I had a delightful day in the temple on Saturday. It was my turn to give a short lesson in Preparation Meeting. The topic was showing Courtesty and Appreciation. To me that means to Be Kind.
One of the reasons that I love to work as an Ordinance Worker or as a Patron in the temple is because it is such a peaceful loving environment. In the temple the workers and patrons that come are always kind and appreciate whatever you are doing for them. There is really no contention in the temple. At least I haven't ever noticed any.
There was a motto that I remember from my youth that states: "I will always try to do and say the kindest things in the kindest way." This motto is a wonderful one.
Sister Betty Jo Jepsen gave this thought in the Woman's Conference in Oct. of 1990: "Kindness has many synonyms; love, service, charity. But I like the word kindness because it implies action. It seems like something you and I can do. Kindness can be shown in so many ways. My favorite examples of kindness come from what Jesus did. He spent his ministry searching for the weary, the sick, the poor, and the lonely, that He might show kindness towards them." (Betty Jo Jepson: Ensign, Nov. 1990).
In our day to day moments we will come across those who are misunderstood, tired, sick, poor, lonely, and weary. Sometimes, we all may feel like this. There are days that I feel weary.
Here are some thoughts on kindness:
1. Remember to smile and express appreciation at every occasion.
Many years ago when I was working as a nurse; I had an evaluation that wasn't as good as I thought at the time it should have been. I was told that that I appeared unfriendly and didn't engage much with those I worked with. I was rather shocked at first. I tried to think how I could change that perspective. For one thing; I was very shy then; so I knew that was a problem to deal with. I finally decided that I would just smile more. I would smile at my fellow workers and the patients that I cared for. I would start a conversation more often. With in a few months I was evaluated again and the outcome was very good. It was that simple.
Remember to smile more.......
2. Always treat those you come in contact with as you would desire to be treated.
I have another nursing experience to share. I was working in an Intensive Care Unit. There was an older nurse who seemed to resent it if I was assigned to be the charge nurse. I felt like she was judging me all of the time and that I fell short of her expectations. I discussed with my husband what he thought I should do to change this situation. We finally decided that I would engage her in a conversation and try to find out more about her. One night it was very slow in the unit and I had plenty of time to talk with her. I set out to find out more about her. I asked her all sorts of questions about her life. I learned many wonderful things about her. It was such a good experience and she seemed to enjoy telling me her life experiences. In the end we became friends and enjoyed working with one another.
Remember treat others as you would desire to be treated; be interested in them.
3. Our temple has a lot of handicap patrons that come to do temple work. Often times we are anxious to help them in everyway, but this may not be what they want or need.
I learned a quick lesson one day when I was the worker. There was a blind sister that came in and I was trying to help her move about and do correctly what she needed to do. She finally told me that she could do it by herself.
Remember to ask how you can assist a person that is handicapped.
4. Think before you act and respond to others.
I am sure we have all had experiences good and bad on this one. I know that I can react quickly to something I think is wrong or correct someone if I think they are doing something wrong. I suppose there are moments when this is ok; but always be kind. Remember that they are possibly doing the best they know how. In the temple we don't correct patrons very often. We assume that the patron is doing his or her best.
Remember to always be kind in whatever you say or do.
Here is a sweet story that was told by Sister Betty Jo Jepsen in her conference message: "Derek was born with serious physical handicaps. In his five years on earth, he knew little of the world of those who run, play hid-and-seek, skip rope, or feel free of pain. But he knew how he could feel better, when things were tough, when he suffered and those around him were weary and discouraged, he would hold up his arms and ask, "Let me hold you?" In his innocence, he knew he could kindly lift others-even while he endured hardship.
Our Savior Jesus Christ showed such kindness to all that he met in his ministry. One touching example was one of His final acts when He washed the feet of his beloved Apostles during the Last Supper. Jesus took a towel, poured water in a basin, and began to wash and dry the feet of his disciples. I am sure their sandled feet were dirty from walking the streets of Jersuslem. Peter the senior Apostle said; "Thou shalt never wash my feet." Perhaps Peter resisted because he felt that Jesus their master should not stoop to perform this act. But Jesus insisted washing all of the feet of his apostles and even the feet of Judas, whom he knew would soon betray him. I feel that he deeply loved Judas too. After the Savior had washed their feet, he said; "Know ye what I have done to wash one another's feet." For I have given you an example that ye should so as I have done to you..." If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. The Lord completed one more loving, kind, charitable act by washing the feet of His beloved Apostles; thus teaching them to Love One Another.
I have wondered about how the Apostles felt. I had an experience with washing of the feet. I had been a Hospice Home Health Nurse for a couple of years when I was told I had to take the Volunteer class. I wasn't very humble. I thought I knew all I needed to know to care for my patients. On this memorable day those in the class were asked to bring a basin and wash cloth to class. There were probably around 14 volunteers present. The class instructor divided us up and then told us that we were to wash each other's feet. I was given a gentleman as my partner in this experience. I volunteered to wash his feet first. He was a complete stranger and needless to say I felt very uncomfortable.
We were instructed not to talk with one another while doing this assignment. As I began to wash his feet; I could tell that he was uncomfortable with me doing this. I didn't know what to think. I thought that perhaps he had ticklish feet. I looked deep into to his eyes and sensed he was in pain. As I recognized this fact I gently washed his feet trying hard not to cause the pain I had seen. I took each of his feet one at a time and placed them on the towel to wipe them. I placed the towel over his feet and again gently dried his feet. After we were allowed to speak he told me that the bottoms of his feet and been severely burned and that not only the water but any contact was painful. He thanked me for my kindness and gentleness. I also at this time found out he was a member of my faith. This was a profound moment for me in which I was deeply humbled and the washing of the Apostles feet took on a greater significance to me.
A closing thought by Sister Jepson:
“No act of kindness is every wasted. You cannot do a kindness too soon. Acting kindly can change the giver and the receiver for good.”