Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

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SamBee
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Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by SamBee » 18 Jun 2018, 02:53

http://www.ldsliving.com/Elizabeth-Smar ... ve/s/88682

A bit of recent history here. I remember the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping some years ago... reading this makes me realize she is a very astute woman.
A question I’m always asked when I speak is, “have you forgiven your captors?” Yes. But when I say yes, I don’t mean I think their actions are acceptable. For example I will never be ok with rape, abuse, or kidnapping. But to me forgiveness is another word for self love, and perhaps the greatest form of self love. And I forgive my captors because I love myself enough to want happiness, joy, and freedom. And holding onto the negativity, pain, and suffering from my past doesn’t allow me to embrace and live my life fully now. It didn’t happen overnight, and my family and God we’re absolutely instrumental in coming to this place. But I believe everyone should have a chance at happiness and I refuse to let mine pass me by.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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LookingHard
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by LookingHard » 18 Jun 2018, 04:35

I really like and respect her. When visiting in Utah I actually saw her in her home ward and I held back to not be a "fan" and approach her. She does a lot of good within the church to help stop things like chastity lessons of the chewed gum/nail in the board/licked cupcake.

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dande48
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by dande48 » 18 Jun 2018, 06:37

Back at BYU, I used to walk by her office every day to get to my locker. I have so much respect for her. She took an absolutely horrific experience, and turned it into something absolutely incredible and inspiring. She went through the worst, and yet... the world is a much better place for it. It's funny in a way, isn't it? Life is truly what you make it.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SilentDawning
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by SilentDawning » 18 Jun 2018, 08:37

Powerful thought that forgiveness of others is an act of self-love.

Never thought of that. It's a higher form of self-love than the self-love based on self-importance or offence at being treated a certain way. That too is self-love, but it can inspire bitterness rather than inner peace. Powerful thought from Elizabeth Smart!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"Stage 5 is where you no longer believe the gospel as its literally or traditionally taught. Nonetheless, you find your own way to be active and at peace within it". -- SD

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Jun 2018, 12:54

I love this.

Thanks for sharing it.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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SamBee
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by SamBee » 18 Jun 2018, 13:08

I really love the way she has couched this. She also makes it plain that while she forgives them she can never condone the actual behavior... and that she is entitled to happiness in her life... that's a very nuanced and mature approach.

I don't doubt her experience was both terrifying and stomach churning, and she is probably still hurt by it, but I admire how she has tried to move past it.
LookingHard wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 04:35
I really like and respect her. When visiting in Utah I actually saw her in her home ward and I held back to not be a "fan" and approach her. She does a lot of good within the church to help stop things like chastity lessons of the chewed gum/nail in the board/licked cupcake.
Yes, well as we know, that is not a nice image. It is hurtful to closet victims of rape and abuse (and they are out there), and those who have slipped up... not to mention widows and divorced. I think that her comments about her personal happiness are a positive influenced from LDS theology that we are all entitled to individual happiness though obvious not at the expense of others.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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mom3
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by mom3 » 18 Jun 2018, 13:24

Thanks Sam.

I agree with Silent Dawning - a very new and wonderful way to look at Self-Love.

I have long believed that her entire experience was God driven. I know that sounds horrible, but I remember sensing from day 1 that this story/experience was more than the just horror. We actually have Smart's in our family. For a moment we panicked and thought it was one of their girls.

On the day she was found, I remember praying a massive prayer of gratitude in my laundry room. (That's where I heard the news). I remember feeling that all the eternal cogs locked into place. I felt liberated by her freedom. At the same time another LDS family was discovering the remains of their daughter, who too was kidnapped while washing her car. I still don't have answers for the paradox.

I am so glad Elizabeth is using her horror to teach us. That's a heavy burden. She is under no obligation. So generous.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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SamBee
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by SamBee » 18 Jun 2018, 13:42

For the record, I have had to face some things from my childhood. I never had the torment which she did, or sexual abuse but I was seriously injured by adults on more than one occasion before the age of 12. We're talking about broken bones, blood and being concussed at lesst twice, along witb beatings.

I was bullied by older boys too, and yes I think I myself became a bit of a bully in that toxic environment. I still feel very angry about it, and I believe it has influenced me for the worse.

But reading her comments is inspiring to me - I wish I could have her sunny outlook.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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mom3
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by mom3 » 18 Jun 2018, 15:26

But reading her comments is inspiring to me - I wish I could have her sunny outlook.
The well of her soul is incredibly deep. That is part of where I find a God-given-ness in the experience. She even had composure beyond her Mom. None of us can be her. But the inspiration can happily effect us all.

If we each apply it the world may be a more beautiful place.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Elizabeth Smart: Forgiveness is another word for self-love

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Jun 2018, 16:15

Sam, fwiw, it is people who have experiences like yours and remain good people whom I admire the most. Truly, I stand all amazed. Don't sell yourself short. You are a noble and great one in the very best sense of those words.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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