Sunday, July 16, 2017


There are times in our lives when in order to complete a task on our bucket list we would need a bucket with a much larger opening. One of those events which has remained unfulfilled on my personal bucket list is to make a hole in one while playing a round of golf.

This desire has brought frustration from coming close, but as the saying goes ‘no cigar’, being fearful that I might make a hole in one when I was playing by myself and would have no witness and imagining the personal joy I might feel as I witnessed others having this experience.

Kathleen once shared a ditty from Mark Twain which said, ‘to get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with’.

Even though it might seem like a shallow thing to some and it may be more symbolic than actual, I know making a hole in one while golfing alone would bring a minimal amount of joy which would be trebled if I were playing with a group of three friends.

During the final years of her life when my mother was living alone as a widow, she would often express her feelings about her life by using some word or another which added up to her being lonely. Each time I would hear her expressing these emotions the thought of a life without someone to divide not only the joys of a given day, but also the frustrations, fears, successes and failures which make up the hours of our days would fill my thoughts.

I suspect it has happened, but I would have to stretch the capabilities of my memory to discover when, that there has been a day in my life when I have not read something about the benefit of having someone to divide your life’s experiences with.

Even though many of these remembrances involve married couples, they often extend the benefits of the division of life’s experience to every kind of close, constant and continual relationship including dogs, cats and birds. Knowing the importance of having others in one’s life gives an additional meaning to the expression ‘no man is an island’. Maybe even expanding it to mean no man should be an island.

As I have pondered this principle of the multiplying of joy by dividing it with another, I have felt impressed that oneness can never be accomplished by one, that loneliness is always a result of being alone and that the amplification of emotional responses needs the synergistic boost of numbers.

As we expand the principle of multiplying by division we see examples of this everywhere in the Kingdom of God.

This is manifest in the unifying divisions of the Godhead. Bruce R. McConkie referred to Heavenly Father as God the Creator, Jesus the Christ as God the Redeemer and the Holy Spirit as God the Testator. Because the task of one is divided among all, totality becomes a reality.

In God’s earthly Kingdom we see the office of Bishop being made whole by the divisions of bishopric assignments and Presidents made complete because they preside in presidencies.

Besides taking a few minutes to ponder the importance of having significant others constantly in our lives, Elder Maxwell also gives us the following points to ponder about how we can make relationships more meaningful:

Recognize that our continued presence is often needed as part of the learning environment of others

Always assume that what others have to say is worth listening to

Learning to wait upon others as they go through their own trials of faith

Stretch out moments of sweetness

Valuing people for who they are, what they have to say and what they have to contribute

Detoxify our disappointments

Take the radioactivity out of our resentments

We can't take many steps along this journey of multiplying the joys of life by dividing them with others without coming to the realization that we increase the velocity of turning one into oneness when the concentration of our efforts shifts from our egocentric tendencies and becomes centered on others, especially that other who will make of us a whole.

The expansion of the glory of God comes through His work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal lives of his children.

A Bishop begins to magnify his stewardship when he quits worrying about how the members of his ward perceive him and places his concerns upon the needs of the flock over which he has been assigned to minister.

A husband or wife begins to find a fullness in their marriage when their concern shifts from what am I getting out of this union to what am I contributing to the advancement of my spouse.

All relationships find a fuller meaning when our efforts are upon thee and thy progress rather than upon me and my advancement.

In the February 1985 issue of the Ensign Magazine president Gordon B. Hinckley reminded us that our task should be continually expanding to encircle as many as possible in our effort to multiply joy by dividing it among as many as possible.

I remember interviewing a discouraged missionary. He was having trouble with a language which was not his own. He had lost the spirit of his work and wanted to go home. He was one of 180 missionaries in that mission.

I told him that if he were to go home he would break faith with his 179 companions. Every one of them was his friend. Every one of them would pray for him, fast for him, and do almost anything else to help him. They would work with him. They would teach him. They would get on their knees with him. That’s what each of us must do for one another.

Paul wrote to the Romans, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak.” And then he added these significant words, “And not to please ourselves.” (Romans 15:1).

I don't believe it falls in the realm of magic or miraculous, but it seems to be an eternal law, my personal magnitude will always be dependent upon how much I can divide the joy of my works among my fellow beings.



No comments:

Post a Comment