Tuesday, November 3, 2009

King of the Mountain

My cat is driving me crazy. For some reason she has the impression that she is the king of the mountain, and I am the mountain. She not only decides when we are going to bed, but in what position. At 9:30 I am supposed to be lying on my side, on the edge of the bed with the quilt up to my chin. Anything else brings loud complaints. Have you ever met anyone who thinks his or her way is the only way?
The Relief Society lesson for November is supposed to be chosen from the October conference talks. I remember, as a teenager being upset that the boys got to have their own session. Afterwards, they got to have a piece of pie. What secret things were they being told that we girls didn’t get to know about? I even remember driving down to the church one night to sit in the dark, under the open windows to listen to these special secrets. Well, there wasn’t anything special or different from the other sessions of conference.
Now we can read or listen to the Priesthood session of conference a few days later. But I always make sure to read it, just in case.
This year I read the address given by President Monson, “School Thy Feelings, Oh My Brother” Where he talked about anger and how it can affect our lives. He said,
”Many years ago I read the following Associated Press dispatch which appeared in the newspaper: An elderly man disclosed at the funeral of his brother, with whom he had shared, from early manhood, a small, one-room cabin near Canisteo, New York, that following a quarrel, they had divided the room in half with a chalk line, and neither had crossed the line or spoken a word to the other since that day—62 years before. Just think of the consequence of that anger. What a tragedy!”
I remember that as a child, my sister and I had a disagreement. We too divided our room, and bed in half and said, “You can’t come over on my side!” It didn’t last very long because one of us couldn’t get out of the room, and the other one couldn’t put on any clothes.
I have a cousin who told me once that there was so much anger and bad feelings in her family when they were growing up that it had taken her till she was 50 before she could even stand to be in the same house with them. I am so grateful that my sister and brothers and I have a loving relationship. They are my best friends.
President Monson continued, “May we make a conscious decision, each time such a decision must be made, to refrain from anger and to leave unsaid the harsh and hurtful things we may be tempted to say.”
I think many times when we are cut off in traffic or other times when someone hurts our feelings they are like my cat—They think they are king of the mountain and what they want is most important. My prayer is that we can be patient and forgiving and a good example. As the hymn says,
“School thy feelings, O my brother;
Train thy warm, impulsive soul.
Do not its emotions smother,
But let wisdom’s voice control.
School thy feelings; there is power
In the cool, collected mind.
Passion shatters reason’s tower,
Makes the clearest vision blind.”
School Thy Feelings by Charles Penrose.

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