Sunday, July 2, 2017

Finding Peace with others while being a winner! Or, He who loses his temper, loses

I decided this morning while studying scriptures, I will look for mentions of or references to peace. This will be my goal for this month, which has the fourth of July Holiday, celebrating America's Independence from British rule! Yeah! Does peace just equal freedom from war? Or can it go beyond that? As Americans, we celebrate many freedoms, including our right to free speech and right to worship as we may. We can create peace in our homes and neighborhoods and world by allowing others the same right. #11 of the 13 Articles of Faith written by Joseph Smith states: "We (as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints) claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." It is important to respect this God-Given right of free-agency. We can have tolerance for others beliefs, yet quietly disagree. This helps to prevent disputes. People have varying opinions about many things. We can agree to disagree. When I teach Anger Management, I tell my students we can come out as winners when someone is pushing our buttons, by remaining calm and agreeable. Keeping your cool helps you "Win". And we all want to be "Winners"! it is built into us. Just take a deep breath and allow the other person to vent. They may lose their cool, but keep yours.(No one wants to be a Loser either) There is a scripture that emphasizes the benefit of keeping your cool: Matthew 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." many of my court-ordered students found themselves reacting when confronted and fighting back unnecessarily, and ended up in court and ordered to our classes. Let me give an example. One student had to take two classes, Anger Management and a One-Day Drug and Alcohol Class. My sister, Karen, was teaching two Saturdays in a row. The first class was Anger Management and she emphasized being a winner and being agreeable and they listened to Izzy Kalman demonstrating this skill in a fun, entertaining way. The young man came back the next Saturday and said with exuberance, "Karen, I tried that and it worked! The guy I beat up (the reason I'm here) pulled into the same parking lot as me. He came over to my car with his friend, his arm in a sling (I had broken his arm), and stuck his head in my open window and said, you ##**#, you broke my arm!" I remembered what you said and took a deep breath. I simply said, "You are right, man, I did." He stared at me and then yelled, "Your friends called me a *#!#* on Facebook and said _____ about me." I replied, "That could be true". He called me some more names, as his face got beet red, and I just said, "You have a right to your opinion" The guy looked at me in disbelief, like I was crazy and then stomped off. Karen then asked the young man, "how di you feel? He said "I felt great!" Karen asked, "Did you feel like you won that one?" "Oh yes!" he responded,"and I didn't have to lift a finger!" "The other guy lost it and I kept my cool."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Studying Scripture, asking Questions, Discovering virtues

I am intent on following the wisdom and advice of my Bishop. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and am currently re-reading the Book of Mormon as Bishop Stone has encouraged ward members to do. I am enjoying it. When I am reading, a question will often enter my mind and I am not satisfied until I decipher an answer. Today, as I read 1 Nephi Chapter 9, I wondered at what age did Nephi inscribe the plates of Nephi? As i read closely, I realized he had to be mature in age since he writes not only in past tense, but mentions making a full account of the history of his people. To make a full account, one must have seen and witnessed all, so he must have been in his later years of life. It would have taken a great deal of time to engrave the history of his people (wars, contentions, reigns of kings) and also to write in the smaller plates about the ministry of his people (written "for a wise purpose" in the Lord). I learned from this brief chapter that no only was Nephi patient in listening to the Lord, but also obedient and patient in writing. He demonstrated determination, strength and faith, not knowing beforehand the full purpose of intent of the Lord.