Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 Nephi - Chapter 12

I can remember a time when my wife and I were having a quarrel.  I sought the counsel of a wise friend.  He admonished me to read this chapter.  In fact he suggested I read it several times.  My wife had gone on ahead for an outing we'd planned.  I was considering staying home and not joining her.  My friend gave me the advice I've mentioned and the gave me The Book of Mormon on tape and suggested I listen to the chapter over and over in the car on the way to our rendezvous.  I followed his advice and before leaving to join my wife I stopped into the office for a second.  My friend asked how my reading was coming and if it was having it's effect on me.

I told him that it indeed was softening my heart and that while I still esteemed my wife to be my enemy I was trying to love her, and pray for her, and make peace with her and treat he like I'd like to be treated and so on.  Then I threw a tantrum.  Pounding the desk in a fit of rage I cried out, "But who's going to tell her to do this?"

My wise friend smiled and said, "Nobody."
"So how's that going to solve my problem?" I asked in frustration.
"The only person you can fix is you," he told me, "But you'll be surprised at how she responds when you treat her with love, respect and kindness; like the Lord asks you to."

Was I ever surprised.  When my thoughts and actions were about her and her happiness, instead of about me and mine; everything changed.  Our relationship blossomed and we were happy together for a long time.  Later, problems arose again.  Again, I attributed the problem to her instead of myself.  My wise friend had moved away so I turned to another resource.  I found Lund's book How to Hug a Porcupine.  I thought, "If anyone needs to know how to hug a porcupine it was me."  The Lunds taught the same principles that Christ teaches in this most wonderful chapter.  They taught me that I was the porcupine, not she.  Again, all I had to do was fix myself, return to correct principles which universally apply and our relationship returned to bliss.

I testify that Christ's teachings in this chapter are that powerful.  But they only work when we each apply them to ourselves and our own behavior.

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