Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's Golden! Try it!

I have a new favorite truth, and I actually get to teach it 3 different times this week to 3 very different groups.  Since I'm so excited about it, I wanted to share here as well.

Consider two varieties of laws - man-made vs. natural laws.  Man-made can be set by the whim of a person or by lengthy legislation process, they can changed, and they can be removed.  Man-made laws are created to govern people, and there is usually a punishment attached, though if you don't get caught, you can avoid the punishment.  Natural laws are always there, and no matter how much you argue about them, you can't change it (think gravity for instance).  If not followed, there is always some form of punishment, whether painful (again gravity) or unprofitable (think gardening and the laws of seasons and plant needs).

This truth is a natural law taught by Jesus Christ.  For a great introduction on the power of this principle, read the story at the beginning of this talk where he is sitting in his car and a little boy sticks his tongue out at him (it's a great story, go read it).  As he states, “That was a simple experience, but it demonstrated that in most encounters we can determine the kind of experience we are going to have by how we respond.”

So what is the law?
Matthew 7:12 & 3 Nephi 14:12 both state, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”  Otherwise known as the Golden Rule!  This is also known as the Law of Reciprocation and the Law of the Boomerang, and in one circle I know of it's known as "The Greatest Leadership Secret" (isn't that lovely?).  It is also like unto the law of the harvest, that “whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap.”

I know you've all heard the Golden Rule over and over, but maybe haven't realize the true power that is involved with it.

From Elder Sterling W. Sill, “We are all human magnets.  Our deeds, our attitudes and even our thoughts attract in kind.  If you frown at someone he scowls back at you.  If you want smiles, give smiles.  You can know in advance how everybody will react to a given situation.  Therefore, a great power is placed in your hands if you choose to use it.  Just figure out what you want, and then give accordingly. . .  If you would like to be trusted, respected, love and followed, just learn to practice this law.”

I didn't know this until recently, but there is also something known as "The Silver Rule."  Basically that says that that you shouldn't do anything hurtful to anyone else that you wouldn't want done to you.  In other words, don't do mean things.  "The Golden Rule" is far more positive, stating that if you want good things to happen to yourself, you should do good things. 

Jesus explains the principle further in Luke 6:31-35 and Matthew 5:44.

This is a principle of self-mastery - accepting responsibility for our own actions, and choosing to do good.

What does it mean when you're playing a game and someone hands you the dice?  That it's your turn, right?  One of the most important things to realize with this principle is that in the Game of Life we're all playing, it is always your turn!  You're never waiting for someone else to move so you can act, it's always your move.  Until you realize you can take a bad situation and turn it around (like in the sticking-the-tongue-out story), you aren't using the full power in all this.


And a question for you...  Since natural laws have a punishment when not followed, does not following this law have a punishment, and if so, what?

And a few extra quotes that follow along with this for good measure:
“The more we are filled with the Spirit of God, the more we extend ourselves to others. We become peacemakers in our homes and families, we help our fellowmen everywhere, and we reach out in merciful acts of kindness, forgiveness, grace, and long‐suffering patience. . . This is the peaceable way of the follower of Jesus Christ.” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Way of the Disciple”

“Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ… Love is the guiding light that illuminates the disciple’s path and fills our daily walk with life, meaning, and wonder. Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship. Love is the way of the disciple.” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God”

“Our true claim as disciples comes when we can say with certainty that His ways have become our ways. . . “The blessings of discipleship are readily available to all who are willing to pay the price. Discipleship brings purpose to our lives so that rather than wandering aimlessly, we walk steadily on that strait and narrow way that leads us back to our Heavenly Father. Discipleship brings us comfort in times of sorrow, peace of conscience, and joy in service—all of which help us to be more like Jesus.” Elder James E. Faust, “Discipleship”

“The following has been written about discipleship: “. . . A disciple of Christ is one who is learning to be like Christ— learning to think, to feel, and to act [like] he does. To be a true disciple, to fulfill that learning task, is the most demanding regimen known to man. No other discipline compares … in either requirements or rewards. It involves the total transformation of a person from the state of the natural man to that of [a] saint, one who loves the Lord and serves with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength.”” Elder L. Tom Perry, “Discipleship”