Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaching and Learning

Sunday, I had the chance to teach a lesson in Relief Society.

I heard this talk in September and loved it. Here is an excerpt and the way I opened my lesson.

A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while they were eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and watched her next-door neighbor hanging out her wash.

“That laundry’s not clean!” Lisa exclaimed. “Our neighbor doesn’t know how to get clothes clean!”

John looked on but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.

A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, “Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.”

John replied, “Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!”

Tonight I’d like to share with you a few thoughts concerning how we view each other. Are we looking through a window which needs cleaning? Are we making judgments when we don’t have all the facts? What do we see when we look at others? What judgments do we make about them?

Said the Savior, “Judge not.” 1 He continued, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” 2 Or, to paraphrase, why beholdest thou what you think is dirty laundry at your neighbor’s house but considerest not the soiled window in your own house?

None of us is perfect. I know of no one who would profess to be so. And yet for some reason, despite our own imperfections, we have a tendency to point out those of others. We make judgments concerning their actions or inactions.

There is really no way we can know the heart, the intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize. Thus the commandment: “Judge not.”

I know my windows need cleaning. And I love that none of you worry about that. I love that I can click and scroll and find out what is going on in the lives of other women who have lives similar to mine and whom I admire. They remind me to notice blessings and beauty and add humor to my perspective.

As I prepared to teach, I decided that I can be kinder and more forgiving. I can remember that most people really are doing the best that they can. Most need encouragement and smiles, not scowls and criticism.

Love One Another.

I can do that. So can you.

1 comment:

mama bear said...

I appreciate this post--and I appreciate Pres. Monson's talk that your story came from. It makes us all stop and consider how much our own windows need cleaning! There's another good article in this month's Ensign called "Similarities and Differences" that could be an addendum to your lesson.