"When life gives you manure, plant a garden."

We are taught to forgive others and to love our neighbors, but at times this seems less than possible. Often we forget the teachings of the savior and are drawn into an argument or confrontation with our fellow man. Often we argue between family. A parent sets an unfair punishment it seems, or a younger sibling disturbs personal possesions. We sometimes forget that these actions are often out of a sincere love. What may seem as an unfair punishment by our parents can also be seen as love and the desire to keep you safe. When a younger sibling takes an item belonging to you, sometimes they simply do not know better and do not understand the hurt it will cause you. Othertimes, they do it because they want to be like you. Whatever the case may be, however, we must learn to forgive those who trespass against us. Matthew chapter 6 verse 13 reads "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you." In order to forgive others, we must love them, just as our father in heaven loves us. "A new commandment I give unto you you, that ye love on another; as I have loves you, that ye also love on another." John 13:34 It may seem difficult at times to love everyone, especially at the time at which they are in most need of your love and your forgiveness. There is no better way to end a disputation by explaining that neither of you are perfect, followed by embracing the person you are disputing with and saying that you are sorry and asking for their forgivness. Tell them that you are sorry that you have argued with your brother (or sister) even if they are total strangers, for we are all children of our heavenly father. You may be surprised at their reaction and even if they reject you, you can rejoice in knowing that you went that extra mile, to go out of your way and be nice to them even when they were not to you. Rejoice in knowing that you are growing closer to god in doing so. In Matthew jesus teaches us this very principle. Matthew chapter 5 verses 43 to 45 read, "43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love they neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But i say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your father in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." When this continues to happen to you, and you find yourself in arguments and disputations on a regular basis, use the manure given to you by others to plant a garden. Sew the seads of faith, hope, prayer, forgiveness, and whatever else you want to grow. This is a spiritual garden and the rewards are your own. We have all the seeds, we have but only to plant them. Be prepared to get a little dirty and expect difficulty. Prepare yourself for planting by growing closer to the lord. Nurture the seeds by following the teachings of the scriptures. Take care of the seedlings as they grow by remembering why you planted them and what they stand for. Although talking to plants sometimes helps them go, I suggest that you refrain from talking to yourself in public places. You can do so in private however. Remind yourself always that the seeds were planted for a reason, and tell yourself what that reason was. Just say right out loud "I've planted patience so that i can better get a long with others." or "I've planted faith because i want a stronger testimony of the eternal love of our father in heaven." In your prayers ask for help in caring for your garden. What you will eventually reap will be a product of all your efforts. Those who put great efforts into their garden will reap the finest products and be proud of their efforts. Remember, those who endure to the end may be saved.

Tim Collins 04/07/2002