I was blessed to be raised with a mother who never once raised her voice to anyone - not in anger and not in any other way. I can say honestly that I have never heard her condemn anyone. When we did something we shouldn’t have done, she would automatically tear up because of what she feared our actions, if continued, would do to us. Those tears were worse BY FAR than anything my dad did to punish us, but it was not transmitted through a sense of guilt. It came across obviously and strongly as a deep and abiding love for us and concern for who we would become. She simply was (and is) a gentle soul - a "sweet spirit" in the purest sense of that phrase. My dad used to say that if we came home and found everything gone, stolen by someone, my mom would say, “They must need it more than we do" - sincerely and reflexively.
I have a deep and abiding desire for respectful conversation and mutual understanding explicitly because of what I saw my mother live. She was loved, truly and deeply, by everyone who met her, and I wish I was like that more fully.
Elder Wirthlin’s words about accepting all within the orchestra (not just the piccolos) resonated with me largely because of my upbringing, but my experience since beginning to blog also made his words ring clearly to me. I have seen so much contention and bickering and vitriol even among the Saints, and it pains my soul - especially when I know what it does to people.
I don’t ask for compassion in commentary simply because of what it does to a conversation; I ask for it also because of what it can do within those who comment.