I have been changed for good

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun,
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood.
Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good.

I have listened to this song many times over the last couple years.  But as I was driving in the car yesterday with Conrad and listening to this, I thought of it in the context of the LDS church.  

I cannot say whether being a Mormon for the first 27 years of my life made me better--that cannot be truly known, and is quite subjective--but I can say that I have been molded by it, that I have been “changed for good”.  I would like to list several things that I have learned from the LDS church.  Some of these things are church doctrine, some I learned from positive examples I witnessed in the church, and some are negative examples (observing behavior exhibiting what not to do).

  1. Love.  Love everyone.  Love your family.  Love your friends.  Love your enemies.  Love people who need it the most.  Love those who lash out in anger due to hurt they feel inside.  Love those who offend you and say unkind things about you.  Disarm people with love.  Heal people with love.  
  2. Show concern.  Ask people how they are doing.  Listen for the response.  See what you can do to help them.  Visit your friends and show an active effort to be a positive influence on their lives.  
  3. Withhold judgement.  There are people who will hurt you.  There are people who will betray you.  But do not expect it of em.  Do not punish someone for an offense ey has not yet committed.  
  4. Be equitable.  Treat people with kindness in spite of any personal disapproval you may feel.  Accept those who are different and who think differently than you.  Do not alienate someone for something which is beyond eir control.  

And, of course, on a lighter note,
  1. Carrots do not belong in Jello.
  2. Jello goes with anything.
  3. Be related to someone on the Ward Council so you can play ball in the church’s gym any time you want.
  4. There are dozens of different ways to cook potatoes and cheese together.
  5. Ham.
  6. It is possible to throw a nice wedding reception with a double-digit budget.
  7. There is an inverse relation between the length of a meeting and its effectiveness.
  8. If your middle initial doesn’t go well with your first name, have a middle name which goes well with your first initial.
  9. Put the trash can under the sink.
  10. Ham.