As I was giving my dog, Casper, a bath, he was sitting on his feet. Actually, everything that he could possibly hide from me was underneath him: feet, legs, tail, stomach, etc. He even had his head tucked in tight. The only thing I could reach without a fight was his back. I was determined, but he was stubborn. He ended up getting a good bath, and he felt better being clean—but it wasn’t easy. I wondered how many of my sins I try to hide, and how much better I would feel if I repented and made myself clean. I wondered if I am even ready to be clean.
Just as I knew that my dog was dirty, Heavenly Father knows I have some cleaning up to do in my life. I can’t hide my sins any better than Casper can hide his dirty feet. I can tuck them away temporarily, but eventually I will have to deal with them. It would be a lot easier to deal with them now rather than to try to explain them when I leave this earthly existence. Am I ready to be clean?
What is it that makes a person ready to be clean? As I pondered that, I realized the answer is childlike humility—something I am lacking. The process towards becoming clean, for me, begins with humility. I decided to read about humility and how to obtain it. I was surprised to find that I have previously bookmarked nine General Conference talks about humility. Obviously, today was not the first time I realized that I lack humility! The question begs to be answered why I have not conquered the problem.
[T]he greatest act of courage and love in the history of mankind—Christ’s atoning sacrifice—was also the greatest act of humility and submissiveness. Some may wonder if those seeking to become humble must forever defer to the strongly held opinions and positions of others. Certainly the Savior’s life evidences that true humility is anything but subservience, weakness, or servility (Marlin K. Jensen, “To Walk Humbly with Thy God,” Apr. 2001 General Conference).
The quote from Elder Jensen above may very well hold the key to my humility. I am a very independent person, and in some subconscious way I think being humble makes me feel like I’m weak. Yet, the single most humble person ever to walk the earth was anything but weak. Christ is my example. Looking to Jesus Christ for answers is always the best way to learn.
As a woman, I’ve had to harden the exterior in order to survive in a world where men dominate. The drawback is the lack of humility. Being a strong, independent woman is fine as long as I remember the source of that strength. Without my Heavenly Father, I am nothing. Without the Savior, I am nothing. Without the quiet guidance of the Holy Ghost, I am nothing. Yet so often I am puffed up in pride and forget to be humble and grateful for the strength that makes me whole. Without humility, I cannot become clean. I’m not clean and whole because I hide my uncleanliness in pride. The day I am finally able to strip off the pride and become humble, I will be able to clean the hidden places of my life.
What will make me ready to do this? I hope I don’t wait for some great tragedy. I hope after rereading those nine General Conference talks about humility that I’ll develop a plan to develop humility—a plan that I can stick to like glue.
Humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God—the power of humility. It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope, the power of a heart throbbing with a love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, even the power of redemption. To this end, the Savior is our supreme example of the power of humility and submissiveness. After all, His submitting His will to the Father brought about the greatest, and even the most powerful, event in all of history. Perhaps some of the most sacred words in all the scriptures are simply, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42) (Richard C. Edgley, “The Empowerment of Humility,” Oct. 2003 General Conference).
It occurs to me that maybe I’ve been trying to empower myself in the wrong ways as a woman. The empowerment of God, humility, will make me clean. The question, “Am I ready to be clean?” may be replaced by “Am I ready to be humble?”
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.