I have been slowly working though the Personal Progress program also but am not nearly as far along and haven't claimed any ribbons even for the values I have finished. I have only finished 3 of the values and need to get to work so that Sophie won't leave me too far behind.
Since January we have had early morning church. 9:00 a.m. church is my favorite time slot to have church scheduled. Having our meetings in the morning means we get up and head to church and are home in time for lunch and a "restful" afternoon. I have have been using my afternoons the last few months to work on one of the value experiences each week. I had posted my experiences here on my blog in the past but have not been good about doing much of any blogging in awhile. I am hoping to do better and return to posting my thoughts here when it says to "write in your journal."
So today I picked an experience from the Value Divine Nature. Our lesson today in Relief Society was about Peace and the Peace that comes from the Savoir. So when I went in search of today's experience to work on this one jumped out.
It asked me to find a definition for the word Peacemaker.
This isn't one of the words in the Bible dictionary so I had to look in the Topical Guide. "Peacemaker" just sent me to "Peace" and that gave me "see also Comfort, Contentment, Order, Peace of God, Silence". Those are pretty good words that describe peace. Peace is where we feel comfortable and are content with life. We usually feel more at peace when there is order and silence. A Peacemaker would be a person who is able to promote those things. Someone is is already peaceful and can then cultivate it in others.
In Romans 14: 19 "Let us therefore follow after things which make for peace and things where with one may edify another." A peacemaker then is a person who wants good things for others. Is not looking for ways they have been wronged (which is what causes a lot of unrest at our house). This means peacemaking is an unselfish act. It is someone we should be because it helps others (we get benifits too of course!)
Moroni tells us in 7: 3-4 that the Peaceable followers of Christ...have obtained hope that they may enter into the rest of the Lord and Peaceably walk with the children of men. Again peacemakers are those who already know and follow Jesus Christ. When they live the gospel they can be at peace with all those around them.
Psalm 34 lists a whole bunch of attributes of those that follow Christ: His praise continually in my mouth, humble, delivered from fears, lightened, not ashamed, saved from troubles, angels protect, trusteth, not want, desireth life, loveth, keep tongue from evil, lips speak no gile, pursue peace.
In Mosiah, King Benjamin tells the people that when they follow Christ they "will not have a mind to injure one another but to live peaceably and to render to every man according to his due."
So in order to be a peacemaker we need to follow Christ and not be so self focused. Our hearts should be looking outward. We will see others as not as foes or rivals but as fellow followers. We will be encouraging and not quick to jump to attack others or even defend ourselves. I personally see peacemakers as people who are very patient. Patient with the frailties of others around them.
I have to remind my kids often that "they didn't mean to do" ________. When seeking or pursuing peace we don't quickly assume people are trying to offend. The "golden rule" really does work. If we treat others with love and kindness it does come back to us. They will be nice back to us and there is Peace.
So what do I need to do better to be a Peacemaker in my home? Too many things to list here. But for the next two weeks (that is the time frame this Value experience asks of me) I am going to focus on not raising my voice and responding, even to ugly attitudes, with a calm bearing. This is a challenge! My house seems to be filled with kids who are always finding ways to annoy and then retaliate when their sibling gets upset. I end up jumping in to resolve disputes and all too often end up raising my voice to get their yelling to stop. Less effective, I know!
I shall be trying to be a better peacemaker rather than just a referee.