Friday, April 12, 2013

Relief Society Presidency Message ~ April 2013

Dear Sisters,
I was recently reading in The Book of Mormon in Alma chapter 60. I really enjoy reading this part of The Book of Mormon because the Nephites were so busy trying to defend all of the things that were important to them: their families, their religion, their homes and their way of life. In this section of Alma, Captain Moroni had been away at war for a long period of time. He wrote a second epistle to the chief judge and governor of the land, who was Pahoran. Pahoran had had to flee the city of Zarahemla because his life was threatened by the king-men, those men who were of high birth that wanted to run the Nephite territories. Moroni did not understand why he did not hear from Pahoran after he had written the first epistle, and sent him a letter of condemnation (Alma 60:2). In verse 7, Moroni boldly said, “Can you think to sit upon your thrones in a state of thoughtless stupor, while your enemies are spreading the work of death around you? Yea, while they are murdering thousands of your brethren?”
In verse 18, Moroni said to Pahoran, “We know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country.” These comments are strong and direct, and had to have caused sorrow for Pahoran. He could have done any number of things to Moroni for his insinuations and accusations but instead, he responded with forgiveness and kindly set the record straight. I marvel that he, who was in a position of authority, could overlook unfair judgments. It reinforced to me that we may never know why people do or don’t do the things that we think they should be doing a certain way. Sometimes we feel others’ judgments, which can bring us down and may cause us to question righteous motives or innocent oversights. We, like Pahoran, can make a choice about how we react.
A very wise Bishop gave some wise counsel to a brother in the ward, who was really struggling with his testimony and his associations with other members. The brother had been very harsh and outspoken about different ward members about the things that either they had said or had not done. I told the Bishop that I was concerned for the man and his family and I did not know how to help him. The Bishop talked with him and this member opened up to him and told him all of his grievances. The Bishop said, “Brother, don’t you realize all of these things are taken care of through the Atonement of Jesus Christ? You have faith in that Atonement, don’t you?” Those questions seemed to take away the man’s pain. I was struck with how our Savior paid the ultimate price for us and how much love He has for all of us. I am sure that He would tell us individually that the Atonement and His suffering were worth it, that we were and are worth it. 
Love,    Sister  Lisa Stevens

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