graphic by LeAnnThe word that I chose for the year to study and emulate in my life is Charity. Charity isn't just one Christ-like virtue it is a combination of divine virtues. The word charity is often used as a word for love or an act of love. To me there is a more defining message to the word Charity which is having the "Pure Love of Christ" or loving others as Christ loves us.
Without being humble it is impossible to obtain the other Christ like attributes that lead to the "Pure Love of Christ". Humility is a foundational virtue.
Of course, Christ is our greatest example of humility and meekness. The Savior said: "Learn of me and listen to my words; walk in meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me" (D&C 112:10). One of my favorite stories about the Savior is when He washed the disciples' feet, showing and teaching his disciples and us what means to be a servant and a master. Jesus came to serve in humble ways. You can read about an experience that I once had with washing of the feet in the following; here.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated in the Doctrinal New Testament Commentary Vol. 1, pg. 500. the following: " In a sense, Jesus here (in Luke 14:11)) summarizes the whole plan and purpose of this mortal probation. It is to test men and see whether they will seek for worldly things - wealth, learning, honors, power - or whether they will flee from pride, humble themselves before God, and walk before him with an eye single to his glory. Without this basic Christian virtue of humility there is neither spiritual progression here nor eternal life hereafter. With it men are able to gain every godly attribute in this life and to qualify for full salvation in the mansions on high."
Our lives are surrounded by technologies and services which focus on the individual, supporting self centered behaviors, elevating our ego's and leading us to pursue "our dreams", often at the expense of those around us.
However, I have noted that many life experiences can help us realize that we can't do it alone. We need others to help us and we need the Savior and His love and direction. I have had many humbling experiences. You know those kinds of moments when you think you know it all and find out quickly you don't. You can become humbled in seconds.
In our church we are called upon to serve one another in various callings. Through the years, I have had some very choice assignments. Through these callings I have learned great lessons in humility. Here you can learn more about what a ward and stake is in our church.
One of the most challenging assignments came about 10 years ago. My husband and I were called to meet with one of the Stake Presidency. On the way there we were trying to determine the purpose of the meeting. As we met with him, he issued a calling to me to be the Nurse for the Washington Spokane Mission. My heart sank to the floor and I had a panic sensation go through my body. I had not been an active nurse for about 12 years. Although my license was current; I was overwhelmed with the idea of such an assignment. I am not one to turn down a calling. I looked over at my husband and as I said yes, a warm and sweet sensation went through me and I knew that I would be OK. As we left the office I told my husband about the sensation of warmth going through me; and he said: "Oh, that was just the blood returning to your face.
I served in that position for 2 1/2 years. My responsibility was to be available to assist the missionaries with any medical needs or questions. They would call me with whatever health concerns they had. I would make the decision on what they were to do or determine if they needed to talk to the mission physician, go to an urgent care unit, or hospital. I knew that the Lord was watching over those precious servants. Often as I received a call; I would first think; "what do I tell them". Then immediately I would know exactly what to say. The words that came were not mine. I knew then that the Spirit of the Lord was directing me in caring for these faithful missionaries. This was truly a deeply humbling experience. I loved those young men and women so much and it was such a privilege to know them and to care for them. There were at that time around 200 missionaries between the ages 19 to 21. This was an important learning experience in my life, during which I spent many hours on my knees.
graphic by LeAnn
Here's a touching poem written by one of our Prophets; President Spencer W. Kimball. He was a kind and humble man. While serving as president of the Church, he had throat cancer and could barely speak. With new technology for that day, he used a small microphone to to preserve his voice when speaking to large audiences. What a great example of a meek and humble man.
Humility is royalty without a crown,
Greatness in plain clothes,
Erudition without decoration,
Wealth without display,
Power without scepter or force,
Position demanding no preferential rights,
Greatness sitting in the congregation,
Prayer in closets and not in corners of the street,
Fasting in secret without publication,
Stalwartness without a label,
Supplication upon its knees,
Divinity riding a donkey.
- Pres. Spencer W. Kimball