Elder Ezra Taft Benson, a former prophet, said,
"Pride is a very misunderstood sin. . . .
"Most of us think of pride as self-centerdness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core is still missing.
"The central feature of pride is emnity- enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means 'hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.' It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.
"Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God's. When we direct our pride toward God, it is the spirit of 'my will and not thine be done.' . . .
"Our will in competition to God's will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled.
"The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives. They pit their perceptions of truth against God's great knowledge, their abilities versus God's priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 3-4).
I'm noticing the times in my day when I feel tired, cranky, and overused.
Normally, I just push through and try hard to endure.
Because I felt that my attitude came from physical factors, I never really felt like I could change.
Last night, I remembered this quote and searched my soul for pride that may or may not be contributing to my exhaustion.
The truth was-- I had a very long day, a long weekend. I was tired AND starting to get sick with a sore throat and fever.
I put Ben to sleep, Todd put the little girls to sleep, and then I was helping a sick Anna finish up the dishes. She was cranky, Todd was cranky, and I was cranky.
At times like this, I usually crave distraction. I don't like to yell or hurt people with my words, so I sit for an extra long time in the bathroom. Or, I get quiet and a bit zoned out. I'm trying to change from numbing endurance to powerful light.
I visualize times when my kids get tired and my house gets contentious as times when a dark cloud settles on us. I can feel this shadow and I hate it. I feel powerless and I feel like a victim. I also visualize this darkness settle on my family and Todd and I having the power to dispel darkness with light and power. I want to be a mother with power to bring light and dispel darkness from my home.
I believe this is possible, even essential.
Most of the time I'm really good at this-- but there are still moments.
Last night, I recognized that tired, mad, cranky feeling and I started looking for enmity and pride.
I found it and it surprised me.
I really was angry at Todd. Mad that I had to work when I wanted to sleep. Mad at my kids for needing me. It wasn't just physical exhaustion that was pulling me down- it was pride, enmity, and sin. Sin that was hiding so innocently behind my best motherhood martyr.
At the moment I recognized hate I also recognized I had the spiritual power to change. I could choose to love God more than Satan. How?
I sought for doctrine to remember that could replace my anger. The doctrine I found was the motto of Relief Society-- "Charity Never Faileth". As I washed a pile of dishes and I reminded myself to love more, to serve, to be grateful. Charity Never Faileth- I told myself this over and over. He promised and I believed Him as I washed.
Guess what? I felt a CHANGE. I repented of my "enmity" and remembered God's promises and I felt love pour into my soul. I loved my family and I loved Anna who worked beside me. I was still tired and sick, but I wasn't angry.
I felt my soul changed. I felt the whole mood of my home change. I was enjoying not enduring, my relationship with Anna was strengthened, I felt greater appreciation and compassion for Todd. True doctrine and love heals.
I hesitate to share this example with you.
It may seem silly and intense.
But, it was powerful to me.
Look for enmity in your own life.
Feel the power that comes into your life as you choose gratitude and love over hate and anger.
Light is stronger than darkness.
We can make our homes places of peace and goodness- even when we're tired, even when we're cranky, even when we feel justified in our selfishness.
Charity never faileth.
I know it.
Life is good.