Ethics for Young Girls
Young Woman’s Journal, 1900-1901
Lesson 8: Place Your Trials in God’s Keeping
Closely allied to courage and self-control is the thought of keeping one’s trials hidden from all save the Lord. This is the subject of the present lesson.
A speaker once said to his audience, “It is your duty to be happy.” He saw surprise depicted on many of the faces raised to him, so he continued, “I shall prove it to yo. Is it a duty to make others happy?” “Yes,” was the answer from all. “Can you make other people happy if you are unhappy?” No; they didn’t think they could. “Then it clearly follows that you should be happy.”
There is much truth in what the speaker said. So susceptible are we to influences that we are made happy, sad, discontented, angry, according to the spirit of the people we meet.
There is one woman, God bless her, who is a well of refreshing water, giving reviving droughts of sympathy and calmness to all the weary travelers who pass her by. Seldom is she tried or heartsore, she is a constant source of inspiration to all her friends. Has she not trials? Yes, indeed. Her secret is this. She is not wealthy, and can’t help people much in that way, but she has determined, that with the help of God, she will not sadden one life by telling her trials, but that she will speak pleasant, encouraging thoughts to all she meets. The result is that everyone is gladdened by seeing her.
Shall we speak of a character who influences her friends in the opposite manner? She is gifted with a wonderful personality. She readily impresses herself upon the people she meets. “I’m just sick and tired of life. My girl has left me. I think I will just give up. I’m no use to anyone.” These are the expressions you hear when you meet her; not only that, but she goes into detail about her sad life, and we go away feeling what a sorrowful, wicked world it is after all.
We not only influence our friends by our moods, but we also influence ourselves. A director of training said to his young pupils who were teaching for the first time, “I hear you talking of your trials to each other. I hear some of you say you have children you cannot control. What is the result when you have said that twenty times? The result is you hate the children, and never will be able to manage them; thinking you can’t do a thing makes the doing of it practically impossible.” He then went on to tell of a sanitarium where he retired to rest his nerves. He said physicians forbade any patient from telling another he was ill. When he was asked how he was, he must say, “I am feeling better today, thank you,” and after a while he really imagined his health was improved.
The Christian Science church understands this principle of mind-suggestion, which means that one mind can influence another mind, or that the mind can influence the body. This is their strong point. They tell you to say over and over, “I am well,” “I am well,” until pain ceases. This is not a principle of their church alone. It is a natural principle. Have you had tooth-ache taken from you, by sudden fright? It merely means that the mind was taken from the pain.
What is the ethical signification of keeping one’s troubles to oneself? Ethics is the science of right living. Can we live rightly if we are always thinking of our troubles instead of our blessings? Does the child run to the mother for love and counsel if mother’s face is drawn with discontent? Does husband hurry home with buoyant heart if he knows he will be met with complaints? Of all the women in the world the most unsatisfactory are those who “enjoy poor health and suffer good health.”
A little child should be taught that he must not speak of his troubles. If he falls and hurts himself, he should bear it bravely. He will do this if mother does not run and pick him up and kiss him and cry over him every time he falls down.
One great secret of keeping one’s troubles to oneself is this: go to the Lord, tell him your troubles and say, “thou knowest the end from the beginning; help me to bear this burden and learn my lesson. Give me power to leave it in Thy hands, that not one may feel the influence of my error.” When you have given it over to the Lord, your soul is freed from its burden, and your influence of peace and calmness is felt by all whom you meet.
1. What is meant by self-control?
2. Relate an instance when you have been strongly influenced by the mood of another.
3. Relate an instance in your life when your mind has influenced your body.
4. Relate the acts of Christ’s disciples when He was with them and when He was away from them.
5. What was the cause of these acts?
6. What did Christ leave with His disciples to influence them?
7. Why did He do this?
8. Does the comforter dwell where there is discontent?
9. Name five blessings that we as Latter-day Saints enjoy.
10. Name five special blessings you as individuals enjoy.
11. Name five civil blessings we enjoy.
12. Quote the parable of the unclean spirit. (Matt. xii chapter, 43-45 verses.)
13. Why should eight evil spirits enter into and dwell in a body that had been empty, swept, and garnished?
14. Is it enough that we clear our minds of evil?
15. What should take the place of the evil? (Romans xii chapter, 21st verse.)