Taking Offense

This week in our Book of Mormon class for Pathway, we are reading Alma 43-63.  As we read through the various chapters, we also have videos to watch throughout the week.  One of these videos is titled “And Nothing Shall Offend Them”, and is by Elder David A. Bednar.

I really enjoyed listening to this talk and if you haven’t seen it, I would suggest watching it.  In our lesson, it only shows a couple of minutes of the talk given by Elder Bednar, but after watching this, I had to go watch the entire talk.  I really enjoyed listening to him talk about this subject.

As he speaks about people that have become less active in the church because of being offended, it really hits close to home.  For many years I stopped going to church myself because of things that had been said or done in the past that offended me.  For a while there I thought I might never go back to church again.  Even though I feel that I had a testimony of the truthfulness of the church, I let my thinking get clouded and really started to blame others for my inactivity.

In his talk, Elder Bednar states that “ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me.”  He further states that to be offended “is a choice we make.”

This is something that I have struggled with a lot in the past.  I really believed that I was wronged by things that people have said to me in the past and I really believed that I was right in my thinking.  At one point, I remember having a conversation with a good friend of mine where we talked about how I felt with people at church.  He really upset me when he said at one point, “it’s your own fault.”

I can remember being extremely upset with him and not wanting to talk anymore about it.  It has taken me quite a while, but I have come to learn over the years that when he said this to me, he was correct.  Just as Elder Bednar states, it was my own choice to be affected the way that I was.

As I have come to realize this, I have been able to make my way back to church and I am stronger in my faith than I ever was before.  I know that I have a long way to go and so much to learn, but one thing I will never let anyone do to me again is offend me to the point that I stop going to church.

I have a brother in law that really helped me come back and has helped me so much by reminding me that I am at church for myself and for my family – not for anyone else.  I will always be grateful to him for his patience and his persistence to help guide me back to the Gospel.  He really helped me to understand that what is important for me, is to concentrate on the relationship I have with my Father in Heaven and with my Savior.

As I have continued along my path back at church, I really strive to be helpful to those around me.  I really hope to be able to serve those that are in need with anything that might be asked of me.  I believe that this attitude is what the Savior would want me to do.  I believe that trying to live by His example is what I should be striving for every day.

I know that these types of situations can be very difficult to overcome.  Those that have offended others usually don’t think they have done anything wrong or they think the person offended should just get over it.  The person offended usually wants to distance themselves away from church and anybody associated with it.  This creates a horrible situation for everyone involved, but the biggest problem is for the person offended.  There’s usually not a realization that the main person they are hurting is themselves and their family.

I’m glad to have watched this video this week as it helps to strengthen my resolve to help those around me.  I know how hard it can be to come back to church, but I also know how great of a feeling it is to do so.  I hope that we can all strive to be mindful of others as we interact with them to help avoid these types of situations.  And I also hope that we can mindful of those already in these types of situations that we might reach out to them with love and friendship to help bring them back to where they belong.


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