Sunday, April 22, 2012

Laborers in the Vineyard

Elder Holland's General Conference talk "Laborers in the Vineyard" really struck me, particularly when he said:
Then this piercing question to anyone then or now who needs to hear it: “Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?
Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.
Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! To say nothing of the chagrin in the end, when we find that God really is both just and merciful, giving to all who stand with Him “all that he hath,”2 as the scripture says. So lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.
When I heard that, I immediately thought of Etsy. I ashamedly admit I have had some envious feelings. Elder Holland opened my eyes to see that I am not diminished when someone else is added upon and that I should not be jealous because Heavenly Father chooses to be kind. Instead, I should rejoice when someone experiences success and be grateful when Heavenly Father blesses me in other areas.

Another thought that came to mind is bitterness I have been harboring for years toward another person's success. The person received a scholarship I greatly desired, and instead of being grateful for the still extremely generous scholarship I did win, I cried because I didn't beat her, or at least get the same prize. The past fews years I've realized how blessed my husband and I are not to have student debts, and this talk made me realize even more how ungrateful I've been all these years for the financial blessings and college education I did receive.

I hope that if any of you have bitter feelings as I did that you will let them go through the Atonement of Christ and replace them with joy for your brothers' and sisters' blessings from a generous and loving Heavenly Father.

1 comment:

  1. Elder Holland's talk was one of my favorites too!