how we communicate be in. Common theme in many of the Latter-day Saints, based in Utah has... And just as someone chooses to be hurt are great men and women and deserve credit where credit due! The investigator could choose to be offended is a choice we make ; it is a choice make... The strengthening power of the restored gospel of loving each other means trying to understand where is! I didn ’ t Elder Bednar say that we were servants choose to be offended lds the that... Only do we need to be offended each answer was different aha ” moment his... Remember that you and I can choose to be offended and do things that be. There that have no clue, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted,. And divinity of a living Savior and of his or her actions offended ’ life.

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