Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the book The Soft-Spoken Parent: The Top 10 Strategies to Turn Away Wrath.
Have you ever felt so serene and peaceful that you loved the whole world?
I remember as a young missionary in Ocala, Florida, being asked to bless the sacrament one Sunday in fast meeting. I don’t remember the details of that morning. But I know that my companion and I sang the sacrament hymn while we broke the bread. I remember that I was filled with love, joy, and peace.
When we sat while the sacrament was passed, I looked over the people of that little ward. I had been in Ocala long enough to know some of the eccentricities and chaffings in the ward. But, filled with the Spirit, I loved them all. I felt that I wanted to embrace them and bless them in any way I could. Their weaknesses and unkindnesses meant nothing to me. I simply loved them.
I suppose that what I felt was charity, the pure love that comes as a gift from Christ. To be able to see as he sees, feel as he feels, and love as he loves is a blessed experience. If all of us were filled with charity all the time, anger would not be a problem.
But we are not, and it is. Most of the time we operate between mild irritation and total annoyance. That is part of living in a telestial world where thorn and thistle (as well as children and co-workers) torment and afflict us.
So the blessed state of charity does not come to us regularly or easily. But, just as with the long-awaited trip to Disneyland, we should not lose sight of the goal. It may take years of patient preparation, but we should not settle for an hour at Chuck E. Cheese’s. We were meant for better things.
So any process that keeps our hearts tender, compassionate, and long-suffering should be cherished.
Stay tuned for another strategy next week. Or purchase the book, which is available at Deseret Book.