For the past couple of years, during General Conference, I’ve enjoyed scrolling through Twitter to see the various reactions to the talks and speakers (#GeneralConference). I find this helps expand my perspective on the talks and principles taught.
But sticking my head into the Twitterverse also opens me up to some negativity. Seeing others criticize something I hold dear is not easy, but I try to respect other's right to see things differently.
But, the one thing I struggle with is when someone will say something like: "Good talk, except..." Then they point out a single phrase or idea they don't like. It's obviously not my place to tell others how to feel, but this feels like an attempt to extract something bad within something overwhelmingly good.
If you want to find the “bad” in things, you ALWAYS will.
There is bad in your spouse.
There is bad in your children.
There is bad in your family.
There is bad in your friends.
There is bad in your neighbours.
There is bad in your community.
There is bad in your government.
There is bad in your job.
There is bad in your boss.
There is bad in your co-workers.
There is bad in religion.
There is bad in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There is bad in you.
If you want to find warts, you always will. But of course, the opposite of this is also true.
I’m not saying we should bury our heads in the sand. But finding the good in this world is a choice. I have found this especially true in my marriage. My wife is amazing. She is constantly putting my needs above her own, she endlessly loves our children, and works incredibly hard for our family. But, as in all marriages, there have been times I forgot these things. She'll do something that hurts my feelings and then magically I see all kinds of “bad” things in her. She of course didn’t suddenly become a terrible person, but I am seeing those things that confirm my hurt feelings. I’m working to find the 1% “bad” and ignoring the 99% amazing.
There is so much bad to be found in this world. And the church, its leaders, and its people are not exempt from this. Mistakes have been made in the past. Decisions have been and will continue to be made we don’t agree with. Leaders say seemingly insensitive things. People do things that hurt our feelings. These things are inevitable. But the good in this church and its people is exponentially greater. The decision each of us needs to make is whether we will allow the inevitable negatives to wipe out the good.
I believe there is infinitely more good than bad in this world. But we need to train ourselves to find and recognize it. We need to look for the good.
Here are some of my favourite quotes that help me remember to not dwell on the negative: