Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What I hope you remember...

Dear Brigham, William, Lincoln, and Annie,
I can't stop thinking about a passage I read in a book by Neal A. Maxwell a few days ago about selfishness. The world is ever-changing, society expects things to which the Lord would certainly object. I want you to be so aware of where society is going so you can boldly head the opposite direction! Your Dad is also a great example to follow. Me, I'm still working on it. This is what he said:

Why should we be concerned about service? . . .So many things have combined to underwrite a surging selfishness that presents us with a sobering scene. Many people assert their needs, but where have we lodged the corresponding obligations? Many have become demanders, but where are the providers and the deliverers?. . .The reserves of regard for others are dangerously low. We have raised expectations but lowered the collective levels of love, patience, and concern. The drives for self-fulfillment and self-awareness and self-assertion have been heightened--even made militant--but without increasing the available selflessness. . .Scoffers may say that the human condition was always so. But ours has been a time of relative affluence in which we have allowed full generations to be nurtured on the notion that, somehow, they are the center of the universe, and that meeting their needs should become the priority task of others--others who are expected to be very devoted. Some expect to receive--indeed, they demand--unilateral love. . . Never have so many been schooled so much as to their rights while, at the same time, being taught that there are no behavioral wrongs. If we can but realize that Satan is selfishness at the end of its journey, then we can see where our selfish society is headed.

He offers some keys:

- Let us define service to others as genuine listening--a listening that is more than just being patient until it is our turn to speak...

- Let us think of service not only as giving, but also as receiving righteously.

-Develop real integrity. In the crowds of chameleons in the world today, daring to be the same good self is being different.

- "Love is never glad when others go wrong." But true love also includes real rejoicing when others do well--even if their success seems to change, somehow, our own place in the mortal peck order.

- We can serve by enduring well, for our steadiness will steady others who are otherwise on the verge of giving up.

Jesus did not find pleasure in hanging on the cross; joy came after duty and agony. He went to Gethsemane and Golgotha out of a sense of supreme service, not because it would meet his needs. He fulfilled all things by giving all in that remarkable and special act of service.
Love, Mom

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