I have a friend who makes your day brighter each time you speak to her. She has a special way to lift and lighten every person she meets. Her smile and warm greeting makes it impossible not to smile back… And I want to be just like her when I grow up. Do you have a friend like this in your life? The one who is the first to make a stressful situation easier to handle because she just shrugs the stress off? We need more lifting in this world.
In direct contrast to my sweet uplifting friend, recently another friend took her adorable young children to the local aquarium. I heard later that an adult in the crowd was so frustrated by their lot in life that they felt justified in bullying her six-year-old daughter. When my friend came to her daughter’s defense, this woman tried to pick a fight with her too! I feel profoundly offended for this sweet child and her mother.
The world is changing. Where is the desire to lift another? Where is the brotherly kindness? There has been a shift where people are more free to vent and seek their own interests than ever before. It’s as though behaving badly will make them feel better. It won’t. You can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else.
I recently overheard another friend telling a story about her beautiful teenage daughter. This girl has been in beauty pageants. She carries herself with the grace of a princess, and even dresses up like one to help host gatherings for terminally ill children. I admire her so much and love her giving heart.
Recently, there was an older woman and her adult daughter nearby when this girl made an honest mistake. Not only was the older woman rude, but she went out of her way to track down this teenager to share her caustic comments. The woman’s comments were so cutting and offensive that I was stunned! Worse, they were said in a house of God where one would hope she would have had some self-control. Where was her desire to lift and lighten another’s life?
Lift Others on Social Media
And finally, it has bothered me forever that people use social networking to start fights and belittle one another. Some notable celebrities and bloggers have even removed pictures and posts because of all the nasty comments. Why, people?! Are we so bored with our lives or so inherently nasty that this is what we do behind closed doors? I’m disappointed! My brother posted a comic on Facebook recently that essentially said, “The Internet: an infinite source of information that we use to look at pictures of cats and pick fights with strangers.” I laughed at his post — it’s hilarious because it’s true!
What has happened to us? Why do we not lift and inspire instead of belittle? We, as representatives of God, should be spreading joy into the world. We need each other, and we need the love of the Savior in our lives and in our relationships. But there is only one way that we can invite Him to be with us. That is by living and treating others in such a way that allows God’s Spirit to stay with us. God lifts and loves, so we need to be doing to same.
We can take it one step further. The friend I mentioned at the beginning of this article is 80 years old. She is such a delight not only because she seems to exude heavenly love, but because she is happy to teach the next generation how to lift and love. Our children need us to teach them how to find the peace we may have been denied. The key is to lift each person as often as possible. This world seems to try to knock us down at every turn, and that continual lifting will save souls.
Listen to the Prophets
In October 2008, then-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf told a story to the men of the Church (although I believe it applies to everyone, both men and women!) about was a grand piano that needed to be moved from the chapel to the cultural hall next door. A group of men gathered to try to lift it, but as you can imagine, it was a huge job. After many tries, it was suggested that the men stand close together and lift where they stood. It worked! The piano was then easily transported. He continued:
“Although it may seem simple, lifting where we stand is a principle of power. Most of the priesthood holders I know understand and live by this principle. They are eager to roll up their sleeves and go to work, whatever that work might be. They faithfully perform their duties. They magnify their callings. They serve the Lord by serving others. They stand close together and lift where they stand. . . . Every priesthood holder stands at a unique place and has an important task that only he can perform. . . . Our Heavenly Father asks that we represent Him in the noble work of reaching out and blessing the lives of His children. He asks us to stand firm with the power of the priesthood in our hearts and souls and give the calling we have at this moment our best efforts” (emphasis added).
Lift and Lighten
I love Elder Uchtdorf! What a way with words!
We are here to lift and enlighten the world. We can and should be a positive force for good. Our children are watching and learning from our behavior. A harsh reality of life is opposition in all things — so let our behavior be so full of light and love that we blind those who live in the darkness. There are always going to be broken people out there seeking to break others, but the Lord doesn’t work that way. He heals all. He loves all. He lifts all who will come to Him. And with His support, the wave of good works we grow will make all the difference.
Are you ready to join us as we lift all of God’s children? It is as simple as being kind and looking for the good in every day. I have confidence you can do it.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.