Monday, December 02, 2013

Mending Quarrels & Forgotten Friends

I was in college during the short nine months that Howard W. Hunter was president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have two memories of him speaking. First, I remember his words that we - the members of this Church - should be a “gentle people.” I wrote it down. I committed to be a gentler person. I am still trying. And failing. And trying. 

The second thing I remember was when he spoke at the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on December 4, 1994. It was President Hunter’s last public address. He said: 

This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.

Isn’t that a great list? I love that list. I read it every December and try to focus on it as part of the season. Because once I hit January, and I’m forced to go a month without sugar, all bets are off, people.