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How many times have we let others rule our emotions? Do we allow it to happen often?
In an October 2006 Conference talk, And Nothing Shall Offend Them, Elder David A. Bednar commented:
“When we believe or say we have been offended, we usually mean we feel insulted, mistreated, snubbed, or disrespected. And certainly clumsy, embarrassing, unprincipled, and mean-spirited things do occur in our interactions with other people that would allow us to take offense. However, it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.
“In the grand division of all of God’s creations, there are things to act and things to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:13–14). As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity for independent action and choice. Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation.”
It took me a long time and all the strength that I had to figure this out for myself. The desire to talk back or give an insult for an insult is too strong. To let go of the ‘natural man’ in us takes courage, determination and a strong desire to become a better person for yourself, your loved ones and especially the Lord.
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