Today’s reading: Mormon 9:29-37
31 Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.
These last books in the Book of Mormon always make me a bit sad. Mormon has been leading his people for years, right up until the last great battle and his death. Moroni is now left to finish up the records and secure them in the earth. He is one of the last of his people left alive. And this book that he is finishing is full of prophets and people who have given their all. It is a sacred record of their desire to do what was right no matter the odds or consequences. These prophets have been commanded to write and they have written – Nephi, Enos, King Benjamin, Alma, Helaman, Mormon and Moroni. They have done their best to do as has been asked of them. And I find it poignant that Moroni at this point asks us, the reader, for mercy from us to not condemn these writers because of their imperfections.
In the course of following the Lord, we all have imperfections. We all are in process as mothers, wives, sisters, friends. We are bound to make mistakes but do we let those mistakes stand in the way of our writing our story? Do we ever shy away from what the Lord asks of us because of our perceived imperfections?
For years the Lord has been asking me to write. His voice has been clear to me on this. Yet I fear my imperfections and truthfully, I have let that fear stall my faith sometimes. He asks me to open my mouth, to put words to my experiences, and to tell how He has changed me. My heart responds, “But Lord, what of my weaknesses? Who am I to tell my stories?” And page after page in the Book of Mormon, He has shown me the power of people’s stories. I have read of people’s courage, their failure, their faith, their family, and their struggles. They are not perfect, but they are trying. They are everyday stories of imperfect people learning to work with, and sometimes without, God in their lives.
11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.
I am an everyday person. And just as those in the Book of Mormon, I can write my stories. So I took action and reached out to be a contributor on this blog. I was ready to share my stories. I was ready to share my love of the scriptures and the stories and humanity that are found in them. It’s been a beautiful, terrifying, rewarding experience. And with every post I write, I remind myself to be kind, to not condemn my imperfections and let that stop me from writing.
And so I ask you – what has He asked you to do that you might be hesitating on? What might you be afraid to do, say or write because of your imperfections?
Whether you write, sing, dance or teach, I encourage you to share your stories of how Christ has worked in your life. And let us not condemn one another in our acts of trying to do as the Lord has asked of us. Yes, we need to do our best. However, I am afraid too many of us don’t start for fear of condemnation. We turn down callings because we don’t think we can do them. Perhaps we don’t offer prayers or make comments in church. We don’t share our stories with our children, spouses or friends. We think our stories are less than others stories. The beauty of the scriptures though is how keenly they teach the power of storytelling. Every story. Your story.
So let’s celebrate our stories of faith. Let’s celebrate that God talks to us, directs us and asks us to be apart of His work. And when we sometimes stumble in our undertakings, let us follow Moroni’s counsel and not condemn each other but give thanks that the experience can make us more wise and capable the next time.