We, as humans, long for acceptance.
I think it's just in the nature of the natural man.
We know what we know. The wildebeest in the above video knew the whole time that it was a crocodile that he was looking at in the water. But he just had to prove his point. He wanted to make sure that the other wildebeest knew who was right.
And he paid for it.
Do we find ourselves doing this?
I certainly have a tendency to do this sometimes... I want people to see things how I see them.
But here's the thing... you don't have to prove things to others. Even things you know are true.
If you know it's bad, stay away.
If you know it's good, cleave to it.
Of course I am not suggesting that you shouldn't share knowledge and try to enlighten your friends.
Let me try to illustrate this thought...
I love the gospel.
It's everything to me.
It makes me so happy.
The knowledge it brings...
The peace it brings...
The joy it brings...
My ward family is everything to me.
My neighbors - my friends in my ward - are truly my family.
They mean the world to me and have helped to raise me. I don't think many outside the church truly realize what an amazing thing a ward is.
And the gratitude that enters into my heart whenever I think of my Savior...
The gospel is a miracle.
And I love it.
But the thing is... just because I know the church is true doesn't mean everyone I talk to will believe the church is true.
That would be awesome, but it just isn't like that.
Sharing the gospel is so important. You can bless the lives of those around you for eternity.
But I've been trying to remember that I can't convert anyone.
The Spirit can convert people. And I can try to make people sensitive to feeling the Spirit, but I can't just have a nice chat with someone and make them love the gospel. I will never be able to.
The Spirit changes hearts, not me.
So I guess if I want to help change hearts, I need to make sure I am sensitive to feeling the Spirit myself.
So that others can feel it through me.
Something that breaks my heart is when you see people who have had the gospel their whole lives and still they don't truly appreciate it. They have been surrounded by truth, and maybe at one time had a testimony. Maybe they still do have a testimony, they just don't have the conviction and motivation to become fully converted.
And it makes me so, so sad. Like, so sad.
And sometimes I just want to annoyingly yell at them... don't you know what people have sacrificed for you to have this gospel? Don't you know exactly who you are? Who you can become? How much God loves it when you are faithful to Him?
Don't you realize how happy you will be when you become fully devoted to your Creator?
But I don't say these things to them... (At least I don't yell these things to them... haha)
I do what I can. But they have truth right under their noses. And sometimes nothing I say or do will make them see it.
I just pray for them. That their hearts will be softened and changed. And that it won't take some drastic, life-shattering experience for them to become converted.
But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
What an amazing scripture, right?
All things denote there is a God.
Look at all the tiny details that work together perfectly... The earth is like one big, perfectly engineered machine.
When you look at the beauty of nature... the beauty of humanity... the beauty of love and forgiveness...
There is no way it all just created itself.
It wouldn't make sense.
I always think of Elder Nelson's talk from last April...
"Anyone who studies the workings of the human body has surely 'seen God moving in his majesty and power'..."
And still, so many people believe that all of this just happened. That a Big Bang could create intelligent, loving, and truly beautiful people.
You guys, there are an infinite number of signs - an infinite number of evidences - of a God.
And people praying for some big sign... they just don't get it.
There are signs everywhere.
You are a living, breathing, evidence of a God.
No matter what anyone else believes... You know what you know. Nothing could ever change that.
And if you feel you need to prove a point... stop. Remember to be patient with people.
We're all just living life the best we can.
Remember who converts people... who changes hearts.
Do what you can, and pray that the Lord will make up the difference.
Because, in the end, He always does.