9.20.2012

The Importance of Truth in Living a Virtuous Life (YW M1 L36)


I'm pretty much thinking I can get up in class on Sunday, read the title of the lesson, and that it would be a pretty solid lesson... beginning & end, right there.  No need for me to add to it, or derail it since I'm a terrible example.

However, I'm probably wrong.  Matter of fact I know I'm wrong, for if that was all it took was a gentle reminder of the value of truth in this life, then our youth wouldn't even need teachers & lessons & classes.

Not to mention the fact that the lesson manual has some pretty in depth resources that go right along with that title.  Guess I'll trust the manual and actually teach rather than simply read. 

TRUTH.  It's sadly a rare virtue these days.

Around every bend there are little white lies to nip at our heals & big ol' doozey lies to jump us down a dark alley.  Satan's wily like that.  Always the opportunist, he's looking for a way to ensnare us or distract us from our present course for good.

I lied yesterday as a matter of fact.  *palm-to-forehead*

Well actually I lied a few years ago, possibly the lie may have started even a few years before a few years ago.

Let it be known that yesterday I didn't just lie, but I also coerced an accomplice to back me up!

This dishonesty wasn't just for Joe Schmoe, no in fact I'm apparently more diabolical than that.  It all went down whilst dealing with people who are sworn to uphold laws & keep us accountable.  I was at the DMV.  (Yep, I'm getting old enough for another renewal - thanks though for thinking it was my first).

So when the guy behind the counter starting verifying that my address hadn't changed, etc etc, he stated my lack of height (which made me cringe) and then asked "Are we still 135 lbs?"  I scoffed a little, and remarked that, "Perhaps there might be 20 more lbs on-board now, but between you, me, and that dinky little card?  Yeah, I'm still 135 lbs!"

He chuckled, then with a wink said, "Alright, you're 135 lbs.  Please sign inside this little yellow box."   Presto-change-O, my secret was still safe, and I now have an accomplice. (I wonder if I am obligated to send him a Christmas gift or card to keep him silenced.  I'll have to consult my mob-ties for proper etiquette in the matter, I guess.)

But does everybody see what I mean in sharing this embarassing little story with all ya'll?  Not that I really am proud of my deceit, but it is THAT easy and THAT acceptable to be sneaky.

Of course no one will lose an arm or an eyeball over my little lie, but where does it leave my integrity?  I am sacrificing my integrity everytime I fib a little.

If fibbing or being slightly dishonest was okay, then there would be no guilt.  And really, which is worse, the guilt for gluttony or the guilt for sacrificing the truth?

In my head, no one can tell that I've put on weight.  But in reality, it's hard to miss... and I know what's being whispered here & there.  So lying about my weight is doing nothing but fooling myself, and even then it only fools me a fraction of the time.  Therefore I declare that the guilt for dishonesty is WAY worse than the other.

My lies at the DMV are obviously not the same severity as other lies we may tell ourselves or others.  And sure, in a few months perhaps my license won't be lying (that is unless this second round of infertility meds goes the way we'd like), because my fat levels do fluctuate or change.

Truth, however, does not change.  Period.

I'm always reminding my Beehive girls that Truth = Light = Christ.

Truth illuminates everything, therefore it is of Christ.  Christ may be compassionate, and hate the sin but love the sinner, however His doctrines do not change simply because our level of sin has changed.

We can still be made clean through exercising His Atonement & repenting.  His Atonement is in place for everyone, yet it doesn't change either.  The only thing that changes is how much further sacrifice is required on our part in order to become clean or worthy again.

If we don't want the repentance process to be as difficult, then we must be sure we're not compounding or complicating our lives with sin in the first place.  Just as major sins & lies require major repentance, a little sin or lie still requires repentance. 

The actual act of lying aside, let's focus on getting back or keeping our lives on-track.

Eliminating sin in our lives is the answer.  No one but Christ is perfect, I get that - so did Jesus Christ & our Heavenly Father.  That is why Christ's Atonement was necessary, so we could repent & return.  Due to our human nature, eliminating sin may seem like a daunting task.  However it is by clinging to truth that we can accomplish this.

Remember Truth = Light = Christ?
Same goes the other way, Sin = Darkness = Satan.

Much like we would solve an algebraic equation by canceling a negative out with a positive, only light can overpower the darkness.  Only the strength we gain through the Lord, Jesus Christ, is enough to overpower the influence of Satan in our lives.  It's that simple.  Both cannot coexist.  When one is present, the other is absent.

We know now the power of truth, and WHY we must cling to it.  Yet do we comprehend the HOW, or in other words, the recipe to follow in order to cling to truth?

(source)

President Spencer W. Kimball taught us the HOW in 4 simple steps:
"The necessary procedure is: study, think, pray, and do. … The Lord has promised repeatedly that he will give you a knowledge of spiritual things when you have placed yourself in a proper frame of mind. … ‘And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.’ (Moroni 10:5.)”

The scriptures consistently back this up...
  1. Study. (John 5:39)
  2. Think. (3 Nephi 17:2–3; Moroni 10:3; D&C 88:62–63)
  3. Pray. (Jeremiah 29:12–13; Alma 5:45–46; Moroni 10:4)
  4. Do. (John 7:16–17)

(source)
We've got to literally be in our scriptures daily.  Not just scanning over them, but INVESTED in them.  Gone are the days that we can skate by on basic scriptural understanding or recitation of the stories between the covers.  It is time to search out the doctrine & spiritually feast upon it.  That's only possible when we're anxiously engaged in our scripture study daily.

(source)
Thinking is vital.  Not from just a logical 1+1= 2 stand-point.  We are divine, spiritual offspring.  Our spirits yearn to be at our Heavenly Father's feet gleaning all we can of His understanding.  Currently, we may physically be distant from Him, however we can still glean all He will give us as we think & meditate upon His teachings.  The Holy Ghost will confirm the truth.  He's Heavenly Father's bonus gift to us.  Our compass to direct us in the true direction we should go.

(source)
Prayer is the glue.  Without prayer, the proximity of our relationship to Jesus Christ & Heavenly Father is like that of the fault-line of two tectonic plates, decreasing in stability & increasing in distance.  Prayer is what connects our spirits to our God, what enables further learning through study & thinking to transpire.  It holds us fast to the Father's will, like mortar secures two bricks together.  Our submission to the Father through prayer is the method by which we can be edified, and our mission here on earth can be made crystal clear.

(source)
Doing is so much easier said than done.  Doing is the follow-through, the verb to this recipe.  Heavenly Father's entrusts us with light & knowledge,  which come with an expectation that we will righteously act-upon the truth, refine ourselves in our life, and come away from this mortal experience more perfected than had we faced this life independent of He who created us.  Doing as Heavenly Father would have us do is what propels us forward along our quest.

Doing the opposite propels us backwards & down instead.
In which direction would you prefer to go?


The 4 steps President Kimball taught about are not ones we take once in our journey.

They are the steps that we must repeat, much like that Christmas special song "...put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking 'cross the flo-o-or...put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking out the door!"


There is a Disney movie that is one of my most favorite, called Sleeping Beauty.
 
In true Disney fashion there is a beautiful, musically gifted maiden (Princess Aurora), a dashingly handsome fellow (Prince Phillip), adorable woodland creature sidekicks, some good magic (the fairies: Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather), some goons and evil magic (the villain: Malificent; the goons: her pig-dragon things)
(source)

Because of one individual’s selfishness, an evil spell is cast that would ensure the death of Princess Aurora.  The King & Queen take all protective measures possible, including the elimination of every obvious weapon of their daughter’s demise, and eventually they send their precious infant daughter into hiding with the good fairies so she cannot be found by the bad fairy.

Years pass, and temptation befalls even the good fairies to risk the princess’ & their identities – even for the purest reasons.  The evil villain zeroes in on the opportunity this stumble presents, and lures Princess Aurora to a secret threat, by which the original prophecy of her spell would begin to come true.

There is no way the good fairies, the King & Queen, or even the princess herself could have anticipated how cunning the evil fairy would be, nor the means by which the spell would inevitably come to pass.

To protect the princess from death, and to protect the kingdom from heartbreak, the good fairies cast a spell of their own that changes the evil spell's effects from Aurora’s death into instead a deep sleep, that also applies to those in the castle.  The spell then of course can only be undone by true love’s kiss.

Enter the handsome Prince Phillip.  After an earlier “chance” meeting with the then-disguised singing princess in the forest, he is smitten.  He had planned on meeting up with Aurora again, yet fell into Malificent’s trap.  At the evil fairy’s enchanted castle he is imprisoned, so as to keep the prince from breaking the spell & setting the kingdom free.

The good fairies, however, are not about to give up the fight, so those magical winged-ladies sneak into the evil one’s castle.  There they free the prince & arm him in preparation for the battle of his lifetime.  These lines of defense are the only way he can defeat Malificent (who transforms herself into a fierce dragon), flee the enchanted castle, blaze a trail through the deadly forest of thorns & vines between him and his love’s resting place.

When bestowing these items to Prince Phillip, the fairy Flora says:

“…Arm yourself with this enchanted Shield of Virtue, and this mighty Sword of Truth, for these weapons of righteousness will triumph over evil.”

In the end, the prince follows the counsel of the fairies, defeats evil, overcomes the hurdles in his path, climbs the treacherous tower to where Princess Aurora lies in an eternal sleep, kisses her lips, and life is restored to Sleeping Beauty, as well as the kingdom.

"...let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; 
then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God..."  

Righteousness will always prevail over evil.  Virtue & truth are the weapons by which this is accomplished.  Use these weapons in your own life, so you too may claim your own happy ending.

----------------------------

And with that, folks, I am at an end of my thoughts.  What are yours on this topic?

The handout I prepared for this week is two-sided.  It features a quote from that all-time favorite Disney classic of mine, as well as one of my all-time favorite scripture references ( I know we used it last week, but it simply is one of the greatest).

The back features the diagram shown earlier in this post.  If you feel one or even both sides can bless you & your family's life, feel free to download the handouts below:

P.S.
Mini-Me is fairing quite well.

Her surgery went beautifully, and the reduction wound up being "closed" (meaning they didn't have to cut her toe open to clean out any calcifications to re-set it).  The surgeon was able to manipulate the bone pieces back in place and then surgically place the pin in her toe.  He is one talented guy, and has been a great blessing in this whole ordeal.
Before the anesthesiologist entered...
after the anesthesiologist...
Some new jewelry!
It's a little gruesome, but not gory.  We lovingly refer to her toe as "Franky" which is short for The Frankenstein Toe.  She's handling that in stride alright, as well as the nicknames her friends have dubbed her with, like "Cripps" and "Handi" and "Pogo Girl" and "Hop-Along-Cassidy."
Glad they got it right!  ;)
Best. foot-rest. Ever.
Meet Franky!
Mini-Me's only relying on her crutches a little here & there, depending on her energy levels, otherwise she's walking on her heel.  She's focusing mostly on her upper body in her weights class.  And she's currently taking stats from the bench at her team's volleyball games, so that way once her surgeon releases her she'll be able to get right back into the season & hopefully play in the 4 or 6 remaining games.  Thanks for thinking of her & praying for her.  ::hugs::

Gold Framed:
Sleeping Beauty Framework - SILHOUETTE - VIRTUE and TRUTH With GLD 8perPG                                                           

Black & White:
Sleeping Beauty Framework - SILHOUETTE - VIRTUE and TRUTH 8perPG                                                           

Diagram Backing:
Sleeping Beauty Framework - BACKING DIAGRAM - 8perPG v2                                                           

4 comments:

NaDell Ransom said...

Glad your mini me is getting better.
Great handouts.
You are so right that it's WAY too easy to lie in this world.
I actually renewed my license in June and told them my REAL weight. It was a far cry from the weight I have been on my license since I was 16! But I did feel good telling them my weight, especially now that I weigh even less. There was something about admitting that I weighed as much as I did that was freeing. Although I don't know that I could have done that 30 pounds ago!
I really enjoy reading your lessons and your practicality outlook on them, knowing what you know from an adults viewpoint compared to where we all were as kids.

Kazzy said...

I think they deserve the lie for asking such a rude question! LOL

2browndawgs said...

Mini-me looks like she is keeping a brave face. I hope she has a speedy recovery!

Rachel said...

Dude, mini me's toe... holy cow. That metal something or other looks scary. ALSO these hand out pages are so stinking ADORABLE!! Like, seriously I'm so excited to use these! Thanks for using your talents to bless others :)

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