Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Church Talk

I gave a talk in church last Sunday. I'm really proud of it. I think it's the best talk I've ever given. It might be the best talk I've ever even heard, not excluding General Conference. It was on humility.

Here are my notes, in case you're interested.

I. Introduction - talk on humility
II. What is humility?
A. C.S. Lewis “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
B. Screwtape “The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the, fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents-or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things.” - love your neighbor as yourself.
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “Humility is all about keeping one’s balance.]”
C. Surrendering to others
1. Accepting service
2. Medical procedures - Sitting in an exam room wearing only a hospital gown while waiting for the doctor, nurse, and intern!
Being humble w/o being forced to be humble.Alma 32:16
Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble
D. Aligning your will to God’s will - C.S. Lewis Screwtape “He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love-a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours. For we must never forget what is the most repellent and inexplicable trait in our Enemy; He really loves the hairless bipeds He has created and always gives back to them with His right hand what He has taken away with His left.”
Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “Our weaknesses can direct our hearts toward Heavenly Father and His will for us. This can be a hard thing! It’s painful! It’s daunting! But it’s humbling, and when we are humble enough to acknowledge our dependence on the Lord in overcoming those weaknesses, He fills our hearts with His everlasting love, turning our weaknesses into strengths. It takes humility to seek further direction in learning His will for us.”
1. Zane - inspiration to stay home and have me work December 2012
I started work January 2013
Insurance March 1, 2013
Cancer diagnosis April 3, 2013
2. Jesus
a. Not my will but thine be done. Jesus said this in the Garden. We have to be willing to do what God wants us to do, not what we want to do.
b.Jesus didn’t think he was better than others -- lepers, prostitutes, women, tax collectors, all those hated by the righteous. My favorite story in the New Testament is the one about the woman who has a bleeding disorder. She has spent all her living on doctors. This means she was probably desperately poor. She was likely divorced from her husband, because what man wants to live with a woman who is permanently unclean? If she touched anyone, they were also unclean and had to purify themselves. What a position of enforced humility! And she was humble. She did not ask Jesus for a miracle -- she did not feel confident enough in her reception or her importance. Instead, she touched the hem of his garment, the ritual fringes, which were considered holy. Through her faith, she was healed.
To me, it gets even better. Jesus knew she was healed, of course. But he asked who touched him. Again in humility, this outcast woman, who now had a chance for a normal life, confessed it had been her. She could have been punished for making him unclean. But what did Jesus do? He did not consider himself so holy that he could not hang out with such a woman. Indeed, he called her daughter and commended her for her faith.
Who are the equivalents for us? Who do we think we are better than? Do we think we are better than people who struggle with sexual sins, homosexuality, drug or alcohol addiction? Would Jesus hang out with these people? Of course he would. Humility is remembering that we are all children of God.

III. The opposite of humility - pride
A. What happens if we’re not humble? We are proud. Pride means our own importance and ego get in the way. What does it get in the way of? A good relationship with our parents, children, siblings, and spouse. With God. Pride means putting ourselves first. Judging. Psychologists say anger is a secondary emotion. What we’re really feeling is something like wounded pride -- humiliation. But anger is more comfortable than humiliation. Why would we be humiliated? Only if we have pride. Humility will prevent anger.

What examples of humility have helped you feel the love of the Lord?

How does humility in daily living bring you closer to the Lord?
Humility brings you closer to those you deal with every day and to the Lord.

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