Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quick Quote

I try to a keep a copy of the Ensign laying around the house either next to my bed, on the coffee table, or somewhere visible and accessible so that when I have a few minutes I can read an article or two. This morning I was skimming an article while eating breakfast and a few lines really jumped out at me. It is from the October 2008 Ensign and is actually a repeat of a talk given by President Harold B. Lee from the April 1973 Conference and is titled Stand Ye in Holy Places:

"You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul."

My prayer today is to attain that burning in my soul and to attain that "higher ground" so that I can lift another if ever I am needed.


Bravone said...

Thanks for the thought. I share the same goal.

Sarah said...

How does that quote relate to the fact that in order to get to that higher ground to help others, those you are now helping helped you get to the higher ground in the first place?

(Now isn't that a confusing sentence? :)

I am grateful for those who have pushed me up to higher ground so that I can pull them up in return.

LDS Pride said...

Ok, Sarah. I have mulled over your comment all day and here is my thought: you can not truly help someone unless you are on higher ground. With that assumption, then one of two things happened with those that pushed you up. Either (1) they momentarily achieved higher ground just long enough to pull you up before they dropped back down themselves or (2) they didn't really help you at all.

Number 1 I think is pretty self explanatory. For number 2, my argument would be that while they may have stood on the sidelines and cheered you on and possibly even inspired you to achieve higher ground, they did not actually do anything to make your path easier or reduce your workload. Here's my attempt at an analogy. I hope you like basketball.

You are on a basketball team. Your parents are sitting in the bleachers chanting, "Sarah, Sarah, she's got game. Scoring is her middle name." Although they have a great cheer, what have they done to help you put the ball in basket? Given you a little confidence? Maybe, but you still have to do all the work to score.

So you call a timeout and your team gathers around the coach where he draws up a plan. Bravone is going to pass the ball into you. Scott is going to set a screen, and you are going to use the screen to drive to the basket and shoot a layup. So what has your coach done? Well, he has provided you with a plan for scoring. Now all you have to do is execute the plan.

Hm, I hope that wasn't an ill-fated attempt on my part. It made sense in head at some point during the day. Let me know your thoughts.

Scott said...

I'm late to this conversation because somehow I missed this post, but here's my two cents:

I think that President Lee and Sarah are talking about two different things and there's not necessarily any "temporary-ness" about the situation.

If we're speaking purely in physical terms President Lee's statement is obviously false--I can lift someone from below just as well as from above, and in fact in many cases it's easier to do so.

I think that the same principle holds true in the spiritual sense as well. I can say with absolute certainty that I've gotten to where I am by occasionally receiving a helping hand from someone "higher up" than I and occasionally standing on the shoulders of someone "below" me.

President Lee is speaking specifically of the importance of "letting your light shine"--of being an example of righteousness and lifting others by that example. We cannot expect to inspire improvement in another person unless we are providing an example of something that is "better" than their current state, so in this sense we do indeed need to be on higher ground.

But we can also support and sustain people in their efforts to improve, and in this way we can lift or raise even those who are above us, as our love for them and faith in them provides them the needed strength to continue their own upward journey (and hopefully occasionally reach down and give us a hand up). This is exactly why we "sustain" our leaders. Many of them are unquestionably "on higher ground" than I am, yet my support and faith are vital to their improvement and progression.