Nov 7, 2011

Emotion and Assumptions

My beliefs have been attacked recently. My beliefs about the Lord Jesus Christ, my beliefs about the way I educate, and even my previous blog post :)

It has been a week full of thinking and pondering and reviewing. (That is a good thing)

As I was reading the scriptures this week I was pondering anew about disappointments, and sorrow and weakness, emotions and assumptions. I was reminded again how I have often pondered how Lehi could witness the future destruction of his home in Jerusalem and keep prophesying. How he could view in vision his oldest children rejecting the fruit of the tree of life and then continue teaching them the gospel. I would think he had some disappointments and sorrow. I have often pondered how Nephi could see the destruction of his people, of the entire civilization of the Nephites and keep going, keep preaching, keep giving. I would think he had some emotions and humbling. And this week I was impressed by Jacob in Second Nephi when it is revealed to him that the Messiah will be crucified. He goes on to say, "Cheer up your hearts." How can these men, these prophets, not be swayed by emotion and by assumptions, by their own fears and guilt's and weaknesses'? How can they seek and testify of truth when it is so hard to hear and obey.

Because they have put off the natural man and received the spirit of the Lord!

Unlike Lehi and Nephi and Jacob my first natural-man reaction to these attacks this week was to be emotional. To get upset, frustrated, cynical. My second natural-man reaction is to the lack of emotion; to have apathy for these people and their choices. Neither of these choices is correct. The answer is to be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. Am I deceived in things that I do and say? Yes. We all are, we are all flawed, we all make poor choices, we all do things incorrectly, we all are selfish, we all sin....the people and prophets in the scriptures are great examples of this.

The problem here-in lies in the fact that when we are emotionally attached to an opinion or and idea we cannot seek truth. Truth seeking is done through the spirit of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord cannot help us seek truth when we are angry, dismayed, bitter, or in the throws of sorrow. Nor can the Spirit lead us to truth when we are lacking in charity for others, when our hearts have waxed cold, when we have sought dominion over others.

Another natural-man reaction to attack is to make assumptions. I can assume then that my neighbor must hate all Mormon's and view them as inherently evil since he believes that I am entirely incorrect in my beliefs about the Lord. I can assume that others are sleep deprived and have become bitter and biting in their opinions and blog posts, condemning others for a word. But actually I don't believe that any of these things are true. Assumptions are based on lies. They are based on truths that we tell ourselves. When we make assumptions about people, places or things they are based on our own limited knowledge, opinion and thoughts. Almost all...nope, I'm going to go with ALL assumptions are in some way false. They are false because they stop our seeking for truth. If I make an assumption about someone I have already chosen to believe who they are, what they are saying and their motivation behind what they are doing. Most likely I am wrong on all three counts. Again, the answer is to be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. The Lord does not assume. He knows! He knows who I am. He knows what I intend to say. He knows my motivations behind the things I do. He also knows all of the other flawed humans around me. When I ask Him for His love and His charity I can know them also. I can seek for truth...truth about who people are and about their own character, but not if I am making assumptions. If I am making assumptions I have stopped seeking for truth. I have begun the path to fault finding, evil speaking and being offended for a word.

When I am emotional or making assumptions about someone it is a red flag for me that I am in the wrong spirit. When I feel defensive towards an idea or a thought or a person it is a red flag for me that there is something in my heart or mind that is not true.

Do I believe in a different Lord than my neighbor? Yes. He believes in the trinity, he believes in different attributes, character and purposes of God. Can I get emotionally upset and choose to dislike my neighbor, can I become hurt and offended and hide from my neighbor? Can I make assumptions that I have all truth and he has none? But none of these answers lead me to seek truth. Because REALLY we do believe in the same Lord. We believe in the Lord that answers our prayers, that directs us to do good, that leads us to find truth.

Do I have flawed education ideas? Yes. Some of the things I have done and believed and studied in my life have been false. Some people I have believed in and sought counsel from have been flawed, even dishonest. Can I become emotional, choose to be offended, seek retribution or retaliation? None of these answers leads me to seek truth. Because REALLY every human is dishonest, every man is flawed, every educational "ideal" has gaping holes and errors. I believe in seeking answers from the Lord, in following His counsels and guiding and in His ability to lead me and guide me to do good and to find truth.

Do I write blog posts that are deserving of attack? Yes. Although my husband said this I'm learning a lot about you from this read best sellers? you exercise? ...unfortunately, or fortunately, neither of those assumptions made by the person who attacked me are true (just ask my husband) Nor is the assumption true that I have used this "new invention" to keep my kids occupied while I do what I want to do. These are just assumptions about me and my home from someone who doesn't know me and has not asked the Lord to know me and my heart. Because REALLY I am not an expert in education, study, field, science, art or religion. I do not have qualms about admitting that I do not have all truth or even much truth. I occasionally make assumptions and am sometimes swayed by emotion. I make assumptions that others who may read my blog are also seeking for truth and can see that what I say and write and believe is not all reflected in this blog.

I have been learning about the importance of leaving emotion aside, not making assumptions and turning to the Lord. He is the source of all light and truth, not someones blog, newspaper column, or yahoo post....certainly not my blog, newspaper opinion, or posts! I am just a seeker of truth. I understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of all light and truth and that my quest is to seek His light and His truth and His way.


  1. Julie, I love you. I would like to add to your list! Alma the Younger, Mosiah 27:26, right after he has had his amazing conversion of three days he talks about the change. "And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, the can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God."

    And I do know you and have known you my whole life. Of all the people I know you are instilled by our Father in Heaven an amazing desire to cast out fear of trying. You inspire with your ability to look at things objectively and decide if something is good and will edify or if it isn't going to bring about the good fruits. Additionally you look at people objectively and very rarely cast judgment, for not wanting to judge harshly.

    Keep it up valiant sister!

  2. All things typed written and read, can make a large affect on people based on how,why,where, and when of there personal attitude. If someone were to "attack you" on this recent blog posting, for me it is understandable after reading it the first time. Now after the third time taking into affect the time it was written, who by, why, when, and how I had a little for empathy. But still it is written in quite a different manner. Like when studying prophets teaching sit takes me about 6 months to be able to read aloud fluently the articles of discussion. So this comment may or may not be taken appropriately. Oh well it is meant to be positive in action. We are born a perfect person and slowly "hopefully" dilute such perfection. Then if we choose to be baptized then we become perfect like at birth. Aaah what a feeling Now realize here for a second that my fingers can't type as fast as my thoughts and or get tired. My only comment tonight is that of assume. The world has taught us that assume "make an @#@# out of you and me" For most cases this may be true.But until you meet who I live with assumption is always positive it often drives me nuts. But I have come to realize this may be a great quality. Assumption is not evil or bad. For example you have tried to teach, present, preach, be an example to your children about right and wrong. Now based on who this is taught by this can be different. But they become engulfed in a predicament, your spouse thinks you should intervene and take charge, but you say to your spouse, what are we to do, are we to be has lucifer our brother and make the choice for this child, or let them use their judgement. At this time you have made an assumption that all the years of training and preaching and walking on egg shells crushing some, sometimes, will come into play and this child will make the correct decision. This decision is of course made with faith and trust in the child, and your own teachings. If this child prove wrong, who fault is it. D & C states it's the parent but only when. Yes only when what??? Think about it, it's ok to assume in a positive manner. And when you make the right assumption in choosing the right, what happens to your belief in your beliefs'. It grows dramatically. I love to see the things that I teach, love, and preach to make the right decision. Whether a child, animal, or plant. To gain a testimony one must assume that the feeling or desire that they have about a principle of the plan of salvation is somewhat true or the time taken to affirm that testimony with the Holy Ghost would never come to pass. All right my fingers can't keep up and they are beginning to ache. So that's enough comment on a comment. May god grant us the wisdom to discover the right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure.

    Thanks for your blog/
    code name: cinnamon rolls

  3. It is interesting, because I have had a similar choice to make about a comment someone said about someone I loved. They judged them in what I felt was an imperfect way, and my first reaction was to retaliate with judgment.
    However, I came to the same conclusion you did...that it was not based upon truth, and therefore would not lead to happiness or any kind of productive outcome.
    The Spirit truly is so essential to guide us in our actions when dealing with others,...that and a prayer in our hearts to love people like God does, to see them as He sees them (Moroni 7:48).
    Thanks for your blog and your honestly. I like your statement about assumptions all being false. It makes me think...