Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gosepl Insights for Everyday Living


Gospel Insights for Everyday Living
by Sherrie Mills Johnson


Back cover copy:

Many people view the gospel as a burden or something extra they have to do, but the gospel—the “good news”—is actually meant to make life easier. In this book, Sherrie Mills Johnson, Ph.D., explains gospel topics in simple yet thought-provoking ways. Best of all, each “chapter” is brief enough to read in just a few minutes.
This book is a fascinating read that encourages Latter-day Saints to love and live the gospel.

Topics include:

• Children of God
• Be Still and Know
• That Which Edifies
• Good Courage
• Redeemed!
• Good News
• The Law of Justice
• The Gift of the Sabbath
• Truth and Revelation
• Love Thy Neighbor
• Nurtured by Good
• The Power of Never
• God’s Righteousness
• Tending the Vineyard
• Life’s GPS
• The Pure Love of Christ
• Enmity
• Gird Up Your Loins
• Gratitude
• Rejoice!

Excerpt:

It’s All in the Perspective
For now we see through a glass, darkly;
but then face to face: now I know in part; but
then shall I know even as also I am known.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Look at everything through the lens of eternity. If you will do this, life will take on a different perspective. James E. Faust, “Instruments in the Hands of God,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 114

There are some moments in life that change you forever. One of those happened to me many years ago during a Relief Society lesson. I don’t remember what the lesson was about, but somehow it had turned into a discussion of husbands’ faults. One after another of the sisters began to complain about her husband’s lack of responsiveness or his failure to help out
around the house, etc. You’ve all been in a situation like that and know how contagious negative feelings are.

At the time, my husband was bishop and our ward was very large. He was gone almost every night, leaving me to care for our five children under the age of eight. In short, I felt overwhelmed
and alone, so as I listened to the other women complain, my husband’s faults and failings kept popping into my head. With every new comment from the group, another fault of his would
come to mind and I’d think, “Yea, my husband does that too!” or “That isn’t half as bad as what Carl does (or doesn’t) do!”

The Relief Society instructor failed to get the class back on track, and as the comments got more negative so did the feelings within me. I didn’t vocalize them, but I certainly was thinking them, and those thoughts were generating all kinds of hot, negative feelings within me.

But then something happened that changed me. A woman in the back of the room began to rave about how her husband made a mess in the entryway every time he came home from work. He worked construction and he’d take off his dirty boots as soon as he entered the house, drop them near the door, walk into the family room, plop down to watch the evening news, and pull off his stinky socks, dropping them beside the couch for her to pick up later. “It’s disgusting,” she said, and several women nodded in agreement.

But at that point the elderly woman sitting in front of me, who had been a widow for 23 years, turned to her gray-haired friend sitting next to her, a widow of 19 years, and whispered, “I
wish I had socks on my floor.”

I’m sure that besides the friend, I am the only person in the room that heard those words—words that pierced my heart and instantly erased all my negative thoughts and feelings. In that moment, my perspective shifted from that of victim of my husband’s thoughtlessness to that of grateful wife. I had someone to pick up after—what a blessing!

That day the words “I wish I had socks on my floor” sunk deep into my soul, never to be forgotten. They come to mind often, especially when I am tempted to re-catalog my husband’s
faults. And I learned that perspective is everything. In the realm of spiritual things, these kinds of shifts in thinking are what life is all about. As we learn and grow in gospel precepts, the Spirit whispers the exact thing we need to hear at the exact moment we need to hear it. Line upon line,
precept upon precept, we then change our attitudes and become new creatures. The negative, carnal, and sensual is burned from us, and as we become pure and holy, we see life differently. Our perspective of who we are, who others are, what situations mean in our life—and a myriad of other things—changes.

An ant perceives a hill to be a very different thing than what a bird perceives it to be. As children of God, however, our view is not determined by altitude but by attitude. We realize that perspective changes depending upon the mental position we see things from, and we more fully appreciate the fact that a loving Heavenly Father not only has a better perspective, but a perfect perspective. Elder Russell M. Nelson declared, “I know that an all-wise Heavenly Father’s perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit
ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time” (Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus Christ—the Master Healer,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 85).

Analyzing and being open minded about our own perspective is life changing, and fully recognizing that God’s perspective is perfect is healing. Both help us to let go of worries and concerns and to trust more fully in Him.

Reader Comments:
Sherrie Johnson shares her insights on the Good News of the Gospel with a fresh, hope-filled perspective. You will be inspired and uplifted as you read the scripture passages, quotes from the General Authorities, and examples from her own life that combine beautifully to teach in a simple, yet profound way. This book is very readable--you can easily read a chapter in a few minutes. But you'll be tempted to read the whole book in one sitting! The principles that she shares will bless and change your life for the better. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand and apply the Gospel in their every day life. -Wendi Jagerson

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