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Peacegiver Fireside
By josh
10/11/2006 11:46:20 AM
My wife and I recently attended the peacegiver fireside that was advertised on this site and talked about in recovery meetings. We both read the book first. Reading the book and attending the fireside have generated a lot of really good conversations. There are many things I could write about, and maybe I will later, but there is one particular concept that has stuck with me ever since the fireside.

Towards the end of the fireside he talked about thinking of someone we held a grudge against, someone who has hurt or offended us, or just someone we didn't like. Then picture that person in the celestial kingdom - would we be happy to see them there? Or would we ask ourselves, "What are they doing here? They don't deserve to be here!" And by so asking, we ourselves would not deserve to be there.

I don't think I hold many grudges, but there are certainly a number of people I just don't really get along with. Mainly it is people at work that I feel are utterly incompetent and somehow manage to continually be praised and handsomely compensated. They never do any real work, just take credit for other people's work. You can see my disdain for these people even as I write this. Anyway, I often have to work with these people, and I am often quite bitter about it and speak negatively about them behind their backs. (Kind of like I am doing now, I guess).

For the last couple of days I have tried to picture these people passing throught the veil and entering the celestial kingdom, and the Lord welcoming them in. It may sound kind of silly, but it has really helped me view them in a different light. I had a meeting with one of them and it actually was quite productive and went quite well. I started to visualize others in this manner, and tried to see them as the Lord sees them. Just the simple act of picturing someone I don't like going through the temple changes my feelings towards them. I start to think about what their needs might be, not their shortcomings. I start to think about things that must bring them joy in their life - they have people that love and care about them, and there are people they love and care about. I think about how Heavenly Father wants them to return to Him just the same as He wants me to return to Him.

I have started to extend this idea to people (even strangers, or people I just pass on the street) that I might be inclined to look at inappropriately. Instead of seeing what they are wearing or concentrating on their physical appearance, I try picturing them in white, going through the temple or entering into God's presence in some celestial realm. I don't have the ability to completely see people as the Lord sees them, but (although it may seem silly) this little visual trick helps me. It's helped me, even if just in a small degree, to more genuinely care for others and be a little kinder.

Comments:

Great fireside    
"Josh, I'm sorry I missed you there. I sat with Curtis and Dan at the front and didn't see anyone else. I'm glad you made it though. I, too, have had lots of thoughts regarding that fireside and the book the last couple days. I actually just blogged about the thought of asking for a new heart. I also really like this idea of working to see people as God sees them also. This is a great tool for overcoming any sin against anyone. In my case, I'm pretty easy going and don't really have any grudges I can think of (except one in particular I'm working on). But I have seen this approach work wonders in how I view women. My counselor suggested the surrender prayer a while ago and it has worked great: "Heavenly Father, there is one of thy daughters. She is beautiful. She has days when she is lonely, days when she is sad, days when she hurts. Please bless her to find in thee what she is looking for and help me to view her with the same love and respect with which thou viewest her." Instead of looking away so I don't lust after her, I look right at her and say this prayer. Immediately I begin to see her as a person with feelings, a daughter of God and my sister, instead of a collection of body parts."
posted at 12:26:52 on October 11, 2006 by derek


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"Nothing is beyond [Christ’s] redeeming reach or His encircling empathy. Therefore, we should not complain about our own life’s not being a rose garden when we remember who wore the crown of thorns! Having bled at every pore, how red His raiment must have been in Gethsemane, how crimson that cloak! No wonder, when Christ comes in power and glory, that He will come in reminding red attire, signifying not only the winepress of wrath, but also to bring to our remembrance how He suffered for each of us in Gethsemane and on Calvary!"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987