I think one of the biggest blessings in this life is having the spirit of Jesus Christ with me. As I search for the spirit I am searching for the closeness of Jesus Christ. His presence and love is the closeness I want.
When I was taking my son Ronen to school, as I was driving, I thought of how often I try to listen to the spirit and its promptings. I try to listen and watch for warning signs while… driving, the way I teach my kids, my relationships, and what I want to experience with the spirit. I am wanting to try to seek the spirit and what I should do at most times (I’m trying to work on all times). I also thought of my agency and the ability I have to make my own choices.
I believe Jesus Christ wants us to make our own choices. I also believe he wants us to have Him in our thoughts and actions, “that they do always remember Him.” -Sacrament Prayer https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/blessing-on-the-water/ase?lang=eng
3 Nephi 18:7
7. And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.
As I am remembering Him, I am striving for His spirit to reside with me. It feels so good to make good choices while thinking of Him and following the spirit, especially when things feel difficult. I have had moments where parenting has been difficult and I feel like throwing in the towel, yet, when I stopped in the moment and said a prayer or simply gave more acts of love to my children, I felt so much relief and the spirit stronger in my heart.
There have been times where I have not relied on the spirit in instances where I knew I wasn’t following the teachings of Jesus Christ. I have caught myself judging others for not following Jesus Christ or “thinking” they were not following the promptings of the spirit. I admit I was in the wrong and know the spirit wasn’t guiding me, it was my judgement. I have been in the wrong. I am still working on listening to the spirit and relying on the teachings of Jesus to love, understand, and strive for selflessness.
3 Nephi 18:15
15. Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him.
After taking Ronen to school and striving to focus on His spirit with me, I thought of many moments where I didn’t use good judgement and was tempted to have bad thoughts leading to wrong reactions.
I had an experience with my mother recently, where I made a judgement on her without knowing the full story. We both went grocery shopping and we met up with each other at the end of the day. She didn’t speak much to me and was moving quickly to get out the door. I assumed she was not happy with me. As days went by she told me about a car accident she was in and didn’t mention it to me. I made the judgement that she was mad at me. I made it about me. I could have been more understanding and had been more careful with my thoughts. We talked about it and I told her my thoughts and she expressed hers. We both had an understanding together. I did, however, feel so horrible for not trying to understand her feelings and passing a misjudgement.
I have done this many times in the past and knew it wasn’t coming from a loving thought or prompting of the spirit. I believe we all mistakenly do this and I also believe we are all trying to be better. This is why we have the best guide, Jesus Christ, to work on it. With this experience I think of judgements that I have had or common judgements by people.
Have you ever judged someone that doesn’t believe that same thing as you?
Have you judged someone for their status (poor or wealthy, educated or uneducated)?
Have you judged someone’s driving?
Have you judged someone’s beliefs? Politics? Lifestyle?
Have you judged a homeless person on the side of the road with a cardboard sign?
Have you judged someone at church for saying something or acting in a way that you think can be “inappropriate” for church?
Have you judged someone’s culture?
Have you judged the people in your family, immediate and extended?
Have you judged your in-laws?
Have you judged someone’s relationship?
Have you judged someone’s life not knowing everything they have gone through or is going through?
Have you judged yourself to critically and believed there is no hope for change or loving yourself?
I have made some of these judgements and they were not useful for my growth and didn’t lead me closer to my Savior. I found myself pushing myself from Him rather than being loving and understanding to these “someone’s.”
When the spirit of Jesus Christ is close to me I don’t have the desire to judge because I think my focus is more on loving individuals. As I have studied His life and His teachings, I have seen His righteous judgement. He has healed hearts, lives, thoughts, all through His understanding and love. He is love. I believe he has the best thoughts for us and wants to help us live a better life. I hope we can listen to those wonderful promptings he provides. I am grateful to have come to understand, still learning, a good thought from a negative one or a good judgement from a negative one.
As I have come to know Jesus Christ more I feel his love. His selfless love encourages me to give more effort. I can see that that’s all he wants. He wants me to use my agency for good. When I don’t choose good choices, I can learn from them, work on changing them, work work work to become more like Him, and listen to the spirit. This is what he wants from me and you. Effort. Listening. Growing. Understanding. Love.
He wants me to be closer to Him in the car, at church, and in my observances so I can love like Him, follow Him, and hopefully be an example of Him. I have seen the blessings when I am working towards this. I not only have better relationships but my heart is filled with love.
I want to always remember Him because he is the definition of love, selflessness, compassion, understanding, and non-judgment. Remembering is not only remembering the way He lived, but taking upon the way He lived to the way I live. I want Him to live in my thoughts and actions. I am better with His spirit close by.
No judgement if you don’t agree. 🙂