Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bedtime story

There was once a young ballerina who loved to dance. She knew many techniques and steps and could do them quite well. When she danced, the techniques flowed from one to another with such ease it was like body was telling a story. She could dance her emotions and feelings with such grace and when she danced, she felt very joyful. However, this was her experience when she danced alone, with no one looking. Whenever there was anyone around her, she got very shy and she found it very difficult to dance with the ease, grace and confidence she felt when she was by herself. Her stage fright caused her a great deal of stress, especially when it came to performing with her dance school or when demonstrating her skill to her teachers. Even her parents watching caused her to feel quite shy.

One day, she decided to pray for help overcoming her shyness. She prayed to her Father and Mother in Heaven and asked them to help her dance in front of other people the way she knew could when she was alone. As she listened in stillness at the end of her prayer, she felt the words come into her mind, "You have a talent that should not be hidden. This is your gift to share with the world and you are called to this work. Your dance will be an instrument of joy to others."

With that, she realized her purpose to dance and perform, to share her talent with others and in this particular way, she would bring joy and add something lovely to the lives of those who watched her perform. In time, her dance flowed just as easily from her body when she danced in front of an audience as when she was dancing alone.

As she matured and her acclaim grew, she also felt called to teach others to dance in the way that came so naturally to her. She realized providing a beautiful display of artistry was nice but that teaching others to develop the skills for them to feel the joy she felt while dancing was even more meaningful.

She became well-known for not only her own joyous and beautiful performances, but as a kind and wise teacher of dance to her community.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Be Unafraid to Dissent--If We Are Well-Informed

"We should, of course, respect the opinions of others, but we should also be unafraid to
dissent -- if we are informed. Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression." ...

We should be dauntless in our pursuit of truth and resist all demands for unthinking conformity. No one would have us become mere tape recorders of other people's thoughts." 

"Neither fear of consequence or any kind of coercion should ever be used to secure uniformity of thought in the church. People should express their problems and opinions and be unafraid to think without fear of ill consequences. We should all be interested in academic research. We must go out on the research front and continue to explore the vast unknown. We should be in the forefront of learning in all fields, for revelation does not come only through the prophet of God nor only directly from heaven in visions or dreams. Revelation may come in the laboratory, out of the test tube, out of the thinking mind and the inquiring soul, out of search and research and prayer and inspiration.

We should be dauntless in our pursuit of truth and resist all demands for unthinking conformity. No one would have us become mere tape recorders of other people's thoughts."

-Hugh B Brown  Brigham Young University, March 29, 1958.